Prevent the traffic jam
You've picked the dress, the cake, you even know what shade of lipstick you will be wearing on your big day; you're all set. Except, of course, the seating. Seating is one of the very last things you do for your wedding because you have to wait for the invitation replies to finish coming in. Then you sit staring at your layout and wondering is Aunt Mary still not speaking to cousin Alfred? Is the kids table is too close to the buffet? Should you start a new table for the extra three people that don't fit anywhere else? And what about the guests who didn't RSVP at all? Seating can feel like taking the SATs. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to prevent common hiccups when it comes to getting your guests to where they are going.
Clearly I love weddings, and I do all sorts of fun things for them. Seating Scrolls is one of my favorite current trends. A seating scroll is a large poster-sized image that lists the tables and all the people sitting at them. You can make the list by name (A, B, C) or table number. By name is a little faster, but unless the list over 100 guests, it doesn't matter that much.
1. Have at least a 22x28 sized scroll (or, even better, a 24x36) - you want people to be able to read it quickly, without glasses, and from a foot or two back.
2. If you have a large wedding, use the alphabetical organization method. People know how to find their names fast that way and can be off to their seats in a hurry (after admiring your seating scroll, of course).
3. Don't overdecorate with an elaborate dark pattern around the edges; it's distracting. Keep it simple, clean, and easy to read.
Place cards are a traditional seating method. It's a very personal touch because each guest goes and finds their name, then heads to their table. The big issue with these are backups and crowding around the area they are placed and, more importantly, lost cards. Give a little gust of wind to these and they become beautiful paper airplanes.
1. Don't put the place cards in a narrow entry. It might seem smart to place them right where people walk in, but it will create a bottleneck effect.
2. Consider putting the place cards in tiny frames and use this as your favors. We put together a wedding that used tiny silver frames and they were not only safe from blowing away, but they added a touch of elegance to the table when they were put in place.
3. Consider some fun options. Have the place cards draped over champagne flutes or wine glasses. No one will forget to grab theirs and it's like a little reward for their hard work. For kids you can use sparkling grape juice.