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.

 

Say “Thank You” to your #Squad with These Bridal Party Gift Ideas

You chose your nearest and dearest to stand beside you on your big day. They celebrated with you, they cried with you, they fixed your train, and they helped to make sure your crazy cousin Jeremy from Hoboken didn’t start a conga line during your reception. They deserve a thank you gift (and a hug)! Here are 13 ideas for saying thank you to your bridal party.Bridesmaids gifts alex and ani

  1. A Memorable Piece of Jewelry. Your bridesmaids have likely invested a lot of time and money in your wedding. Say thank you with a tasteful piece of jewelry that is reminiscent of your wedding theme. (Photo Courtesy: Alex and Ani).
  1. Floral Candles. Choose a scent that will remind your bridesmaids of the flowers they carried down the aisle. 
  1. Bubbly Champagne and Classic Stemware. After you have stamped your passport for your honeymoon, leave your bridesmaids celebrating with bottles of Chardon champagne and engraved champagne flutes.
  1. bridesmaids gifts mani pediMani-Pedis Gift Certificates. Your bridesmaids have spent months making sure you look perfect on your big day. Let them treat themselves to a manicure, pedicure or both! (Photo Courtesy: ISTOCKPHOTO/THINKSTOCK).
  1. A Beautiful Handbag. Help your girls to carry a reminder of your wedding with them every day with a tasteful handbag.
  1. An Elegant Robe. Let your bridesmaids relax and indulge with a signature bathrobe. Whether you chose comfortable cotton or monogrammed silk, a tasteful robe will show them how much you appreciate all of their hard work!
  1. bridesmaids gifts cookies new JerseyA Memorable Framed Photo. Give the gift of memory with a framed photo of you and each of your bridesmaids.
  1. Sweet Treats. Encourage your bridal party to indulge in fabulous, decadent treats, like these colorful macaroons of the month from from Dana’s Bakery.
  1. Comfy Sleepwear. Your team worked hard getting you to your big day. Encourage them to relax with a signature sleepwear set. Choose colors that reflect your wedding theme.
  1. A Beauty Box Subscription. Give the gift that keeps giving. Subscribe your bridesmaids to a monthly beauty box subscription from Ipsy, Boxycharm, or Yuzen.
  1. Romantic Perfumes. The perfect scent can help set the perfect mood, relax, calm, rejuvenate, or strengthen. Pick the perfect scent for each girl based on what makes her unique.
  1. Do Not Disturb RSVP to meA Lavender Sachet for Beautiful Dreams. Encourage you bridesmaids to dream relaxing dreams with a lavender-scented sachet. We love Peaceful Dreamzzz from Do Not Disturb.

 

  1. Monogrammed flasks for your groomsmen. We didn’t forget the men! An engraved flask will leave your new husband’s groomsmen with a classy reminder of your wedding and your friendship.

Custom Thank You Notes New JerseyWhatever gifts you choose, remember to include a hand written thank you note. Remind each bridal party member why it was important for you to have them beside you during your wedding, and how special they are to you, now and always.

Custom Holiday Cards

The holiday is season is right around the corner. Soon enough, the freshly baked scent of gingerbread and other holiday scents will be warmly filling your home as you listen to your favorite carols. As you prepare for the most wonderful time of the year, now’s the time to order your 2013 holiday cards that are sure to bring joy your loved ones hearts.

Custom red and gold holiday card designed with snowflakes and rhinestone embellishments
Did you know Chanukah is only 13 days away and Christmas will be here in 40 days? Best to get a jump on those holiday cards before all the holiday “hoopla” is here too!!
Custom “CHRISNUKAH” photo holiday card designed by ‘RSVP to mefor interfaith families
“The greatest gift is love” – Custom Christmas Card
Custom gold jingle bell “Fa la la la la” holiday card
Custom Hanukkah card designed in blue and gold
These designs are for all of you newlyweds! Thank your guests AND wish them holiday cheer with a combined holiday card featuring one of your favorite wedding photographs.
Planning a holiday party? Our unique custom invitations are just what you need to make your business OR family social merry and bright!
Custom holiday party pocket fold invitation

From photo cards and combined thank you cards to holiday party invitations and traditional holiday cards, ‘RSVP to me‘ can design custom stationery that will capture your personality AND have your holiday stationery stand out from all the rest! What type of card do you plan on sending this year? For more information and to view more of our holiday collection, visit us at www.rsvp-to-me.com.

