The Art and Science of Planning Your Wedding Seating Chart

There are dozens of strategic decisions you will need to make when planning your wedding. Should walk down the aisle in the summer or the fall? Choose a large bridal party, or small? Veil or no veil? Perhaps the most mind-bending strategic planning you will have to accomplish, however, is planning your seating chart. Faced with the dynamics of different personalities, merging families, and old and new friends, the process can easily spiral out of control from a simple exercise to a full-on strategic tactical maneuver. Don’t stress your seating chart strategy. Instead, save your effort for deciding if you want a dessert table or a candy buffet and instead follow these tips for planning your wedding seating chart.

Make it an Active Exercise

Don’t work in ink. Seating chart planning is a process that requires Custom Place Settingsmaneuverability. Don’t think you can grab a notepad and make your decisions on the first pass going table by table. Plan to change your mind, rearrange couples, and move guests around until you are completely happy with the final seating chart. Number sheets of paper to represent your tables, and label strips of sticky notes with the names of your guests. Lay everything out on your dining room table and start working through the placements, moving guests around until you are comfortable with your decisions.

Choose a Grouping Strategy Based on Relationships

You may be tempted to mix and match grooms’ side with brides’ side, and college friends with out-of-town relatives to encourage your guests to get to know one another. Know that your guests will have an opportunity to meet and greet throughout the day, but when it comes to the dinner hour, when guests will be presented with the greatest opportunities for focused conversation, you’re better off grouping together guests who already know one another well. Seat your Father’s conservative siblings and their spouses at one table, and your fiancé’s rowdy fraternity brothers at another table. Both sets of guests will be glad for the opportunity to spend some dedicated time catching-up.

Ask Questions

Let us be clear that your final place settings should be decided by you and your fiancé, and not by your parents, your in-laws, your maid of honor, or yoCustom Wedding Place Settings New Jerseyur college roommate who has started filling up your Facebook stream with ideas and questions about your wedding. That being said, it will help you to ask some questions of key friends and family members to help make seating decisions. For example, ask your Mother if she thinks your Aunt Kathy in Mahwah may want to sit next to Cousin Stephanie who just moved away to Philadelphia. Or, ask your fiancé if his college roommate Kevin is still mad at his friend Greg for dating his ex-girlfriend. Getting some insight into relationship dynamics that you are less familiar with may help to ease your worries and make the dinner hour as enjoyable as possible for everyone.

Avoid Creating a “Singles’” Table.

You will undoubtedly end up with an odd number of guests. Placing couples with other couples will be easier than trying to place individual guests. Whatever you do though, avoid resorting to putting all of your single friends together. Don’t convince yourself that some of them may be interested in swapping digits at the end of the night. If they’re feeling down about going to your wedding without a plus one, being seated at the designated singles’ table, may only damper their enjoyment.

Don’t Forget to Prioritize Your ‘Rents

When it comes to seating your parents, you’ll need to decide if you are going to take a traditional approach, or a more modern philosophy. Custom Wedding Place SettingsTraditionally, your parents and your new in-laws would be seated at the same table with both sets of grandparents, siblings not in the wedding party, and the officiant and his/her spouse. This may not work for every family, however. For example, if one or both sets of parents are divorced, consider seating them with their current spouses, if applicable, and their other close family members, rather than together, if that would be more comfortable for them.

Remember that your final guest lists will evolve throughout your engagement. As you start to receive RSVP card responses, don’t be surprised if you start hearing pleas from your teenage cousin to bring her boyfriend, or last minute cancellations from your flighty Aunt Delilah. Don’t let last minute changes add stress to your planning. Do be appreciative for everyone who is able and willing to spend your special day with you. No matter where they sit, they will be happy to celebrate your love and commitment and to be a part of your wedding.

 

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Something Sweet to Welcome their Long-Awaited Sweetheart!

I was honored when Emily, of Emily Photography, asked for my help as she was planning a “Welcome Home” party for their recently adopted daughter, Lyla. I was beyond happy for this amazing family! I just have to share a glimpse into their story…

I met Emily back in 2013 at a wedding that we were both working and we hit it off right away! I learned a bit about her that evening … how she had two adorable and spunky boys at home, but a piece of her heart was overseas. Emily and her husband were in the process of adopting Lyla from Africa. They knew it would be a long and difficult journey, but had no idea of the emotional roller coaster that was in store for them over the next 2 years.

Emily and I stayed in touch, and every time I saw or spoke with her, I hoped for good news on the adoption front! I was excited with her when gains were made, and when Emily went to meet and visit with Lyla for the first time. But, I shed tears on her behalf when I heard of delays and the roadblocks they faced in trying to bring their daughter home. I stood in awe of Emily and her family as they worked through each hardship and sacrificed so much of their time, energy, and resources to do whatever they could to bring this sweet girl home to her forever family.

