Friday, August 22, 2014

Beyond the tent card... Great seating chart ideas

Careful planning needs flawless execution.  You've spent so long planning the perfect seating places for your guests that you could probably work for eHarmony by now.  Grandma away from the speakers, divorced attendees far enough away from each other, kids away from your leaning tower of cake, and your best friend next to whom you're sure will be the love of her life.

Now the obligatory white tent cards on an entry table? Really?

Tent cards are not only overdone but take a long time to set up and can get bumped easily (no more pretty straight rows.) It's also easier to lose a guest this way.  Nothing says "Glad you came." like a missing name.  

Some things to consider and ways to make it smashing to boot.
  • Craft a chart ahead of time so that it can be placed on an easel or table quickly.
  • Cover it in plastic for transit so it doesn't get dirty or lose pieces on the way.
  • Place it in a prominent spot, right as your guests enter.
  • Place it in an easy to see and fairly open area.  Cramped dark spaces lead to long lines.
  • Arrange your chart in alphabetical order so that it's easy for your guests to find their names.
  • You can name your tables instead of numbering them if you wish but people might still notice they're not top tier when they end up next to the kitchen.
  • You do not have to tell guests where at the table they must sit with pre-placed cards.  You can just give them an assigned table.  It will save your caterers time and mistakes to skip the cards here. (Although if you want to be sure your best friend gets to sit next to that hottie you might want to.)
  • Make sure at least one of the tables has a few extra places set for the non RSVPing guests who'll swear they assumed you knew they were coming. It will be much easier you having to decide where to put them and having your caterer smush them in to an already seated table.
  • Print back ups for caterers and parents to have so when people 'forget' to check the chart they can quickly see where to send them.
Great Ideas...

  • Our favorite! Over-sized Framed Chart
    • Buy an old large frame (no glass or backing needed) and make your own pin board.
    • Hit the flea markets, your mom's closet or craft store for a frame.
    • Repaint it if you wish.
    • Cut a piece of cardboard to the correct size
    • Add batting for a full puffed out look. (or just double your cardboard to give your picture sturdiness.)
    • Cover the insert in your favorite fabric or paper if you've skipped the batting. (wrapping paper works awesome for this.)
    • Insert the backing and use packing tape around all 4 edges on the back to securely adhere.
    • Buy pins. (Pearl boutineer and corsage pins work great and are quite inexpensive.) Or search for the perfect pin to fit your theme.  Buy enough for all the alphabet letters you'll need. (15-25)
    • Print names separated by letter.  You can even just use plain white paper and pick a black card stock backing or a fancy paper so long as it doesn't clash with your background.
    • If you omitted the batting you can first glue a smaller piece of cardboard or foam behind the letter section to make it pop out a bit.  Great for your eyes and architecturally.
  • Make a clothes line for an out door wedding.
  • Use an old window.
  • Buy a collage frame to frame lettered lists.
  • Use your theme and get creative!
Go nuts!  It's probably time to hit Pinterest now...