Seating arrangements – seating chart template

A victory packet for the WORST wedding project you’ll ever have to do.

Ugh.

Lets face it, your down to the wire, and you’re trying to get a million other things done before your big day. Sitting down and figuring out who sits at what table is going to be so time-consuming and stressful… you just know it will be awful! You can already see it, your up at 2am, arranging seating on your living room floor using sticky notes and duct tape. There has to be a better way. Right!?

Creating seating arrangements can sometimes be the most challenging part of planning a wedding. As a stationery designer, I’ve seen what a struggle (and a stress inducer!) this project can become for my clients.

But don’t worry! I’m here to support you. I’ve created a FREE packet of tools that will ensure your success.

Whats included in the Victory Packet:

  • Template -A super easy-to-use excel sheet to track guests and seating arrangements.
  • 5-Step Checklist – so you can complete this project in a flash!
  • Style Guide – 1 page cheat-sheet with the proper Mr. Mrs. Ms. Miss format for any situation!
  • FAQ  – Your frequently asked questions – answered!

Are you ready to get this project knocked out of the park?!
Fill in your e-mail address below and I will instantly e-mail you the (FREE!) Victory Packet.

What others are saying:

“ Thank you SO MUCH! This was the support and direction and resources I needed!!! I feel so much better. ”  – Laura P. from  Massachusetts

Save money on your wedding stationary (without eliminating anything!) — Part 3

How To Save Money on your Weding Stationary (without eliminating Anything) Part 3

How To Save Money on your Weding Stationary (without eliminating Anything) Part 3

Another DIY misconception: Printing Double Sided verses Single Sided is cheaper
It seems logical using one card and printing on both sides it would be less expensive, right? Wrong! In many cases it’s actually more cost effective to print on two cards single sided rather than one card double sided.

Printing is often calculated as a per-side charge and more often than not, double sided printing fees outweigh the cost of another card.

When printing, consider how your items will be displayed and determine if they really need to be printed on both sides.  If your table number cards or place cards will be only seen from one side, why pay more to have them printed on both sides? Invitation cards often can be consolidated to single-sided prints that will save you extra $$! Discuss all your options with your stationary designer and/or printer; they are there to help you.

Save money on your wedding stationary (without eliminating anything!) — Part 2

How To Save on your Wedding Stationary Part 2

How to Save on Your Wedding Stationary – Part 2

Welcome to Part Two of this blog series! Tip #2 for saving money on your wedding stationary? Plan Ahead: Do Not Wait!

Order early and save yourself stress, time, and money!
By planning several months in advance, and purchasing your items well ahead of your wedding day, you will spare yourself stress, time, and money. You will have time to find the items which best fit for your budget, colors and theme.

The days and weeks before your wedding day will be extremely busy with last minute fittings, out of town guests, and appointments with your vendors and all kinds of unexpected stresses. The time you will have to work on proofing programs, or sorting out 100’s of guests for seating will be greatly diminished. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time for this process.

You’ll be happier with the products you receive
Many items such as monograms, programs, invitations and place cards take several weeks to create and perfect and may require a few revisions to be sure they are just error free. By planning ahead, you will have time to make changes to be sure they are exactly what you envision for your wedding. Don’t settle for something you do not really love. There are too many wonderful choices available to not be thrilled with you stationary!

Save $$!
If you order your stationary early, you can avoid paying charges for overnight shipping and rush order fees. (Some vendors require 4-6 weeks for delivery) Wouldn’t you rather spend that $50+ on something fun?!

Spread out the costs
Order your monogram and invitations first, they set the tone for all your other stationary. By purchasing these items early on, you’ll be able to break out the cost of your stationary items over time. You can also avoid having all those pesky bills and payments to your vendors come due on the same day. Unless you get a big rush from procrastinating, plan and purchase well ahead of your wedding date! Your budget (and your sanity) will thank you!

Save money on your wedding stationary (without eliminating anything!) — Part 1

How to Save Money on Your Wedding Stationary a 7 part Blog

How to Save Money on Your Wedding Stationary a 7 part Blog

DIY is not always a time or money saver: helpful hints

If you use Pinterest you are probably familiar with those comical “nailed it” photos. Like this one:

DIY Fail

DIY Fail

Unfortunately weddings aren’t immune to DIY failure. There’s a hilarious example from the Project Wedding forum that illustrates just how horribly wrong a simple DIY Project can go!

Don’t get me wrong, I love DIY and I did a ton of it for my own wedding. However, I can honestly say I paid more for my DIY projects in most cases than I would have if I had purchased from a professional.

I know this sounds counter-intuitive…but it’s true. DIY is not always a time or money saver. I can’t even tell you how many brides I’ve encountered on wedding forums and in my shop that were completely frustrated with DIY projects and never finished them. Not only did they spend money (and tons of time) on the DIY projects, they then paid a designer to create the same items for them. This duplication of effort can create budget busting costs!

