Unless you are really lucky the table plan, which seems like a relatively straight forward process to begin with, always takes more time than you think. There’s lots of choices to make, like whether you put your guests with family or friend groups or mix them up so everyone gets to know each other. If you do decide to mix the tables one great trick is to seat people with others they have something in common with and name the table accordingly. Say for instance friends who love cars, call your table Top Gear and let them work out why! Naming tables is a great way to break the ice and you can always match these to your theme or things you love. Some of the ones we’ve seen are:
Places special to you as a couple such as places you’ve visited on holiday
Names connected with hobbies such as star constellations or fashion designers
Favourite movies or authors
Famous romantic couples such as Romeo and Juliet, Bogart and Bacall and Taylor and Burton.
Once the fun bit is over and you’ve got brilliant names then comes the hard part, actually getting names to places. This for me was really frustrating. It required the patience of a saint as not so long ago, involved writing names on bits of paper and whizzing them around on a home drawn table plan for an eternity (well that’s how it felt!). However nowadays there’s a website for everything and table planning is no exception.
We’ve used Toptableplanner for many an event and it’s a really easy way to play around with the seating so you can get it exactly right. I’ve lost count of the times we’ve turned up to style tables and been given the name places only to find they don’t match with the seating planner! It’s easy to miss people off or forget to write a name tag so using a website like this really helps.
Screen Shot from www.toptableplanner.com
A good trick of the trade is to always take a few extra name tags (with pen!) on the day just in case. We’ve had guests who have turned up with a plus one but actually didn’t tell the bride and groom so we’ve quickly rearranged seating to accommodate them. And always, always, always make sure you have spelt names correctly. Where seating plans are concerned the phrase, check, double check and check again is your mantra.
Caterers will also love you forever if you can give them a table plan and mark on it where children and vegetarians are sitting. It makes their service so much smoother to manage.
And do remember that although many hotels and venues have “wedding planners” they might not be up for arranging all your seating plan, dressing the tables and putting out favours etc on the day. Check well in advance and if they are going to do this for you make sure you have a dummy run with them beforehand, especially if you have specific requirements or lots to put together.
Happy table planning!
Images. 1. Bridesmagazine.com 2. Planyourperfectwedding.com 3. theweddingchicks.com 4. lover.ly
There’s some brilliant ideas out in wedding land at the moment for alternative guest books. From using a polaroid for guests to take a pic and then write a message on, doing a washing line of message cards (cue buying those little pegs which I love!) or giving each guest a mini card and envelope to write a message in and drop in a glass jar or keepsake box. Or you could even get guests to post the little envelopes back whilst you’re on honeymoon – that way you’ll arrive home to a postbox full of lovely messages!
Our favourite so far though was this wedding fingerprint tree.
This lovely idea was used at a wedding over the summer and guests couldn’t wait to give it a try. Simply stamp your fingerprint on the tree and write your name next to it. Our newlyweds then had it framed as a piece of art to always remember their day and who shared it with them.
If you prefer something more traditional but with a bit of a twist, try a bespoke wedding book. One of our favourites is this one from Notonthehighstreet.com
Let us know if you have any great wedding book ideas to share with our readers – we’d love to hear them!
Happy shopping x
This weeks wedding website comes from across the pond and we’ve heard some great things about it. The Wedding Paper Divas have a fabulous range of save the date cards, some of which start at 53p for a printed postcard. You can choose from their huge range where you’re bound to find something that suits your theme. You have the option of the traditional postcard or magnets and photo cards. There’s also matching invitations, reply cards and thank you cards if you want to order all in one go.
You can get 8 free stationery samples to see some of your favourite options first hand, just enter FREETRY at checkout.
Sometimes you find a website that you’re no longer going to be able to live without. And Cox and Cox is it. If you are DIYing your wedding it’s the perfect place to find unique decorations and accessories. It’s one of our favourite places to start when we’re styling weddings (and our houses too!). You’re sure to find something you love in the first few clicks!
All images from Cox and Cox
Charlie loves Lucy is the fabulous creation of Claire Hawkes, who works out of her studio in Kent designing wedding stationery. We first saw her designs at the Bluewater Wedding Fair and thought they were totally gorgeous!
Claire has a passion for beautiful design and typography and says “we want to create exquisite stationery that’s packed with personality and without compromise”. With over six years in design Claire’s love for all things printed and has seen her business grow and now “The Tea at Elaine’s” design comes in five colour ways; Blush, Sage, Bluebell, Lemon and Mocha. I personally wouldn’t be able to choose – love them all!
Claire can either give you a completely bespoke design or you can choose from one of her fantastic ranges, some of which are shown below.
Finding brilliant wedding suppliers right on your doorstep is one of the best things about working in Kent and today we can share with you gorgeous stationery designer, Suzanne Osborne, whose studio is just a stones throw away from Wedding Dolls HQ.
Suzanne launched Prettywild Design as a full-time business after working in design studios with clients including ITV, BBC and Abbey National, but she tells us “I’d always yearned to run my own business allowing me the freedom to share my ideas and love for creative event stationery”.
Suzanne says “At design college, I learnt the beauty of typography, played with paper, met my future husband and graduated with a 1st! A year later we got married – it was my first wedding stationery commission. Whilst studying I had Saturday job in a local stationery shop. It was a wonderland of beautiful fountain pens, greetings cards and office equipment, with a small print division. It was an inspirational family run business and I’ll always be grateful to the owners for teaching me the importance of good customer relations, hard work and how to wrap the wedding invitation orders!”.
Suzanne’s stunning range of designs can be customised or she will create an exclusive design just for you depending on what you require for your event. Take a look at her website for more information about pricing and ordering. You’ll be really glad you did!