Seeing as how I am a North-to-South transplant, I have had to be taught things about being Southern. In the four years I’ve lived in the south, I’ve learned a few things:
1. Nobody drinks unsweetened tea. I don’t drink tea at all. I’m basically shunned from all picnics.
2. “Bless Your Heart” is the worst insult you can give a person.
3. Bacon grease can keep in a coffee mug in the fridge for months
4. Southern weddings are a big deal. Read: HUGE DEAL.
Oh boy. Southern weddings. If you know what I’m talking about, you know what I’m talking about. It’s kind of one of those “if you have to ask you’ll never know” sort of situations.
For some reason, even though I tell people I’m from Pennsylvania when they ask, I wanted a Big Fat Southern Wedding. This seemed like a good idea in theory, but having not been to a ton of big Southern weddings myself, I didn’t really know where to start.
Enter: Lauren with Cafe Catering. Yet again, she was able to explain to me what was expected at such an event. We went over lots of little nuances, but she also had to explain some of the bigger components to me.
One of these items was the seating situation. We are having food stations, which are also known as “heavy hors d’ouevres.” These have apparently become quite popular with the folks down here below the Mason-Dixon. Obviously wanting to fit in, I signed right on up. This led to her explaining to me that since we will not be having a large, sit-down dinner, there is no need to have assigned seating. In fact, there was no need to even have a seat for every person.
Mind = Blown.
Gif via How I Met Your Mother Gifs
Here’s how that conversation went:
I thought the title was appropriate since each of our tables will be named after our favorite bands Putting together the seat chart surprisingly didn’t stress me out nearly as much as I thought it would. For the most part, it was actually not that difficult assigning people to tables. I hate going to a wedding and being seated at a table where I don’t know anyone (although I understand that sometimes it’s unavoidable, but still), so it was really important to us that we sat people together who mostly knew each other. In putting the tables together, we realized that my family alone makes up six tables, while his whole family only takes up one and a half tables. Our Connecticut friends make up four tables, and the remaining three tables consists mostly of NYC friends, bridemaids and their Sos.
Image via Lover.ly / Photo Credit: Graceology Photgraphy
Then there was the vendor seating—at first we were thinking of a separate table, but the 15 tables we currently have are the absolute maximum…so that was a no-go. Putting them in another room wasn’t an option, especially for our photographers since all the speeches are going to be in-between courses. So ultimately we decided to add a few additional seats to the tables closest to the dance floor.
The top table is one thing that I’m really struggling with.
I’ve been looking through some of the bees’ posts and found that I’m not the only one! Mrs. Seal had this problem, and so did Mrs. Pumpkin, Mrs. Snow Cone, Miss Otter—it gave me a lot of reading to do!
You see, traditionally, the top table is seated like this (I hear it’s different from US top tables).
Image via Wedding Services 4U
But Chatty Man will know no one at this wedding except for Jack and me, and his wife. So if he sits with us at the top table, then his missus will be on her own, and I don’t think that’s very fair.
Since we are having a plated dinner at our reception and the thought of free-for-all seating scares me, our guests are going to be given a spot to sit, and I’m happy to report the Sword table assignments have been completed! Of course, our guests are free to sit anywhere at said table, but for the purposes of allergies, and because let’s face it, people like to sit by the folks they know, everyone was assigned a specific table in advance.
And it was so easy that I’m scared it was too easy. If you’re looking for a quick way to design your table chart, here’s a break down of how my system worked and a rough estimate of how long everything took me.
First off, I have to give credit to Mrs. Mink’s post here because her ingenuity was what inspired me to do the same!
By putting some effort in ahead of time, Mom Sword and I were able to create the table assignments in a quick 20 minutes. We started with the tables that we were more certain of and went from there. Once Mr. Sword arrived home from Kansas City he reviewed our table assignments, made a few slight changes, and with that we were done!