That’s why, over TWO YEARS later, I was SO THRILLED to learn that Lyla was finally HOME! This was certainly something to CELEBRATE!

So a princess-themed celebration was planned! Emily chose some of her favorite colors, pink and gold, and asked for my help with glittery invitations and a table full of gorgeous goodies for the party! I had so much fun with this custom invitation design, and choosing sweet treats for all of the guests to take home as favors. I loved seeing pictures from this event, especially Lyla’s incredible SMILE! She is where she belongs and you can see it all over her face!

All photos by Emily Photography of course!

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I am over-the-moon excited for this special family, especially Emily, whose heart is whole again! (And is NOW bursting with love and joy as they look forward to welcoming another baby boy into their family very soon!) I LOVED working with them for this special event, and I look forward to watching their family grow in numbers and LOVE for one another.

Wedding Ceremony Programs 101

You might have finalized your wedding invitations, but before you can breath a sense of relief, there are some other wedding day stationery must-haves to consider. Today we’re talking all about a detail that’s quite often overlooked and sometimes even forgotten about. Besides your beautiful custom wedding invitation, the ceremony program is the first detail that introduces your theme and style to guests the day of your wedding. Think about the last time you attended the wedding ceremony. Were you anxiously waiting for the service to start without anything to look at, wondering who’s who? Were you confused about any special rituals that were performed? What we love so much about wedding programs is that they not only allow your guests to feel included, as well as help them understand the ceremony, but each one we design is unique to each and every couple. They tell a story, are informative, and are a lovely keepsake from your special day.

Although the booklet style might be the most traditional, this wedding program gives you a lot of room to personalize and outline the ceremony in full detail

Custom chandelier ceremony booklet program by ‘RSVP to me
Are you having planning an outdoor ceremony during the summer? Keep in mind there’s a good chance the weather might be hot and humid. Keep guests entertained AND cooled off with a fun and creative fan style wedding ceremony program!
Custom fan style ceremony program with palm leaf design
Stacked style ceremony programs are a fun twist on the traditional booklet style. This style consists of three or more pages stacked on top of each other with each title showing at the bottom of the page. It can be secured with your choice of ribbon or twine.
Custom stacked style ceremony program as seen on “My Fair Wedding with David Tutera
Flat style ceremony programs are perfect if you’re planning a short (generic) service that doesn’t need a lot of explaining. These are a great option if you just want to list your bridal party and/or the order of service.
Custom flat style ceremony program with monogram and date
Essential Details to Include
1. A cover page that includes the names of the bride and groom, wedding date, wedding location, and the time of the ceremony
2. Be sure to include the ceremony order to inform guests of how the service will go (i.e. prelude, processional, opening prayer, readings, songs, exchange of vows/rings, blessing/presentation of couple, and the recessional).
3. Listing the names of your wedding party and those who are involved, along with each of their roles is a great way for guests to put a face to a name. It’s also nice to acknowledge those that were there for your throughout the planning process.

Additional Details to Personalize your Ceremony Program
1. Recognition of those relatives or friends who have passed away
2. A special thank you from the couple
3. Quotes and/or lyrics that are meaningful to your relationship

Custom fan style ceremony program embellished with plum organza ribbon
Remember, there are no rules set in stone and you have the option to include as much, or as little information as you like. Don’t forget, ‘RSVP to me‘ can design your wedding stationery to coordinate with your wedding invitations and suggest exactly what to include!

‘RSVP to me’ Best of 2013

We can’t believe 2013 has come and gone so quickly! Thanks to SO many wonderful clients, ‘RSVP to me‘ had an amazing year. To celebrate the last few hours of 2013, we’re taking a look back and highlighting some of our favorite moments. Sit back, relax, and countdown with us before the clock strikes midnight!

