A table plan is one of the easiest things to make for your wedding. You only need to make one, it’s not too time-consuming and if you’re a little creative it can be lots of fun! There is no limit to what you can do to make it lovely, unique, and completely customised to your dream theme!
Your DIY options
Simply put, there are two ways to DIY – you can purchase a kit to be assembled and customised, or you can make it completely from scratch using commonly available stationery supplies. Here’s how to do both.
The kit does it
Using a table planner kit saves you time and money, and there are various colours, styles and plenty of room to customise to make it unique!
Here’s what you get in a kit:
• a board in either A2 or A3 size
• pre-cut templates for the top table, guest tables, and a header.
You simply print all the relevant information – like the guest names and table names – onto the cards at home, or write by hand yourself if you have nice handwriting or a calligraphy pen handy. Then assemble the cards onto the board in the desired order, and the first step is done!
Now for the fun bit – even if the kit already matches your wedding colours, there is no limit on how you can decorate it. You can use virtually anything from your theme to make it really stand out! Some ideas:
• put stickers on the background that match your theme (lovebirds, butterflies, snowflakes, flowers, hearts, little Union Jacks – anything!)
• wrap ribbons, or add trims as you wish
• add photos of yourself and your hubby-to-be to personalise it
• add rhinestones or glitter, crystals or pearls for eye-catching sparkle
• add lace, silk, chiffon or other fabrics
The sky’s the limit when you DIY!
For the completely do-it-yourself option, there is literally no limit to what you can do! First, see some examples from our Real Weddings, where each table plan is a reflection of the couple’s style or memories.
Now for your very own completely DIY plan – don’t worry, it’s not that complicated, and you can create a fantastic work of art in no time! If you know how many tables you are having, you can start working on it right away!
Create your base and cards
First, think of the base. You need a sheet of good quality poster board, or two sheets – lay a smaller sheet over a larger sheet for an instant border! You can then put it on a stand, or in a frame. Another fabulous option for a background is a mirror in a frame as shown above – they always look impressively elegant.
Once you have the base, there are so many ways to arrange your table cards. Traditionally they are square or rectangular, but you can have whatever you want – round, heart-shaped, ship-shaped (like our example above!), as long as all the writing fits in it. Square or rectangular cards are of course the most economical for writing.
A fabulous way to personalise your table plan is to include pictures of the two of you – and if you had an engagement photoshoot then these would be perfect to use! You can also use pictures from your childhood, or of the two of you as a couple. A great way to incorporate your photos is to attach them to the front of a folded card, with the guest names written inside – this way they can have a look at all your photos while browsing for their table! Paperchase have an amazing assortment of blank cards in all colours of the rainbow, just pick one you like best! If this sounds like too many photos, you can still use folded cards with just a few scattered photos of yourselves, and decorate the rest individually to match your theme.
You don’t have to stick your cards to the base – you can hang them with ribbons, straw, pearl wire so they dangle, and then attach the ribbons to the base with anything you wish – bows, funky shaped magnets, pretty pins, satin flowers, and if you really want to run wild – hearts made of modelling clay or wood painted in your chosen colours!
Browsing online is really handy for inspiration on how to customise the board to your own preference and theme. You can use trims specially designed for this purpose, everything from pearls to feathers. Use pictures or items of anything that means something to you as a couple – for example, things related to your travels, memories, hobbies, families, the seasons, your theme, etc.
Last but not least – think of the writing. Of course it’s easiest to have all the cards printed in your chosen font – but why not customise the text too! Do you have nice handwriting, or do you know someone who does? You wouldn’t believe what amazing results can be achieved with a calligraphy pen – which is like a really arty fountain pen with a flat tip. These come with a choice of ink colours and tip sizes – you’ll be seriously impressed! This silver calligraphy marker is ideal, or you can buy a set of calligraphy pens with a choice of inks from any stationery retailer. If you are into decorative doodles, then use the calligraphy pen and inks to draw pretty embellishments on your table plan.
Great tips and ideas
• Instead of glue, use mini glue dots! Much less messy, and your paper stays nice and flat. Another great option is a double-sided sticky tape, normally used to stick photos in albums. The dots will give your table plan that slightly raised look, while the tape will keep everything flat.
• Everyone has a crafty friend or family member. Ask them for help in everything from ideas to actual work itself. Crafty people usually know all kinds of tricks, and they know how to put things together too – it’s a win-win!
• If you’re having a black tie or monochrome themed wedding, customise your table plan with black and white photos of you both when you first got together.
• For a vintage themed wedding use a grand old fashioned looking gold picture frame to hold your base. You can pick one up at a charity shop, auction or online. Your grandma may even have one you could use!
• Cut your cards in the shape of your theme, whether it’s butterflies or hearts, or be creative and cut into vintage round champagne glass shapes for a retro wedding or trees for an eco-style wedding.
• Paperchase have an absolutely fantastic collection of all kinds of art and gift wrapping papers – totally unique, in gorgeous patterns and colours – use the ones you love to embellish your table plan.
• If you’ve never visited your local craft store, now is the time. You can certainly buy every little piece of décor online if you desire, but there is nothing like having a browse to see everything for real, and also to get some great ideas. You don’t have to buy anything, just go for a browse and we guarantee you’ll be amazed!
Amazing one of a kind idea!
Have you considered – a multi frame collage? Check out the samples from Next, below! We absolutely LOVE this Live, Love, Laugh Collage at top left – it’s ideal for a table plan! It fits 14 images in total, and if you have fewer tables, fill the remaining frames with bride and groom names and photos of yourselves. Plus a few other inspiring options for totally one-of-a-kind table plans!
All frames available on the NEXT website
Visit our Inspiration pages for even more wonderful ideas!
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