We probably spent a total of 35 minutes making the seating chart and I firmly believe that it went so quickly because of the preparation I did ahead of time.
The only thing I had to buy were the little post-it notes to write the guest’s names on, the other stuff, scissors, paper, and a pen were all found in my house.
I wrote every single wedding guests’ name on their own post-it note. Color didn’t matter. This part probably took close to 45 minutes but I did it while watching TV, so it flew by. Once they were all finished I stuck each name to a piece of paper and set it aside.
Initially, I wasn’t very excited about making table numbers. I figured I would print out the numbers in a cute font, throw them in a frame, and call it a day. If only they were that easy. Ultimately making the table numbers turned into quite the project and I am so exited to see them on our feasting tables. The tables will be full of twinkling candlelight and bright flowers, so I wanted the tables numbers to balance out some of the natural aspects of our wedding. Well folks, you can’t really get any more natural than this:
A log from my parent’s backyard. [It was chosen for its barky goodness.]
When I was visiting my parents over the holidays, my dad and I had a few dates in his wood shop…aka the garage. My dad has always loved woodworking and has built some pretty awesome things over the years (lots of furniture, playsets, and a screened-in-porch). This past year he hasn’t had much time for his wood shop so it was fun to pull his tools out. Growing up it seemed like he was always getting the latest and greatest tools every birthday and Christmas, so I was a little surprised when he said he wanted to use this old guy:
Since Mr. Wallaby and I had assigned seating at our reception, we needed to devise some kind of table number scheme. I always gravitate toward soft floral decor, and I was lusting after these table numbers:
But those are pretty girly, right? And after painting our DIY save the dates, invites, and out-of-town bags, I have retired my painting supplies. So I consulted with Mr. W, and we dreamed up the idea of a famous scientist theme. We are both big science lovers (remember, we’re engineers!), and we thought it would be really cool to place a tiny portrait of a well-known, influential scientist on each table in lieu of table numbers. I envisioned something like this (but substitute a black-and-white portrait of a scientist for the herb drawing):
I know, I know—I’m not clever. At least I try, right!? Today, we’re talking sweetheart tables. Before I talk about the table, though, let me talk more about the decision making process.
Like many bees before me, when I started thinking about all the things you must know before you get married, I thought it would be beneficial for us to read Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages. I know how I give love to others, but when it came down to my preference in receiving love, I wasn’t exactly sure how my results would come out. After reading the book and taking the assessment, both Mr. O and I scored the highest in quality time. Given how we enjoy spending our time, the results did make sense…which leads me to table talk.
Given that our preference is spending quality time together, we wanted to ensure that we had moments of our day built in that would give us that quality time—special moments for just the two of us to enjoy without any pressure. Since we’re having a fairly small wedding, we plan to skip the receiving line and visit with our guests after we finish eating. We also considered that if we had a more traditional head table, we would be talking to some of our favorite people, but not necessarily each other.
So, a sweetheart table it will be! Not to mention…I love the look of a sweetheart table in photos!
This is my standout favorite, I’ve even started looking around for similar letters!
Seeing as I am planning a hay bale lounge area outside the dance hall, I want it to be a comfy area people actually want to sit and enjoy themselves. Well, what is a lounge area without PILLOWS?? Using inspiration from images like this, I set out to create some fantastic pillows for our special day!
Image via butterflyabove on Etsy
After looking at lots of interesting table number ideas, we decided to go the traditional route and do numbered tables.
I was inspired by Mrs. Mink’s table numbers: a painted wooden number on a patterned background.
I want to incorporate more of the black and white stripes from our ribbon belly bands in our décor, and I figured table numbers would be the perfect place to do this. I printed off a black-and-white-stripe pattern I found online and popped them in our double-sided Ikea frames. I figured I’d go to Michaels, buy wooden numbers, paint them gold, and glue them onto the frame. Easy peasy, right?