FAVORable Impressions

Selecting wedding favors seems like an easy task, but it’s one of the hardest details to cross off your to-do list and can even be one of the most daunting endeavors for some brides, especially if it’s not planned out in advance. You put a lot of thought into your special day to ensure guests have a great time (taking into consideration the location, food choices, and entertainment), so it’s only fitting that you thank your guests with a gift that will leave a favorable impression. We’ve all been to our fair of events where we were given items that quickly made their way into a junk draw or worse, thrown into the trash! Let’s face it, we want to know that our money is being used on favors that won’t be ignored and will remind our family and friends of your wedding. Look beyond traditional and typical favors and send your guests home with something that not only shows your gratitude, but will also be truly unforgettable. Consider these fun and worthwhile wedding and special event favors!

Custom purple favor boxes with gold accent

Food- You can never go wrong with edible favors! Choose items such as petite fours, custom cookies, or other late night snacks such as donuts or pastries from your favorite local bakery for your guests to enjoy on their ride home or the following morning. Package accordingly in favor boxes and personalize with a custom favor tag with your names and wedding date.
Custom ‘Sweet by RSVP to me’ candy buffet
Candy– If you have a sweet tooth like us, treat your guests to a custom candy buffet or dessert table. This popular choice among brides, grooms, and event hosts offer guests the opportunity to help themselves to some of their favorite confections from sour watermelons and taffy to M&Ms and rock candy. If you’re not sure where to begin, Sweet by RSVP to me can help design a candy buffet that coordinates with your overall theme and/or color scheme. Not only do we offer all candy and desserts that are ordered specifically for your event, but we provide decorative glasses, apothecary jars, candy scoops, tongs, and custom labels, tent cards, and ribbon to make your display one-of-a-kind. Bring out the child in everyone and add nostalgic fun that will surely make any event that much sweeter!

Custom wedding donation cards in lieu of traditional wedding favors

Charitable Donations– Give back on your wedding day with open hearts through philanthropic efforts! This is a great opportunity to contribute to a cause you’re passionate about or make a donation in memory of a loved one. Be sure to inform guests of your charitable donation with custom donation cards that can be placed at each place setting.

Whether you decide to send your guest home with a sweet treat or donate to a great cause, be sure to plan ahead and your wedding favors are sure to be appreciated!

Wedding Invitations: Why NOT to DIY

Putting a unique spin on wedding details is great way to not only showcase your personality, but to make your day one-of-kind, especially if you’re a crafty person. However, when it comes to planning and designing your wedding, there are just certain things you should absolutely leave to the pros. Of course you can gather “team bride” and allocate jobs to your bridesmaids, but let’s face it, chances are you’re not an expert on everything from invitations and wedding day stationery to floral design, and even catering. While we know you’re ecstatic to begin planning the wedding of your dreams, take some time to enjoy the new bling on your finger and begin gathering inspirations before tackling your wedding details head on. Even if you think DIY is your forte, there a several reasons why it might be in your best interest to contact an expert, especially when it’s time to send out your save the dates, wedding invitations, and other items you might need. We’ve had many bride’s contact us late in the planning process after their great idea to DIY quickly turned from wedding bells to wedding hells. If you’re worried that the only way to make your wedding stationery truly unique, then contact a custom invitation designer. We, along with other professionals in the business will work with your budget, style, and guide you through all elements from style and etiquette to ensure the design process is a breeze. After all, you should enjoy every minute of the planning process with your fiancé, rather than stressing out over printing issues.

Custom pocket fold invitations in champagne metallic, a plumed patterned back, and ivory metallic. The insert cards alternates champagne and gold metallics.
Etiquette– Custom invitation designers know exactly how to incorporate all imperative details from the “anatomy of an invitation” and appropriate wording of parents to the use of social titles and special details. The context of your invitation is much more complex than just informing guests where and when the event will take place. Keep in mind the style of your wedding, titles (Mr. Miss, Mrs., Doctor, etc) and parental roles. A traditional wedding invitation hosted by the bride’s parents who are married, would be worded much differently than if the bride’s, groom’s, or both set’s of parent’s were divorced and even remarried. 
Design & Programs– If you’re not proficient in Indesign, Quark, Illustrator, Photoshop, or any other software, you will have to take the time to learn the in’s and out’s of these design programs. Once you figure out how to use these programs (if you haven’t given up by then), you will then have to worry about line spacing, alignment, and fonts. So you might have found and downloaded some pretty calligraphy fonts for free, but you probably won’t have access to the full version.
Custom brown pocket fold invitations with green and orange accent colors
Time– You have many things to check off your to-do list, as well as attend many appointments in between working full time and other daily life. After putting in long hours at the office, you would much rather spend time with family, friends, or even relieve stress at the gym or attend a fitness class, like yoga rather than frantically stressing over designing, printing, and assembling invitations. At the end of the day you’re a busy bride trying to accomplish a myriad of tasks (sorry ladies, some will be more daunting than others) and it can be easy to procrastinate. Pushing your wedding invitations off to the side thinking it will be an easy DIY project and can be completed with a few hours is a cause for alarm.  The time it takes to design, print, and assemble invitations is a LOT longer than you may think!
Money- If you think creating your wedding invitations and stationery will save you money, that’s not necessarily true. You may purchase more supplies than you actually needed or worse, you absolutely hate what you created. If the end result isn’t what you hoped, you’re likely to call on a pro to help last minute, which will result in added rush fees for new invitations designed by a trusted professional and initial wasted costs.