10. It’s officially engagement season and we recently shared all types of wedding stationery to cover every step of your engagement. Save the Date cards are a great way to ask guests to mark their calendars ahead of time. This piece of stationery will be the very first piece of mail they’ll receive, so have fun with the design and set the tone for your big day! Below is a calendar style Save the Date designed in a bright shade of coral.
9. In addition to custom invitations and stationery for weddings and special events, we also design promotional material too! We LOVE how this pocket came out for EV Band. Inside, they added a CD sample of their amazing music. Thank you to one of our designers, Cassie Garcia, for putting together the logo and layout of this design!
8. Bridal shows are a great way for engaged couples to enjoy a night out and meet with some of the best vendors in the wedding industry! Here we are showcasing our beautiful custom invitations and stationery at the (201) Bride show, which was held at the Ramsey Golf and Country Club back in October.
7. Wedding invitations have come a long way over the years. Couple’s now have options to include just about anything they want to showcase their personalities and wedding theme. These boxed invitations embellished with starfish surely gave guests something to talk about!
6. We also began honoring some of our outstanding couples by sharing “Real Wedding Spotlights.”We first met Ashley and her fabulous mom back in November of 2012. We all worked together to create a beautiful invitation that incorporated the colors and style they had in mind. Below is their rustic, yet very elegant wedding invitation. You can read more about their wedding details and view more of the wedding photographs here!
5. Back in August, we announced a new addition to the ‘RSVP to me‘ family. Jen is one of our custom invitation designers, who we absolutely love working with us. Here’s one of the fabulous proofs Jen has worked on and don’t forget to read her Q&A here if you missed it!
4. When we’re not designing and assembling invitations and day-of stationery, we’re creating one-of-a-kind candy buffets and dessert tables with our sister brand, ‘SWEET by RSVP to me‘. Over the past year, we had so much fun [working alongside some of the best in the industry] creating eye-catching tablescapes. Below is a nautical candy buffet we designed for a very special fundraising event at The Old Mill Inn.
3. Glitter invitations has been a HUGE trend here at ‘RSVP to me‘! It’s modern, fun, elegant, and will really WOW your guests! Below is one of our custom glitter invitations adorned with lace and a rhinestone brooch all wrapped up in a pretty metallic pocket fold!
2. Hard work and dedication always pays off and it’s wonderful to be acknowledged. We’re always grateful when our designs are featured in top magazines and wedding blogs. This year, we’ve been blessed to be seen in Contemporary Bride Magazine’s Spring/Summer 2013 and Fall/Winter 2013 editions.
Contemporary Bride Magazine Spring/Summer 2013 Features
Contemporary Bride Magazine Fall/Winter 2013 Features
1. Although we shared in so many wonderful occasions, the birth of our daughter, Remy Alexandre, is the best moment that’s happened to us in 2013. We announced her arrival with polka dot pattern card stock, along with her photo and details. This custom birth announcement is one that will hold a very special place in our hearts forever.

Thank you to each and every one of our clients and friends for making 2013 an amazing year! Here’s to an even better 2014!

Wedding Stationery to Cover Every Step of your Engagement

It’s officially engagement season and we at ‘RSVP to me‘ couldn’t be more excited for all of you lovely couple’s who are ready to take their relationship to the next level. If you’re other half [finally] decided pop the question, congratulations! We’re so happy for you. Of course you already know that ordering wedding invitations is a task on your wedding to-do list, but there are quite a few other stationery must-haves that can be overlooked. Today we’re sharing wedding stationery to cover every step of your engagement!

Celebrate your upcoming nuptials among family and friends with an engagement party! Not only will guests be so happy to congratulate you in person, but it’s also nice for both sets of families to get together, socialize, and to get to know each other. After all, you’ll be spending plenty of time together.

Custom mint green & gray pocket fold engagement invitation by ‘RSVP to me

Custom monogram engagement invitation and coordinating table numbers

Officially announce your engagement to your family and friends with a custom Save The Date! This stationery is a great way to ask guests to mark their calendars ahead of time to take time off of work. Since it’s the very first piece of mail they’ll receive, have fun with the design and set the tone for your big day, just don’t forget to include the basics; your names, wedding date, city and state of where the event will take place, and the phrase “formal invitation to follow”.

Custom Save The Date card with coordinating registry card
Bridal showers are a great way family and friends to shower the bride with love and items she [and her hubby] needs for their home. Typically hosted by the maid of honor, bridesmaids and mother of the bride, the theme can be as traditional or modern as you like. Invite your lovely ladies with custom bridal shower invitations that make a statement, while keeping the bride’s tastes and personality in mind!
Custom bridal shower invitation embellished with a floral motif and coordinating lined-envelope
Custom Parisian-themed bridal shower invitation designed by ‘RSVP to me
Custom bridal shower invitation with a palm leaf design by ‘RSVP to me
Invite your wedding party and close family members to your rehearsal dinner. Traditionally hosted by the groom’s parents, your rehearsal dinner is great time to relax, laugh, and enjoy an evening before saying “I Do.” While the invitations should coordinate with the overall formality of your wedding, it’s also another opportunity to have fun with the wording and overall design.
Custom rehearsal dinner invitation with champagne bottle design embellished with the couple’s monogram
Like selecting your wedding gown, choosing your wedding invitations is an exciting part of the planning process as it begins to make the wedding day a reality. This essential piece of stationery is the ONE and ONLY chance to make an everlasting impression with your guests. Wedding invitations are also one of the most important details for your wedding. They set the tone and give a glimpse of what to expect. As an invitee, you would hate to open an invitation that reflects a casual event, just to find out upon arriving that the wedding is in fact a formal affair. Check out our five things you need to know before ordering your wedding invitations here and don’t forget to tie everything together with custom wedding day stationery.
Custom glitter wedding invitation with kaleidoscope design
Custom back pocket-style wedding invitation with flourish design
From custom save the dates and bridal shower invitations to wedding invitations and everything in between, ‘RSVP to me’ can design a style that fits the bride [and groom’s] personalities. For more information and to view more our invitation gallery, visit us at www.rsvp-to-me.com.

