How to Make a Wedding Seating Arrangement Chart

Wedding Seating Chart

Heavenly Hydrangea Seating Chart 18×24 $70 by TypeandLovePaperie

With 17 days to go, I have been thinking about the seating arrangement.  First, I am proponent of having a chair for every person and an assigned seat.  I know that this is not always the case – I have been to a couple of weddings this past year in which seating was more limited and unassigned to encourage mixing & mingling.  I do, however, think that assigned table seating gives guests a place to store their coat or purse, prevents hoarding of seats by those that arrive early, and adds a bit of formality to the wedding.  Over the past week my research has discovered a few seating “rules.”   These include:

  1. The Bride & Groom sit together.  They can opt to do a sweetheart table or sit with their Bridal Party.  I strongly prefer sitting with  the bridal party, but to each their own.  Additionally, I also believe in inviting any of the bridal party’s partners or significant others to sit with us (even if this means we need 2 tables).
  2. Parents sit together.   Here, I have seen the Parents of the Bride and Groom each have their own table to “host” or, in the alternative, they both sit at the same table.  Because our parents live in different parts of the country and have barely met each other (our dad’s will meet for the first time at the wedding!) I plan on sitting our parents together with a few close relatives. 
  3. Children sit together.  If they are old enough to attend school, they are most likely old enough to sit at a children’s table.  Ideally, this table is near the side of the room and close to the restroom – and far away from the cake, where kids might be prompted to help themselves early. 
  4. Be cognizant of disabilities.   If your guests are elderly, perhaps reconsider sitting them directly under the DJ’s speakers.   Similarly, if they have limited mobility, then they may prefer to be close to the bathroom facilities or closer to the entryway.    
  5. Common Interests and Friends.   At this point, there is usually a large group of your parent’s friends, college roommates, coworkers, and classmates that have yet to be seated.  Typically, I advocate to sit guests who know each other together.  I assume that guests will mix and mingle during the dancing and will feel more comfortable sitting with people they know during dinner.  Of course, sometimes this is not possible – there will always be a couple or two who really only know the bride or groom.  At this point, I would sit them near other guests with common interests. 
There are different opinions out there, of course.  The Bitchy Bride has a great post about wanting to sit guests by common interests first, so that people could make new acquaintances.   What do you think? As a guest, do you prefer assigned seating? Do you prefer to sit with those you know?

3 Reasons Why you should Hire Professionals for your Hair and Makeup (even when you’re on a budget)

Yay, it’s Friday!  As I mentioned before, I had a hair and makeup trial a couple of weeks ago.  I loved the makeup but I am not sure I want to wear my hair up.  Next week I am going to have bridal portraits and have my hair styled half-up, half-down to compare.   I thought I’d share these pictures in case anyone needed up-do hair inspiration.  For the curious, I relied on the pros at MakeupforyourDay.  Also, because I think this is something that budget-conscious brides struggle with, I thought I would include my 3 reasons to hire professionals, even when you’re on a budget. 

3 Reasons to Hire Professionals for Wedding Hair and Makeup:

1.  Reduce stress.   I have crazy curls and basic makeup skills, yet I have high expectations for my wedding day hair and makeup.   An easy way to ensure that I have the “bridal” look is to simply have someone with the appropriate tools, skills, and experience style my hair and apply my makeup.  Not to mention that a little extra pampering on your wedding day is always a good thing :-)

2.  Ensure professional results.   I believe there is a difference between doing makeup for a night out on the town and being able to apply it for wedding pictures.  Below I have a comparison picture.  The first is an amateur shot by a friend after I had my makeup and hair professionally done.  The second is a professional engagement photo in which I did my hair and makeup – and it looks like I am not wearing makeup.   Applying makeup for film or photography is a skill, as is knowing which products to use on different skin types and colors.  Of course you can learn how, but if you’re not someone who wears a lot of makeup regularly, it might be a bigger time or money investment than it appears at first. 

Bridal Makeup Before and After

Bridal Makeup Before and After

3.   Save money.   If you’re like me and have a limited makeup bag that’s better suited for Bobbi-Brown-goes-to-work than blushing-garden-bride, then purchasing all the make-up for a wedding can be expensive.   Purchasing foundation, blush, the perfect shade of lipstick, waterproof mascara, etc. adds up quickly.  If these are items that you don’t use regularly  (and you will uncover in your makeup drawer a year later covered in dust…) than perhaps it’s less expensive to  have a makeup artist instead of purchasing everything yourself.  This is certainly true for me, as my version of foundation is a tinted moisturizer. 

Now, that said, here are my up-do hair pictures – I’ll be sure to share the half-up/half-down next week!

Bridal Hair Low Up-do

Bridal Hair Low Up-do

Are you planning on diy-ing your hair and makeup or bringing in a professional?

12 Affordable, Modern Mother of the Bride Dresses

Last  week I posted 50 wedding dresses for less than $1000.  A reader asked if I could search out elegant, modern mother of the bride dresses that were also budget friendly.  Finding a mother of the bride dress is a tough act – you want to avoid dressing like either the grandmother of the bride or sister of the bride.  Below I have listed my six favorite cocktail-length dresses, as well as my six favorite full length gowns.  Hopefully these affordable frocks will help you (or your mothers!) in their search!

