You guys, I am so excited to share this with you! This is something I’ve been working on for months and months and I am finally ready for the big reveal. Our day-of coordinator, Adrianne Kautz, also does graphic design. I had a vision and she took it to the next level. We decided that instead of table numbers we would be using table names—and not just any names, the names of Savannah’s famous squares. We wanted a map with the name on one side with a description of the square on the other. Adrianne knocked it out of the park.
Even with all of our website RSVP issues, Mr. G and I got all of our RSVPs with no problem. Well, with minimal problems…we still had to track down four late people whom we just emailed directly and asked if they could make it. Out of the 78 people we invited 65 of them accepted. I was pretty surprised by our low decline rate and I think it’s because our Japanese guests were curious about what a semi-American wedding would be like.
Once we got our RSVPs it was time to make the seating chart, a task that I heard was difficult and time consuming. I asked around and heard that the easiest way to make a seating chart was to use Post-its with guests’ names written on each one and paper plates that would act as tables.
One night after dinner, Mr. G and I got down to business. I wrote the guests’ names on the Post-its and Mr. G cut up eight sheets of paper (we didn’t have any paper plates). We started arranging our tables and guests, and we finished the arduous task of making our seating chart in five minutes. I couldn’t believe how easy it was! I thought it would take at least an half an hour.
Escort cards are an annoying, yet critical part of wedding planning. While we briefly (I mean, briefly) toyed with the idea of open seating, I soon said to myself, “Miss Jet…do you really trust that people will evenly distribute themselves throughout this venue in such a casual way that they just so happen to sit with precisely the right number of family members/friends/colleagues?”
Miss Jet quickly responded, “Oh, hell no.”
Thus was born the need for escort cards. I wanted to avoid the old tent-card-on-a-table standby and visited my trusty frenemy, Pinterest, for inspiration and fell in love with the hand-written shipping tags on a framed board:
These are wrapped with washi tape, too—such an inexpensive and cute idea! / Image via I Do It Yourself
I quickly mentioned the finished board here, but I wanted to get the board pre-tacked as I wait for my wonderful sis, MOH J, to hand-write all of escort tags.
I have to briefly interrupt this post to share something personal. I have a confession to make, hive. As crafty as some of you may believe me to be—I have a dirty, little secret.
One of the final projects for the wedding was really the biggest joint effort between Sparky and me. This is also the project that took the most time over all. That project was our seating cards.
My first inspiration to display these cards was the one we stuck with. It made the most sense for us as a couple and was very reflective of our shared interest.
My part of the project included the cards themselves: designing, creating, and printing. Since my printer and I are at odds, getting this process right took a fair amount of time (especially since the design we ended up with was 2″x3″). This isn’t a post about the cards, though, but is instead about Sparky’s portion of this project: the cork holders.
If you remember my last cork post, you may remember that Sparky and I have saved nearly every cork from every bottle of wine that we’ve opened. Several went to the monogram letters and the rest were saved for this project.
- spoken by Miss Jet Setter herself, in regards to her seating chart.
Although I’m still waiting for about 40% of our RSVPs, I couldn’t help but get started on this:
Foam board + colored post-its = best. thing. ever.
Seating arrangements are not something I’m looking forward to. I’ve tried a few mock-ups, but since our RSVPs have only just started to roll in, I really have no idea who or even how many “whos” to expect.
Instead, I’ve been trying to finalize our head table. (Again, something that should be simple but which I’ve taken upon myself to make undeniably more difficult.)
In a perfect world, I’d have everyone sitting at one giant table a la the Queen’s dinner parties, but our venue doesn’t exactly allow for this type of setting.
Image via Daily Mail
One popular head table type that I am downright opposed to having is the sweetheart table.
Five months before our wedding, our invitations were posted. We’ve already received a lot of RSVP postcards, but more importantly, we already know who is coming and who isn’t. Thanks to it being mainly close friends and family, we talk to them enough for absolutely everyone to have already let us know of their plans. Not to mention that everyone has already booked their hotels for the weekend. Score!
This has proved so useful. Not only do we know who is eating lamb and who is eating fish so we can discuss quantities with the caterers, but it means we can get started on our seating plan already.
Our guests are split into the following categories.
Jack’s family takes up half of the guest list. My guests were easy—a table for each category. His guests were almost as easy. All we needed to do was split the cousins up—one table for English, one table for Italian, and one with a mix of them.
And this is what we came up with!
So. Sweetheart tables are a definite thing in weddings these days.
I’m not sure how I feel about this trend.
On the one hand…
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!