Month: November 2017

Wedding Planning: Reception Seating Guide

So much work goes into reception seating and most times your guests have no clue how much time you dedicated to this detail! If you are having a buffet style meal with less than 150 guests it may not be necessary to do a seating plan. However, if you will be having a sit down meal and serving different entrees then this element is a necessary evil. But don’t worry, it will get done!

Display Options

There are a variety of factors that go into completing the seating chart. Once you have received all of your RSVPs and know what size and style table you will be using it is time to get down to business. Will you choose to use a seating chart or place cards? A seating chart is placed at the entrance and designates the guests’ names and the table they will be sitting at. A place card is the tented cards that are generally displayed in alphabetical order near the entrance and list the guests’ name and table number. You also have the option to use escort cards or seating chart place cards to tell each guest exactly which seat to have at the table. These are not always necessary. Hey, you have already put the table together, let them choose where they want to sit!

Who Sits Where

If at all possible, you want to group your guests together with similar interests and backgrounds. This way they will have something to talk about, even if they have never met. Generally your family will sit together and you can choose to sit your friends from different areas of life together; such as colleagues, college friends and childhood friends. You can also choose to mix up the seating a bit. Try to split your friends up so that your childhood friend from out of town can meet your college roommate they have always heard stories about! If you have any single people attending, try not to put them all at the same table or at a table with newlyweds. If you don’t have many single guests or a guests or two that you know most likely will not know anyone else, consider letting them bring a plus one, even if it is not allowed across the board.

Don’t Over Think It

Ideally, your guests will not be sitting for long. They will have every chance to move around throughout the evening and mingle with whomever they choose to. So if you keep your younger guests close to the dance floor and the older guests a little further away everyone should be content. At the end of the day, your guests will be happy to have enjoyed celebrating your wedding day with you. They won’t over think who they had to sit with, so you shouldn’t over think it either!

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Creating your Wedding Website

Nearly everyone utilizes a wedding website lately. Your wedding website is where your guests will go to see all of the important details of your special day! If you have any detailed information to share with your guests about your wedding, your wedding website is a great place to do it.

Now, I bet your next question is, “what information do I include on my wedding website?” Below we have listed some items you may want to consider adding to your wedding website. This way you can be sure that you are sharing information with your guests that will be helpful for them!

Itinerary

Give your guests an idea of what they can expect during your special day. What time should they arrive at the ceremony location? If you are having a cocktail hour, be sure to share with your guests what time they should arrive at that location. If you can avoid it, try not to leave too much time between your ceremony and reception. Since there may be guests that are from out of town, you do not want them to feel like they are left to wonder around your city while you take your formal pictures before beginning your reception. If you will be providing transportation to your guests here is where you will want to be sure to share the shuttle pickup schedule. Be sure they know what time the last shuttle will be leaving your venue so no one is stuck or inconvenienced.

R&R

Unfortunately, this type of R&R is not rest and relaxation. Not yet at least. You can enjoy that during the honeymoon! We are referring to RSVPs & Registry. Obviously, you can still utilize the traditional method of retrieving RSVPs from your guests. Just bear in mind that there are also some very tech savvy people who may not make it to the mailbox as often as others. Offering a way to RSVP online will keep you from having to make phone calls asking if guests will be attending as you try to finalize your meal count. Most wedding website templates offer a way to be notified as your guests RSVP online. You may also be able to create a field for your guests to leave comments for you as they RSVP. Guests can share any dietary restrictions or simply tell you how excited they are to be attending! As for what gifts the newlyweds would like to receive, simply share a link to the various registry pages directly on your website.

Accommodations

Whether you are listing hotel accommodations or car rental information try to give your guests options. Guests that may be traveling from out of town could possibly need a rental car if there is no other transportation available.

If your reception is at a hotel and you have rooms blocked off easily share rate information and booking details. You can simply provide a link directly to the hotel website for their convenience. Providing your guests with as much information here should ensure that your guests have a wonderful time. Guests will be able to plan for their trip without contacting you over and over asking for certain details.

Love Story

You took the time to write a short bio about yourselves, so let’s make sure that your guests read it! This page can be helpful for guests that only know the bride (or groom) and want to get to know more about who they are marrying. It is also helpful if you have extended family that have not met your fiancé yet. They can learn what you (they) do for a living, hobbies you enjoy and of course, how you two met! The trick to creating a wedding website that gets used is to try and make your URL easy to remember. If you will be using a hashtag to recall all of the photos from your big day perhaps that could play a part in the wedding website URL.

Social Media

Share with your guests the hashtag you will be using for your wedding and the time leading up to it. Have your guests post any photos they may have taken to social media using your hashtag so that you will have an online memory of this special day! Consider putting a link to both of your social media sites so that guests can stay up on how the newlyweds are doing.

Photos

What am I going to do with all of the engagement photos? Well here is a great place to display them. You can also add albums on your wedding website. This way all of the photos can be viewed by event online by your guests. Even after the deal is sealed you can add your wedding and honeymoon pictures to the site to share! Try not to post too many photos of one event or some of your guests may feel overwhelmed.

Bridal Party Link

There will be places that you expect your bridal party to be on certain days and times. Be sure to include a special link and sign in page for the bridal party to access. These wedding party exclusive events should be password protected. This will make it easier for you to keep the information you are sharing with your bridal party limited to them. You can share details with dates and times for the bachelor/bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, and arrival times to the various venues. You may also want to provide information for dress and tuxedo pick ups, hair/makeup times, and anything else specific to your wedding.

Honeymoon

Your guests may be wondering what you have planned and where you are taking your honeymoon. Share a picture of your destination and some details about what you have planned to do while you visit. Have guests check back on the site during your time away to see photos of you enjoying yourselves!

The entire idea of utilizing a wedding website is to aid your guests. The website is where you will want to list any special instructions that will help your guests plan. If you will be having a cash bar you want to share this so that guests can be prepared. You can also share information on the attire you expect for the evening. If it is usually cold during that time of year remind your out of town guests that they may want to bring a cardigan or if the ceremony will be outside suggest wedge shoes over high heels. The more information, the better. We suggest designating someone to field phone calls for you during the weeks leading up to the wedding. You will be busy with final planning so answering the same questions repeatedly may not be ideal.

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