It was love at first sight with this image from Jason+Gina Wedding Photographers — I knew I absolutely had to feature it on Wordless Wednesday. Nothing like a gorgeous Colorado wedding featuring a barn and cowboy boots!
And now, the final creative piece in my series on event details:
The Escort Card Display
Assigned table seating is fairly common for larger events (especially weddings), and has a pretty important purpose — to ensure guests sit where they’ll be most comfortable, and near those they know and love. Essential to pulling off assigned table seating is the escort card display — another detail that can either ooze personality and creativity, or just simply function to direct guests to their correct tables. Being a fan of creativity, I say you may as well have it be a stand-out detail of your event — after all, this display is typically what welcomes guests and makes a first impression! A few ideas for upgrading from the standard table containing printed, tented name cards:
Incorporate Guest Gifts
There are two overarching ways to do this, but endless possibilities within each option. If your gift lends to integrating guest names and table numbers, you can include these in the actual gift. Some examples are: displaying the escort card information in a small decorative frame, including it on a cute pick or flag in a mini succulent or herb plant, or printing it on a label for a jar of honey or jam. The alternative is including the escort card information on the gift’s wrapping. This can be printed on ribbon, a gift tag or gift box.
Keep the Theme
Consider the escort card display as an extension of your theme! There’s no better way to be creative, and this welcomes guests with a foreshadowing of the motif to come. Woodsy wedding? Tuck escort cards into etched slots in branches or blocks of wood, or scrawl the information on rocks. Is romantic vintage more your style? Tie escort cards to antique keys, or print the information on pieces of fabric hung by clothespins on a pretty ribbon banner. Foodie? Display escort card information on a straw plunged in your signature drink, atop a cupcake, or pinned to a pretty piece of fruit.
Escort Card Substitute
Instead of individual escort cards, opt for a comprehensive seating display. This can be created by writing guest seating information on an old window’s panes of glass, or a fabulously framed chalkboard. You may also choose to coordinate this display with the event’s other collateral (invitations and programs) by printing guest names on large decorative cards (one per table). Display each table card in a pretty frame, on a quirky cork board — I could go on and on, but the sky’s really the limit!
Next week, I’ll begin discussing the logistical details that are absolutely essential to an event’s success. If I may have omitted a creative detail you’d like me to cover, leave a comment and I’ll revisit it in the new year!
I was absolutely honored to do day-of management for the wedding this photo was taken at. It was a truly special, beautiful day, and the bride and groom had such a clever vision. They essentially fell in love while riding bicycles around Denver, so used a tandem theme throughout their ceremony and reception. Here, a guest signs an actual tandem bicycle the Mr. & Mrs. intend on displaying in their home for years to come. Love!
Last week, I blogged about imaginative alternatives to standard event table numbers. This week, I thought I’d tackle another creative detail that’s often passed over or underdeveloped:
Having a guestbook (in some form) is especially important at weddings and other personal affairs, such as showers and anniversary celebrations. It functions to capture the name of each and every person who was significant enough to be there (and sometimes even a special message from them). This is why I think it’s best to have something guests can sign that won’t collect dust as it sits on a shelf, in a box, or at the back of a closet after the event. Following are some out-of-the-book ideas that will function as a guestbook, while creating a true keepsake:
1. Find a large, decorative chalkboard (or make a DIY project out of it!), and ask guests to sign and share their words of wisdom here. Once the event is over, preserve these precious messages with glass.
2. Take blank puzzle pieces made of heavy (but pretty) card stock or wood, and ask guests to each sign a piece. Once the event is over, assemble the puzzle and frame it. Tip: Search Etsy for blank puzzle pieces — you’ll find various handmade and unique options!
3. Ask guests to sign pre-cut pieces of fabric at your event, and transform them into a quilt afterwards. If the sewing machine isn’t your specialty, ask a friend or family member with stitching skills to help!
4. Collect postcards from any meaningful place (or places), and ask guests to leave a special message on one as you embark on a new journey. For a bit of added fun, self-address and stamp each postcard before the event, and ask guests to mail them — today, tomorrow or a year from now!
5. Ask guests to take photos (either Polaroid or from a photo booth) of themselves, adding truly personalized well wishes to each photo. Frame the collection of images filled with written love for a unique and meaningful piece of wall art!
These are just a few of the limitless options for upgrading your event’s guestbook. Most importantly, make it you! Guests can really sign anything that’s tangible, and most tangible items can be clustered or framed to fashion a creative keepsake. For a vineyard-themed wedding — wine corks, for music-lovers — a guitar, for those who love travel — a map or globe…
What ideas do you have for innovative and creative guestbooks?
Stay tuned for next week’s Creative Detail #3: Escort Card Display Upgrade!
This is so beautiful — the epitome of romantic bohemian chic. It’s a gorgeous way to distinguish the bride and groom (or guest of honor) at an event, but even more than that, I love these mixed ribbon streamers. Wouldn’t they be pretty as decoration for a wedding ceremony, a dessert table backdrop at a bridal or baby shower — or any other event space that needs a little whimsy?!
Photograph by Joey Kennedy Photography.
If you were to ask me what event planning really boils down to, I’d say the answer is easy. Details — both creative and logistical. The details are what make an event one to remember, and the planning so excitingly complicated. Today marks the kick-off of a 6-week series on event details that are often either not fully developed, or worse — forgotten about entirely. First, the creative details:
Most event venues include the use of standard printed table numbers (often black numbers on white paper or plastic) and stanchions (metal bars that hold table numbers). While the use of these is easy, there are so many creative ways to mark event tables that can carry through a theme, or be personalized to the occasion being celebrated.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (and Even More Memories!)
Nothing makes an event more unique and special than photos of the person or people who are being celebrated that day! I love the use of engagement photos as table numbers at a wedding, ultrasound or growing belly photos as table numbers at a baby shower, or pictures of a couple’s life together as table numbers for their special anniversary celebration. If you plan in advance, you can incorporate actual numbers (made of fabric, painted wood, etc.) in photos (this works especially well for engagement photos), or you can be crafty and add numbers (cut from fabric, paper, etc.) to photos already taken.
Most craft stores carry actual numbers of various sizes made of wood or cardboard that are the perfect base for a creative transformation! These can be painted, polished, distressed, wrapped in wire, covered in moss, bejeweled — you name it — to create a functional and beautiful addition to an event’s tablescape.
Start with fun frames — either all the same or eclectically different — and go from there! Some of my favorite uses of frames as table numbers include utilizing cork board, fabric or chalkboard paint as a base. Add numbers in buttons, a contrasting fabric or chalk (respectively) for a unique and theme-carrying display!
Stay tuned for next week’s Creative Detail #2: Alternatives to The Guest Book!
What event details do you feel are often forgotten about?! I’d love to address them in an upcoming blog post!
What happens when you combine a gorgeous event location, a dreamy tablescape, and picture-perfect photography (by Brumley & Wells)? This. Delightful.