Custom gold metallic pocket fold invitations and wedding programs
Give your family and friends a glimpse into your wedding celebration with the help of a stationer who will happily RSVP and design invitations that will truly wow your guests.

Wedding Day Stationery 101

You finally selected and committed to your wedding invitations, and while you can certainly cross this task off your wedding to-do list, you’re not out of the clear just yet! Although you ordered the most important piece of paperie, there’s additional stationery products you need to purchase for your wedding day. Not sure what additional paper items you might need? Here’s the 411 on what wedding day stationery you should keep on your radar. Talk to your invitation designer about creating a wedding day suite to ensure all of your wedding day stationery essentials coordinates with your theme, color scheme, and of course wedding invitations.

Custom pocket fold invitations in orange & beige, with gorgeous paisley patterned background

Ceremony Programs provide usefully information that your guests will appreciate. Most often programs are made in a booklet form, however, couple’s have been showing a creative side by requesting fans. (etc.) Be sure to include information pertaining to the wedding ceremony such as the names of those in the bridal party, order of events, and titles of the readings. Some couple’s also like to include a note of appreciation for family and friends being a part of their lives.

 custom “stacked” ceremony program, complete with pocket for a tissue for those “tears of joy”! (these programs designed especially for Aime & David, as seen on ‘My Fair Wedding’ with David Tutera – the “Wizard of Oz” episode, WEtv)


Escort Cards direct guests to the table at which they will be seated at during the reception.

Custom purple, lime green and ivory escort cards, embellished with flowers, pearls and a ‘frame’ front panel

Reception tables are appropriately marked by Table Numbers  or Table Cards. You can mark your tables with numbers, phrases, locations that may have special meaning, or songs. This can be an ice breaker for guests who may not know others at the table.

this couple opted to name their table cards based on locations that were significant to them – i.e. city/state they met, got engaged, etc.



Menu Cards inform guests what they will be eating during the reception, including the choices for the main entree.

Custom aqua and fuchsia menu card embellished with a starfish; perfect for a summer/beach celebration!

Thank your guests for being a part of your special day and incorporate custom Favor Tags onto your wedding favors. You can include any saying like “Love is Sweet” or the couple’s names and wedding date.

Custom Love is Sweet favor tags

Don’t forget to thank your guests for not only their generous gifts but for being a part of your special day with custom Thank You Cards.

Custom thank you cards with a love bird motif to enhance this couple’s beautiful wedding portrait.


Whether you’re hosting a black tie affair or a relaxed soiree, your stationery is an important part of your event. Wedding day stationery that’s consistent will tie your event together and leave a lasting impression on your guests.

(all photos by Anna Hurt Photography)

‘RSVP to me’ Featured in Contemporary Bride Magazine

Happy March 1st! RSVP to Me has had an amazing year so far. We’ve not only been busy working on gorgeous custom designs for weddings and special events (that we can’t wait to share with you all), but we’ve also been blessed with being featured in Contemporary Bride Magazine’s latest Spring/Summer 2013 edition. You can view the entire magazine online, but we’re very excited to share the pages in which our work and comments are mentioned!

RSVP to Me, NY Real Weddings, Villa Barone Manor, Custom Wedding Invitations, Contemporary Bride Magazine
RSVP to Me, Custom Wedding Invitations, Brooch Wedding Invitations, 2013 Wedding Trends, Contemporary Bride Magazine

RSVP to Me, Custom Wedding Invitations, Contemporary Bride Magazine

RSVP to Me, Custom Wedding Invitations, Contemporary Bride Magazine