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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.

Photo Pink

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.

Hart and Sol Photography

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.

Amber Gress Photography

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!

Katie Osgood Photography

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!

Levi Stolove Photography

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.

Zoe Rain photography

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?

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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!

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How To Stay Sane Using Pinterest For Your Wedding

Ah, good old wedding planning on Pinterest. When I designed my own wedding way before I ran this company Pinterest didn’t exist. I literally had a folder of images on my desktop that I saved from blogs. Honestly, it was much easier. Pinterest gets so overwhelming so quickly when looking for visual inspiration for anything – add in the stress you are already under planning a wedding (budgets, family drama, making a gigantic life decision) and simply opening the page sends your heart into overdrive.

Here’s the thing: Pinterest is great in the beginning and the end of your wedding design process. It’s not so great for the middle stuff. Let me explain:

When you get engaged, you immediately get thrown into planning and designing the biggest party you’ve ever done without any knowledge of what the heck you are doing. Off to Pinterest you go. The search for inspiration in the beginning is exploratory – you are figuring out what a wedding even looks like, what decor pieces are needed, what types of flowers and colors are you drawn to. Are any of you in this beginning stage right now? Stay sane by blocking off sections of time to concentrate on searching the site, then shut it down, and come back a few days later with fresh eyes.

At this point your wedding pinterest board is probably taking shape. The aesthetic, colors, and theme of your wedding are starting to become apparent because everything you pin starts to look the same. This is progress! When your board reaches about 50 or so pins, stop searching. You aren’t going to find anything new that you haven’t already seen.

The middle of your wedding design process is when decisions are made, vendors are booked, decor is ordered, and stuff is happening. It’s when you are making that wedding Pinterest board come alive. During this time, do not search for any more inspiration. Just don’t do it. Staying off of the site during this middle period will keep you sane.

As you get closer to your wedding date, say two months out, you’ll need those final decor pieces to bring it all together. I’m allowing you to get back on Pinterest now. Find inspiration on Pinterest for those tiny details: your guestbook, table numbers, place cards, welcome bags, welcome bag goodies, and favors. The design of these items is not going to impact your overall aesthetic. You could honestly choose anything and it would be FINE. Of course it’s preferred that every visual element of your wedding looks cohesive, although if it’s down to the wire order what you find on Pinterest that you like. Don’t search for hours trying to find a welcome bag in the exact color of blue to match your palette. Trust me.

A month before your wedding, get off of Pinterest. All of your decisions have been made. You don’t need more inspiration. It will only cause you to second guess yourself.

Stay sane, my engaged friends! As with any piece of technology, limited your Pinterest use to what’s absolutely necessary to get the job done.

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