Mother of the Bride Dresses Cocktail Length

Mother of the Bride Dresses Cocktail Length (neutral colors)

  1. J.Crew Silk Organza Melanie Dress for $99.99
  2. Nordstrom Maggy London Stretch Satin Dress $168
  3.  J.Crew Regine Silk Dress $99.99
Mother of the Bride Short Dress (festive pinks)

Mother of the Bride Short Dress (festive pinks)

  1. Dillard’s London Times Tiered Dress $90 
  2. J.Crew Ramona dress in Cotton Taffeta $225 
  3. Nordstrom Black Halo Alexander Crepe Sheath $345
Mother of the Bride Long Gowns

Mother of the Bride Long Gowns

  1. Nordstrom Tiered Chiffon Gown $198
  2. J.Crew Adelle Silk Taffeta $99
  3. Neiman Marcus Tadashi Chiffon Gown $350
Mother of the Bride Long Gowns (Classic Navy)

Mother of the Bride Long Gowns (Classic Navy)

  1. Bloomingdale’s Amasale Ruffles for $260
  2. Nordstrom J.S. Boutique Beaded waist gown $158
  3. Dillard’s Adrianna Papell Beaded Ruched Body Gown $238
What do you think?  Is there a dress here your mom will love? Found an even better deal? Leave a note in the comment where you found it!

50 Wedding Dresses for less than $1000

This past week I discovered Snippet & Ink’s 40 dresses for less than $1000.  I loved the designs they picked out and immediately knew that I wanted to share them with you.  First, however, I found 10 more awesome wedding dresses for less than $1000 – four are under $300!   Once you’re done perusing these, be sure to check out Snippet & Ink’s post for a total of 50 dresses under $1000.

Ballgown Wedding Dresses Budget Friendly

Ball gown Wedding Dresses for less than $1000

  1. J.Crew Lace & Organza for $995
  2. Bloomingdale’s Theia Strapless Organza Ball gown, $1095* (use 10% off coupon when you subscribe to email to get below $1000)
  3. Macy’s Adrianna Papelle Ball gown, $270
  4. Bhldn Blushing Crinoline Sheath for $1000
Budget Friendly Modern Wedding Gowns

Modern Wedding Gowns

  1. WTOO Wedding Dress $898
  2. Neiman Marcus Badgley Mischka Gown $935
  3. Rue La La ABS Silk Strapless Bridal Gown $149
Budget Friendly Short Wedding Dresses

Short Wedding Dresses

  1. Bhldn Dainty Diversion Mini $280
  2. Bhldn Saturnalia Dress $220
  3. Etsy Audrey Hepburn Tea Length Dress $695
Have you found a budget friendly wedding dress?  Leave a note in the comment where you found it!

From Day-of to Everyday: Etsy Artwork for your Wedding & Home

I am a huge proponent of using your home’s decor to style your wedding.   Not only will it create a more authentic wedding, but using pieces of art from your home imbues them with sentiment that you can keep forever.  The silhouettes used for this guest book table could easily be framed on a wall later.  Similarly, the whimsical drawing in this welcoming display.  In our wedding we are using our “Keep Calm and Have a Cupcake” print on our dessert table  – a fun touch that made better  by the fact the print is already hanging in our living room.  

Below are six art prints from Etsy  that would easily transition from a wedding to a home.  These art prints would be great tucked behind a guest book, on the gift table, near the entrance to a reception area, on the candy bar or favors table, or even (in a smaller size!) incorporated into a centerpiece.  They are all affordable, with most of them less than $25.  Michael’s is a great source for either custom framing or pre-fabricated frames – and you can get an extra 40% off anytime by printing a coupon from here.

1.  Hand-drawn art print, professionally printed in an array of colors by TypePosters.  $15

Type Posters They Lived Happily Ever After - hand drawn for $15

TypePosters "They Lived Happily Ever After" - hand drawn for $15

3.  theloveshop on Etsy’s Infinite Love print is Infinite Love a fabulous design featuring beautiful hand drawn typography – available in many colors, the red makes a statement! $17

theloveshop "Infinite Love" Print $17

theloveshop "Infinite Love" Print $17

2.  Tessyla’s 11 x 17 print is a play on a reproduction of the popular vintage WWII poster. $28

Tessyla's "Keep Calm and Marry On" Print $28

Tessyla's "Keep Calm and Marry On" Print $28

4.  This original Fifi du Vie design is burned on the silk screen using a photo emulsion process. It is then  printed on 11×14 185 gsm paper, signed and numbered –  each one an original piece of artwork.  $25

oh darling, let's be forever and ever screenprinted poster - 100 handmade

"oh darling, let's be forever and ever" Handmade, screen printed for $25

5. GraphicAnthology will customize this 8×10 print to match your wedding colors, and each one is signed by hand. $18.

I'm So Happy We Ended Up Here by GraphicAnthology $18

"I'm So Happy We Ended Up Here" by GraphicAnthology $18

6.  This last pick is a customized splurge by PERSONALIZEDprints.  They customize the modern canvas scroll  to the places of your relationship – how perfect would this be for your wedding and then wall?

Wedding Canvas Art Scroll - Relationship Timeline 18x48

Wedding Canvas Art Scroll - Relationship Timeline 18x48 $195

So, what do you think? Would you use actual artwork in your wedding decor?