Find Your Seat

Before the wedding, I told you about everything I hoped our place cards would do:

  • Guest’s name
  • Guest’s table assignment
  • Entree choice
  • Room assignment

So how did it turn out? Exactly like I hoped.

Placecard Detail

All photos from Caili Helsper Photography unless otherwise noted

The leaves indicate name & table number, the flower color indicates meal choice, and the leaf color indicates where the guest is seated. And the display (was supposed to be) a ribbon, which slips between the two leaves (it covers the table number, but you can see it as soon as you pull yours off). Part of the reason I liked this idea was that if place cards were set up outside, during the cocktail hour (the original plan), they would look nice hanging, but if it rained (what actually happened) they would also look totally normal.

 

 

Flower Placecards: Leaves with table number, flower color shows entree choice

A staff member was stationed near the display, and several others knew about the differences in leaf color too. I didn’t mean for guests to need a key/legend to figure out their place card, so all they’ll need to know is their name and which table. But the leaf color will allow the mansion’s staff to easily direct a guest to the right room without needing to see their card or recall where Table 7 is located. Did it help? I hope so!

These are ridiculously labor intensive. But you can also do that labor in stages and pretty far in advance, so it wasn’t a big deal for us–just be warned. These things are not quick!

I’ve made cards using these flowers before (and I already own the punch) so I thought of this tutorial, and that’s how we made the flowers here.

Paper Flower copy

Check out the tutorial on Scrappy Habits

Supplies:

  • 2″ Scallop punch
  • 3 colors of scrapbook paper for leaves (one for each room)
  • 4 colors of scrapbook paper for flowers (one for each of three entree choices + kids meal)
  • Cardstock
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Tiny hole punch/seam ripper/thumbtack (something to start the hole)
  • Brads
  • Pretty pens
  • Ribbon for hanging
  • Ample free time/a willing mother

I’m not really going to do a tutorial here, since you just make the flowers as instructed above and then attach them to leaves, but here are some helpful notes if you’re crazy enough to do this too (although it would be totally manageable for a shower or birthday or something!)

We expect somewhere in the neighborhood of 130 guests, and each card requires 2 flowers, so Mama Clover punched approximately a billion flowers. Since we wouldn’t know until right before the wedding exactly how many of each entree we need, we just punched extra of everything. This step was finished in January, and Mama Clover used the next few months to cut, fold and stab each flower. It’s a lot easier to use crafting brads if a hole has already been started, so she had a scrap of corkboard and a thumbtack and would make stacks and push the pin through so that they’re easy to put together when we’re ready. Since they’re made of cardstock, they’re pretty sturdy; they lived happily in some shirt boxes for a few months with no damage.

Meanwhile, I traced my leaf shape until I was happy with it on scrap paper, then transferred it to cardstock to make my template. I used my longest guest name Diane Xxxxxxx-Xxxxxxxxxx (that’s 18 characters in her last name!) to make sure it would be big enough. My name leaf is bigger than my table leaf and neither is entirely symmetrical but I was happy with it so…moving on! I traced my leaves onto a bunch of scrapbook paper, using dark green for the smallest room (2 tables), pale green for the next (3 tables) and medium green for the main room (8 tables, later to cut to 7). I cut them all out, decided appropriate pen colors (I’m ridiculous and own several hundred pens) and wrote Table ___ on each leaf.

Then we waited–the next step was to write guests names on the leaves and attach them to the flower (entree) and the little leaf (table) but I couldn’t even write the name until I knew which room they would eat in.

[I know lots of sites have seating chart programs, but I went old school with multi colored post its. I used different colors for each of our families, friends, etc and cut out round circles to stick them to. Then I drew a floorplan on chart paper (because I have different rooms, where each table was mattered a lot too). We threw around the idea of putting the kids in the furthest room, but it ended up being the tables of our friends, the middle room was parents friends and then a half friends/half cousins our age table, with mostly family in the main room. More than half our guests were family.]

Then I filled in each name and attached it to the leaf.

Caili Helsper Photography_Mike Mary Reception Details WEB_0023

Oh look, Caili will be eating lasagna and is seated at Table 13 in main dining room (not really, but I had lots of leftover main room leaves–I swear she ate in like 2 minutes and was back to pictures!) and Amanda will be having the lasagna.

Then they were alphabetized and put in a box to be ready for hanging. Except…only some of them got hung and some of them were on a table, which honestly did not look awesome but a) you can’t tell from the pictures and b) I’m already over it, so no big deal. My whole idea was to come up with something that would like nice hanging (if outside) or on a table (if inside) but I did a terrible job communicating that and so it got lost in translation and looked sort of random. Oh well! But if they were outside, I think my original idea would have been cute. (And I fully realize the actual execution was…not.) So even though it looks pretty dumb as is, picture it outside and with all of them, and it looks nice, right?

Caili Helsper Photography_Mike Mary Reception Details WEB_0024

 

 

I love how they turned out, and my mom loved helping with them, so I’m counting them as a win! And I even had friends post theirs on facebook and others wear them in their lapel all night. They were definitely not quick, but people did notice and I loved them, so yay!

What was your most involved project? Was it worth it?

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