Thursday, August 18, 2011

Guest Seating Chart Game

In the previous post I mentioned that I'd be letting a lot of "cats out of the bag" by sharing secret projects Mr. Hess and I had worked on hard for our wedding day...and here's a FUN one!

When it came to the seating chart for our guests, we really wanted to do something creative and interactive.  At first, we were going to just use our favorite movie quotes about love on each table, but then we conspired together and came up with a great scavenger hunt type of game for our guests to play during cocktail hour in order to find where exactly they were supposed to sit!

The seating chart looked like this, 
but before you get confused let me explain:

Each guest's name was listed in a group of ten under a popular quote from one of our favorite movies.  As a guest, you were to look for your name and then identify what movie the quote it was under is from.  We tried to match certain movies with certain personality types, or to people who would know what movie that particular quote came from.  The whole point of this was to give the guests something to do during cocktail hour, while Mr. Hess and I finish up our wedding photos.

It was finally the wedding week and we had to put this thing together.  I'm not going to lie...this project turned into a pretty big headache pretty quickly, but that's what I've always heard about seating charts - regardless.  So, why not make it fun?!  It was a Monday night when we started this puppy and it probably took about 5 good hours for 2 nights to finish it off.  Now, this time wasn't ALL on the craft part...but also on placement of our guests, which can take FOREVER!

Night 1: We get into the nitty gritty.  It was finally time to decide who sat where with who.  This can be a nightmare if you have a ton of guests who don't know each other, or if you have a large number, but thankfully our guests were extremely easy to work with and pair up.  At least half of the room knew each other, if not more than that, so once we paired people up it didn't take that long to place them at certain tables.  Since we had a sweetheart table for us, we decided to use the tables surrounding the dance floor for Bridal Party and our immediate families only.  After being a bridesmaid in a few weddings now, I have preferred to sit at a round table with my date and other members of the Bridal Party, rather than sitting at a head table...simply because you're sitting next to people in one straight line and you can't really talk to anyone but the 2 people next to you.  PLUS, OUR Bridal Party was the size of a kindergarten classroom, so adding dates to that and sitting everyone at one table just wasn't an option.

closeup of the chart - but overexposed so you can't see names!

We had 8 main tables for family and Bridal Party and the rest were filled with our wonderful friends.  I know people think placement of certain people or certain tables is for a reason, but honestly it's NOT!  I felt bad placing some friends in the corners of the room...but SOMEBODY has to sit there!  We tried to seat everyone as fairly as possible, and realized our reception was probably the type that people wouldn't be sitting in their seats for very long anyways, so we concentrated more on getting the game together than worrying about hurting people's feeling with something that's truly inevitable.

The first night we spent pairing people up, placing them at tables, and picking out our 20 favorite movies to use quotes from.  When Night 2 approached, it was all about putting it all down on our chart and making the game happen.  It was hard to pick just 20 movies, and agree on them with Mr. Hess because we are both HUGE movie buffs.  We finally decided on our bunch and here's some of my favorite highlights:

"Wawawewa...I Like You!"
"Slippery Little Suckers."
"Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner!"

Can you think of the movies any of those fabulous quotes came from?  Well, just in case you have no idea we made a CHEAT deck of cards with the corresponding movie to movie quote on each one.  (By the way, the first one was from Borat, the second was Pretty Woman & the third was Dirty Dancing...all of MY FAVS!!) We gave a copy of these movie to movie quote cheats to our wedding coordinator, as well as kept it hanging on the seating chart itself.

Here's an example of a movie quote that would be above the guest's name.

Flip the card over to see what movie it came from.
Here's the CHEAT cards we had hanging on the chart.

Once you found your movie, then it was time to look for your table!  Each movie was attached to the back of a picture of us found on each table.  We decided to use our Engagement Photos for all of the tables, except for our family tables, which my mom requested we use our Baby Photos for instead.  Since we had all of them scanned and out from our slide show, I thought it was a great idea and turned out absolutely adorable.

The front had our pictures and the back had the movie covers.

Pretty simple, once you get it - RIGHT?!

Find your name under a quote, think reallllllly hard about where that quote came from, (use the cheat sheet if you can't think of it), get the movie & look for the table with your movie on it! 

This was the title on the top of the chart...GOOD LUCK! :)

We thought this idea was genius and was a fun way to keep our guests entertained throughout cocktail hour.  At first, my parents thought it might be too confusing for guests, but Mr. Hess stood strong on making this happen and we figured out a way for them to cheat and ask the wedding coordinator as we were eventually all on board.  The only bad thing about this adventure is that Mr. Hess and I completely missed it! :( Of course, that's what it was designed for, but we were still kind of sad we didn't see all of the action and chaos throughout the game.

So there you have it!  Most people use table numbers or love quotes, but we decided to use a flipping scavenger movie quote hunt to seat our guests.  Go figure!  Now you can see why I barely did any posting in July...THIS was the kind of stuff we were working on!

From what we heard, the game was fun and definitely kept people busy.  I can't wait to see the video during cocktail hour - and how the guests perceived it.  As a guest, the last thing I want to do is sit there waiting on the Bride & Groom while looking at my watch thinking "when is this thing going to start?!" If you're getting married, I would totally suggest doing something fun and entertaining during cocktail hour, and just know that you're going to miss out on it.  Believe me, it might be a bit of a headache at first, but if you plan your time accordingly your guests will thank you in the end.

I guess that's it for now...
stay tuned for more wedding secrets coming soon!
Mrs. Presh

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