Life is Short, Eat SWEETS!

If you don’t know already, all of us here at ‘RSVP to me‘ are completely obsessed with all things pretty AND SWEET. It’s actually two of our guilty pleasures! When we’re not designing and assembling custom wedding invitations and day-of stationery, we’re creating one-of-a-kind candy buffets and dessert tables with our sister brand, ‘SWEET by RSVP to me‘. This fun trend has become a staple for any type of party that combines three of our favorite things- candy, chocolate and stationery. Custom candy buffets and dessert tables are a great way to not only thank guests for being a part of your special day, but it can also become an eye-catching detail for your reception. From apothecary jars, decorative glass, and platters to coordinated table linens, decor, customized labels, and more, you’re guests will be in for a delicious and fun experience that will leave a lasting impression! Here’s a small look at some of our past custom candy and dessert tables we designed, but we must warn you that these special treats are sure to tempt! Don’t forget, this is a great idea for ANY occasion, especially weddings and even your upcoming holiday party.

Custom red, white and blue candy buffet designed by ‘SWEET by RSVP to me’
Chocolate-covered Oreos & favor boxes with custom monogram labels
Custom green and yellow candy and dessert bar designed by ‘SWEET by RSVP to me’
No candy buffet is complete without this all-time favorite candy! Do you agree?
Martine & Kurt’s candy display featuring French macarons.
Shore/Nautical themed candy display – Don’t you just love the props?
Chocolate & Malts Candy
A winter-themed candy display isn’t complete without mini chocolate SNO-CAPS and blue raspberry rock candy for a little sparkle.
Once the dancing is over and your special day comes to an end, there’s no better way to send guests home than with sweet memories and savory favors! Contact us today for a SWEET experience!

OH BABY! Custom Baby Shower Invitations & Birth Announcements

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes…a baby! Many of you know that ‘RSVP to me‘ specializes in custom invitations for weddings, but did you know that we also offer custom designs for baby showers and birth announcements? It’s true! We love celebrating with you for all of your special moments, so today we thought we would share some of our latest designs we’ve recently worked on for those precious little ones in your life. From baby shower invitations to birth announcements, introduce your newest family addition in style!

Vertical pocket fold baby shower invitations designed in palm leaves with enclosure cards
Baby showers are a great way to help prepare the expectant parents for their new journey. This joyous occasion is an opportunity to celebrate the little ones upcoming arrival, while family and friends share advice and show their support. Introduce your baby shower theme with custom baby shower invitations featuring patterned paper, die-cut shapes, and other embellishments like rhinestones, ribbon or bakers twine.

Pocket fold invitation with baby blue patterned card stock, enclosure cards, and die-cut onesie seal
 What about TWINS? How about this adorable boy/girl shower invitation with polka dot pattern accent?
Rub a Dub Dub…what’s not to LOVE about this adorable, classic rubber ducky baby shower invitation?
Birth announcements are a great way to introduce your new little love to the world. Include an short introduction, the baby’s birth details (date, time, weight, and length), and the parents’ names. If this isn’t your first child, you should also include the names of the siblings. Whether you choose to include your babies first photo or just the details, your custom design is sure to be just as unique (and adorable) as your new baby!
Patterned card stock, like this polka dot design adds a sweet and sassy flair to this birth announcement – which is VERY special to our hearts! 😉
Can’t decide which picture to use? How about THREE!!? How sweet is this little prince gate fold announcement, with fishy die-cut embellishment.
Or a custom tri-fold birth announcement by ‘RSVP to me‘.
This modern gate-fold birth announcement designed with zebra print card stock sure makes a statement!
For all of you mommy, daddy, and even grandparents-to-be, congratulations! We hope you’re journey towards parenthood is one that brings you as much joy and love as your hearts can handle. For more information and to view more of our baby collections, visit us at www.rsvp-to-me.com. Happy baby planning!