Take into consideration, when planning your DIY projects: the time needed, and the cost of tools and supplies. I was stunned to see how much stuff I had to purchase using the trial and error approach and how much money I wasted on things that just did not work out.  I also wasted a lot of time on stuff I did not end up using.

Professionals are professionals because they already own all the tools and supplies and have already worked through the failures. Professionals have the experience and know-how to get the project done with little to no frustration for you!

So, the morale of the story is: Unless you are “crafty” and/or sentimental about creating your own items, skip the DIY frustrations and purchase the items you’ll really love.

Free Download: The Ultimate Wedding Checklist!

I’ve created a Free downloadable Ultimate Wedding Checklist!

Don’t freak out when you see how long this list is! Remember, this list is intended to walk through almost every possible part of planning a wedding. Some things may not apply to you or your wedding. Some things may turn up more than once. They will appear first to get you planning, second to book/reserve/create the item and finally near the end to be sure everything is finalized.

This checklist will help you establish the things you want, as well as those you don’t! If you see something you don’t need/want to do… just check it off the list and you’re already on your way!

Remember: your wedding day should be fun and enjoyable for everyone. If you start to freak out, take a break and come back to the planning a little later. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from others when you need it!

When to use Seating/Escort Cards (and when to ditch them)!

Ever wondered what the difference is between place cards and escort cards? Do you feel like these cards are silly, or even confusing? In the following post I’ll try to explain the basics of place card and escort card etiquette and why they may be important on your wedding day.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
So does a Place card differ from an Escort card? Aren’t they the same thing? Yes and no. Place cards are typically pre-set at each reception table and used in conjunction with table numbers and a seating chart to help guests find their seat. Escort cards on the other hand, sit outside the reception in neat little rows where guests can pick them up to be “escorted” to their tables.

I DON’T GET IT!
I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t really understand the point of seating cards when I first began planning my wedding. I wondered why anyone would WANT to tell their guests where they HAD to sit. I definitely did not want to seem like a bridezilla with micromanagement problems!

After reading a bit more about wedding planning however, I gained a healthy respect for these little cards. They have an important job to do!

Floral Calligraphy Style Place Cards

Floral Calligraphy Style Place Cards for Weddings

WHY HAVE THEM?
The real point of paper goods, including seating cards, dawned on me when I read this Project Wedding article about wedding guest complaints.  The #1 complaint of wedding guests? Not knowing where to go. Escort cards can be one small way you can ensure you’ve guided each and every guest to a group of friends with whom they can enjoy the evening. Plus, they won’t have to wander around awkwardly to find a table.

Be welcoming. Even if you had a long receiving line at the end of your ceremony,   chances are you didn’t get to welcome/greet each guest individually. Having place cards lets your guests know your glad they are here, and you were sure to save a place for them.

Help everyone feel comfortable. It may seem like a lot of hassle but its well worth the effort to thoughtfully group guests by table. In particular, guests who don’t know anyone else in attendance will be more at ease if you can seat them with a group of people who are of a common age group or share a common interest. (Pssst… here’s your chance to separate any potential clashes of personality/political opinion too!)

Keep things on track. If your having a plated dinner with several meal choices, place cards can be a simple way to ensure the catering staff gets everyone’s orders perfect. By adding a small symbol or letter on the corner of each place card the catering staff will know right away that your strictly vegan Aunt Martha wants Eggplant Parmesan not Filet Mignon. This can also be a good way to discreetly warn the staff which guests may be allergic to certian ingredients like peanuts or shellfish.

Place cards can help your caterer ensure everyone receives what they ordered.

Place cards can help your caterer ensure everyone receives what they ordered.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Q: I’m on a budget and I’m trying to save a few bucks. Is it ok to group families or couples together on the same card?

A: Its perfectly fine to group couples together. ie: Mr. & Mrs Smith. However, children should always be listed separately. ie: Miss Mary Winslow. Keep in mind that grouping couples who don’t share the same last name, or grouping entire families onto one card might look crammed and less aesthetically pleasing. Also, grouping couples/families onto one card can quickly defeat the convenience for the catering staff if your identifying meal choices on the cards.

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Q: Several friends have indicated they’ll be bringing their girlfriend/boyfriend/significant other to the wedding but I don’t know the name of their guest. What do I do?

A: First, whenever possible try to find the names of all guests in attendance. (See above under: Be welcoming.) It can’t hurt to give your friend a quick call/text/Facebook message to inquire the name of their guest. If this is not possible, or your friend hasn’t decided who they’re bringing yet (not too uncommon!) It would be perfectly acceptable to write the place card in this way:  Mr. Wayne Madden & Guest.

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Q: Do I HAVE to use place cards?

A: If your having a small/intimate and/or casual wedding where almost everyone knows each-other and the caterer doesn’t need help identifying meal choices then you can skip the whole shebang! Put up one of these cute signs instead: