Why You Should Have A Sweetheart Table
This post is where I’m going to convince you to have a sweetheart table at your wedding. What’s a sweetheart table, you ask? Well, besides having the corniest name ever, a sweetheart table is a place to eat dinner for just you and your new spouse. You are sitting with yourselves at your own smaller table at the head of the room facing all of your guests.
The main complaints I hear from couples when deciding upon a sweetheart table are that it’s going to make them feel weird sitting all by themselves and that they want to sit with their friends and family. I get it. But let me convince you otherwise:
Is a table by yourselves going to make you feel weird, like the center attention, out of place, etc? Hi, it’s your wedding. You ARE ALREADY the center of attention. You won’t be able to hide at a table sitting with other people. Might as well live in the moment by embracing being the reason why everyone is gathered in the first place.
Would you rather sit with your family and friends? Bless you if you are currently having no family or friend drama while seating people at your reception. Please tell everyone all of your secrets. There isn’t one couple that I’ve ever worked with that didn’t have at least one parent, grandparent, or friend insinuate that they should be the ones the couple sits next to. Bye bye drama, you are not welcome here, drama. A sweetheart table means that you are giving yourself space from everyone else. The physical space lets you have some mental space away from everyone’s conversations. You’ll sit up there like the kings and queens that you are looking out onto your kingdom.
Here is a lovely couple that wanted a more lounge feeling to their sweetheart table. We did low tables (so everyone could see her pretty dress), a comfy couch, and a carnation backdrop that hid an ugly built in TV at the venue. LOOK HOW BEAUTIFUL THIS IMAGE IS. No other people crowding the image. Only their genuine laughs at her father’s speech.
These love birds, who used records as their table numbers, enjoying a heartfelt moment from a loved one’s toast. Notice the lack of the back of guest’s heads. Isn’t it nice to have some time with yourselves right after you get married? Yes, yes it is.
Back to the family drama, because I can’t emphasize this enough: another benefit of the sweetheart table is that you automatically eliminate weird family drama about who gets to sit closest to the couple. Yep, this is a real thing. You’d be surprised how many mothers of the groom and mothers of the bride are offended that they aren’t both sitting the EXACT distance away from the couple. As if the distance between you and your parents at your wedding reception is somehow a reflection of a lifetime of relationship junk. Hey, maybe it is, but take that whole conversation out of the equation by sitting at a sweetheart table with NO ONE.
Again, with the genuine laughter while looking out at all of their best people. Look at all of that extra room for stuff too! Like drinks! And your purse! And cards! And your bridal bouquet!
Sometimes, we get creative while flipping the ceremony room to the reception space. That blue and green geometric installation was their ceremony backdrop. It turned into the backdrop for their sweetheart table during the reception. Double duty decor!
Honestly, the scale of this sweetheart table that we did is off. The table is too small and the centerpiece is too big. Lesson learned. BUT – putting weird scale things aside, look how this couple gets a front row show to everyone’s speeches and toasts. Such a lovely moment. If they were at a round table with everyone else, there would be heads, drinks, plates, phone, purses, etc, crowding up the shot. Here we simply have a cute couple with a sparkly table linen enjoying their reception.
This table was for two brides at a colorful, Indian wedding. I love how this photo is a perfect example of the view you’ll have from your sweetheart table. You can see all of your best people! They can see you!
Look, you aren’t chained to your chairs either. Eat some food, get up and mingle with your guests, get a drink from the bar, do more mingling. The beauty of having your own table is when you need a moment to rest in peace you have a place to do it.
What do you think? Did you have a sweetheart table at your wedding? Are you on the fence?
Wedding at the Metropolitan Building / Becca and Neha
A colorful wedding at the Metropolitan Building in Long Island City, Queens. Becca and Neha worked with us as their event designers and florist. We were lucky to have the opportunity to design their entire event from scratch and infuse so many special personal details into their wedding day.
Their invitations were a mix of the NYC skyline die cut from gold metallic paper and traditional Indian designed letterpressed into cotton stock. The Indian motifs were brought through the rest of the day in the ceremony programs, table numbers, custom made signage, and a fun chalk art installation that greeted guests as they arrived for the wedding.
We infused as much color as possible into their reception space. Brightly colored fabrics were draped from the ceiling, the flowers were an explosion of early summer hues, and their mandap was covered in garlands of fresh blooms.
One of my favorite details from their wedding day was their escort cards that doubled as turmeric spice favors. Each guest was lucky to leave with a little piece of India with them to take home.
Congrats to Becca and Neha! I was honored to play a part in the day they became wife and wife.
Planning: Ashley Chamblin Events | Photography: Zoe Rain Photo | Catering: Fig & Pig Catering | Venue: Metropolitan Building | Draping and Lighting: Shades of Grey Productions | Signage and Chalk Art: Bruja Collective | Rentals: Broadway Party Rentals
How to Get Started Designing Your Wedding
You are engaged! Yay! Happy day! After you’ve bought all the wedding magazines, bookmarked all the blogs, followed all the instagram accounts, and dove headfirst into The Knot and Weddingwire, it’s time to think about design. As I’m sure you can guess, the design is my favorite part. Grab your wedding planning binder and open up your Wedding Planning google drive folder, let’s talk visuals.
Every wedding has a design. Whether you think that wedding design is part of the dreaded wedding industrial complex or not, you are going to have to make design decisions for your invites, your dress, and your flowers. Minimal is a design aesthetic, as is opulence. Wedding design might be down low on your personal priority list, that’s cool, but let’s get at least an understanding of the design choices you’ll have to make while planning this event.
Your first step to designing your own wedding: Research.
As with the beginning of any project, research is the key to taking that first step in this massive project. For the majority of you, this is your first wedding, the first large party you’ve planned, and the first time you’ve had to even think about what kind of paper quality you like in an invitation. Research is the key to keeping your wedding design process organized.
Specifically in regards to wedding design, take a few weeks and research the following:
- Wedding specific visuals you are drawn to:
- Grab a few magazines. Wedding magazines have been quietly ceasing publication the last few years, but there are still a few gems out there: Martha Stewart Weddings is now publishing a twice a year issue, the local and national issues of The Knot, and Grace Ormond.
- Start on some quick searches in Pinterest for wedding inspiration and pinning them to your wedding design board. (now is a good time to get that board going. I have a free 5-day course about designing your wedding on Pinterest. Sign up right here.)
- Google image search your venue, if you have one, or general wedding themes and color palettes that you love.
- Blogs are still relevant! Some of my favorites for wedding inspiration are Junebug Weddings, Every Last Detail, and A Practical Wedding.
- Creative Wedding Pros you want to hire:
- Start researching the creative pros you want to hire to make your vision come alive.
- Event designers: an event designer or wedding planner that offers design is crucial if you really want a wedding with a lot of personal details that you don’t personally have to manage.
- Stationery designers: Either a pre-made invitation design or an independent designer, gather some names of companies that you might want to use for your invites.
- Flowers: Start a short list of florists in your area that draw you in with their style. One of my most popular blog posts, How To Hire a Florist, will help you.
So, go start researching. Take this weekend to sit down with a few magazines and your computer. Gather all the intel you can.
Want real life, down to earth, advice from other couples and wedding pros while designing your wedding? Consider joining my Weddings Well Designed Facebook group. It’s in it’s humble, beginning stages, and I’d love for you to be one of the first people to join us!