I went to Michaels. They had about eight different types of wooden letters, but no numbers. So, I went to a different Michaels. They had numbers! But they were bigger than our 4×6 frames. Then I went to Jo-Ann Fabric. They had wooden numbers that were the right size…except the number one.
I wanna share with you guys one of the first DIY projects I’ve attempted for our big day, and I’m totally thrilled with how they turned out! What are we talking about? Why, bride and groom chair signs, of course!
I don’t know if you’ve seen these out and about, but a lot of wedding pictures I’ve come across these days include a photograph of chair signs designating where the bride and groom are sitting (you know…just in case you don’t know who those two people are sitting at the front of the reception venue). While they aren’t exactly practical or necessary, I do think they’re pretty adorable. And so, I would now like to unveil DIY wedding project numero uno!
Ooh la la! (Photo by Miss Armadillo)
I found it hard to choose a table number design for our wedding. There are so many great ideas out there. One of the top finalists was this little number, which had me instantly raving about it to Mr. Bracelet. I loved that is was functional yet entertaining/informational.
I wasn’t quite ready to give this project the go-ahead—not coming up with enough creative facts about us or where we come from off the top of my head being one of the reasons. I continued to keep my eyes open and found several other designs that I liked.
Super classic paper with calligraphy (or calligraphy-ish font):
Hive, I love you guys. And because I love y’all, I’m going to share the entire process of making our table numbers. Instead of just saying, “Hey, look at this super-cute project I did and how great it turned out,” you guys are going to get the good, the bad, AND the ugly. Maybe that’s more of a punishment than a treat, but either way, I’m sharing it all!
The table number process started a few weeks ago when I shared my inspiration with y’all and asked for your suggestions. A lot of you liked the blinged out numbers with rhinestones, as did I, so I was on the lookout for something super sparkly I could DIY. About a week ago, Style Me Pretty posted this super-cute birthday party, complete with lots of sparkle. One of the images was this glittery gold number four, and it was exactly what I had been looking for/didn’t even know I was looking for until I found it!
|Image via Style Me Pretty|
After a quick Google search, I found that these numbers could easily be attached to wood bases, allowing them to stand up and serve as the perfect table number, so I set off to gather my supplies and make my own. I started with wood numbers and bases, Glitter Blast Glitter Spray (which I read could work wonders), clear sealer, and my trusted glue gun.
We’re doing assigned seating at our wedding, so guests will need to find their seats in an easy way. This is why some genius a million years ago invented table numbers. But, of course, modern brides had to go mess it all up by getting creative. There are so many options nowadays for designating which table is which.
There’s the simple, traditional option:
Image via Martha Stewart Weddings
Mr. Coach and I originally debated whether or not we wanted assigned seats/tables at our reception. On one hand, we aren’t doing different menu choices, so there was no need to determine who would be sitting where and getting which meal. On the other hand, we’re expecting to fill of the majority of our 120 maximum occupancy limit, so every seat will neat to have someone claiming it. Ultimately, we decided that assigned tables could be a good idea. We can be assured that everyone finds a place to sit and has a spot to enjoy the festivities. More importantly, having assigned tables allows me to find cute little table numbers and make an escort-card board. I have a fun tutorial coming soon for the escort frame, but for now, let’s talk table numbers!
I don’t know what it is, but I looove looking for table-number inspiration online. Whimsical DIY numbers, rustic number holders made from tree trunks, and super-sophisticated numbers from black-tie events: I love them all!
Not too long ago, I mentioned that I really wanted to create a DIY escort card holder of some sort, possibly resembling one of my favorite inspiration photos:
I found this photo a while back—I honestly can’t even remember if I was looking for card holders or just stumbled upon it. I know I’ve been holding onto it for a while, though, because I took this photo to show Kristen when we met to discuss flowers. I told her my plans to create a board like this, and she agreed to bring along some flowers to polish off the look. I’m really looking forward to topping off the board with some fresh flowers, although there is something very elegant about all of the cards just lined up in rows.