Tablescapes are often overlooked when planning a wedding. There's the dress, the photographer, the flowers, the venue, the reception, the DJ... who has time for tablescapes!? But tablescapes can be a playground of fun and can be relatively stress-free if you do it piece by piece. So I've created a simple 6 step guide to creating a tablescape that even Pinterest would be jealous of (not to mention your new mother-in-law).
In general you want to stick with these key words: neutrals, texture, pops of color, greenery, levels, layers, metallics, and knick knacks.. These key words will be in bold throughout this guide to make it easier to see the pattern for adding visual interest to your pin-worthy tablescape.
Step 1 - Choose your Tablecloth
Pick one solid color for your tablecloth - think of this as the canvas for your tablescape. You can choose traditional white/black or you can pick one of your wedding colors. If you go with one of your wedding colors, I would suggest picking a lighter shade or more neutral tone since tablecloths take up a lot of real estate. You wouldn't want your hot pink tablecloths to overwhelm the rest of your pin-worthy tablescape. Picking multiple colors of tablecloths is fine as long as you keep everything else fairly neutral.
Step 2 - Choose your Runner and Napkins
Choose a runner that is a different color and texture from your tablecloth - this adds layers, visual interest, and frames your centerpieces (Note: Pattern is considered to be a type of texture). In general, runners work better on square or rectangular tables but you can add a square layer of fabric to circular tables and get the same effect! For napkins follow these same rules.
Step 3 - Add Greenery
This is the main part of your center piece and is a FANTASTIC way to reuse your bridesmaids bouquets! Greenery adds texture, color, and levels to your tablescape. I will caution you not to make the centerpiece too high as this makes it hard for guests to talk to the person on the other side of the table. Try finding cute small vases or boxes to put your greenery in, this also adds more visual interest! Note: if you want a rustic look, try adding elements of wood as well!
Step 4 - Add Metallics
Metallics are a beautiful thing. They are considered a neutral, a color, a texture, and add a little extra something shiny! But use metallics in moderation as they can quickly become overwhelming for your guests. Finding metallic chargers and/or candle holders is a great way to add this element to your tablescape. (I say this because I had to learn it: a charger is the plate underneath the plate.)
Step 5 - Add Knick Knacks
Knick knacks are a great way to fill the space, add visual interest, and add a personal touch to your tablescape that your guests will appreciate. When choosing knick knacks, keep in mind our key words: neutral, texture, pop of color, metallic, and levels. Knick knacks can be anything that goes with the theme of your wedding, from slices of cut wood, to candle holders, to your new initials, to antique bird cages... this is where you can have a lot of fun at the craft store!
Step 6 - Edit your Tablescape
Take a step back and see what you can remove from your tablescape to make it less cluttered, you don't want your guests to feel cramped while eating! If anything, remember that less is more.
I hope you have enjoyed this guide and I hope it has made the process of making a wedding tablescape a little bit easier. There is so much more details I could go into, so if you want more advice don't hesitate to contact me!
My mom ALWAYS made me write personal thank you cards to anyone who gave me a Christmas gift, birthday gift, graduation gift, Easter gift... you get the point. Over the years, my process evolved and ended up with an efficient way of personalizing each thank you card with minimal time spent.
After your wedding (and honeymoon), you begin the process of writing thank you cards to your guests for the gifts they gave you. This can take A TON of time and leave you wanting to break your pen in half. By following these tips you can create mass personalized thank you cards that will leave the receivers feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
Tip #1 - Hand Write your Cards
I know this can suck sometimes, but hand writing your cards is way more personal than typing something on the computer. I try to find a pen with the least friction on the paper.
This gives you the least resistance and will extend the endurance of your hand. If your hand starts to cramp, eat a banana, stretch it out, or maybe do some dance moves.
Tip #2 - Buy (or make) Boutique Thank You Cards
Buying (or making) boutique cards can make a big difference! Buying the plain bulk thank you cards immediately gives the impression that you spent zero time picking out the receiver's card and probably didn't care too much what it looked like.
Instead, buy boutique cards that have a hand-crafted feel or order custom cards with photos of you and your new hubby.
Tip #3 - Create a Template
Creating a template of the exact words you will use for each card will free up brain space. Now you can think about other things, like rainbows and kitties, while you are pumping out mass amounts of thank you cards.
Here are a few examples I have created (in order of least personal to more personal):
Thank you so much for giving us item. I can't tell you how excited we were when we opened your gift and saw what you had given us! It will definitely be put to good use.
Thank you again and give our love to your family!
Mr. and Mrs.
My husband and I just got back from our honeymoon in place and wanted to drop you a note thanking you for your wonderful wedding gift! I can't tell you how excited we were when we opened your gift and saw you had given us a(n) item. We can't wait to use it, I think the describe feature/function will come in handy, for adjective.
Thank you again and give our sincere gratitude to your family!
Mr. and Mrs.
*If you are having trouble imagining it will sound, try replacing the "item" with a blender.
EXAMPLE: I can't tell you how excited we were when we opened your gift and saw you had given us a blender. We can't wait to use it, I think the multiple speeds settings will come in handy, for making smoothies.
Remember, in the end, you want to spend the least amount of time possible writing thank you cards while making the receiver feel like you wrote the card just for them!
One question I get asked a lot is, "What should we wear for our engagement session?" What your wear for a professional photo session doesn't seem like a big deal, but picking the right coordinating outfits can make a HUGE difference in your photos! The second most asked question is "Where should we go for our engagement session?" That is why I have put together this guide to help you rock your engagement session.
What should we wear?
1) Wear something that represents your personality.
If you are quirky, wear something quirky. If you are fun, wear something fun, If you are sad, actually, don't wear something sad... You get the point.
2) Wear clothes that are fitted and/or structured.
All of us have aspects of our body that we don't like, but wearing clothes that are baggy or drape are going to make you look bigger than you actually are, so instead, pick something structured or fitted like: jeans, heels, a blouse with a jacket, or a fun sun dress.
3) Coordinate with your partner (no matchy matching!)
Wear similar styles of clothing with coordinating colors. Coordinating colors can be in the same color family (dark purple and light purple or red and pink) but they can also be complimenting colors like coral and teal. If you are unsure, don't hesitate or ask us or send us photos of your outfit options to get our opinion!
4) Choose solids or simple patterns.
Crazy patterns appear crazy on camera and peoples' eyes will go straight to your crazy shirt when looking at your photos. Don't you want them looking at your face?
5) Jazz it up with accessories.
Have fun with it and jazz up your outfits with a funky necklace or a cool tie or watch for the guy!
6) Clothes to avoid.
Avoid dark clothes that have a pattern because the pattern won't show up 90% of the time. Same thing goes for bright white and neon clothes.
Please don't wear neon... If you do I will make your wear roller blades and put your hair in pig tails.
Avoid undergarments that will show through your clothes or cause unwanted textures.
Avoid matching your partner exactly. Let's all avoid this photo... (yes, that's me on the bottom left.)
Where should we go?
I suggest my couples pick a location that is close to their hearts or symbolizes something in their relationship - this will make your photos even more special! That being said, outside locations with some shade will produce the best photos. If you choose an indoor location, it must have a ton of natural light. Sarah Lindsay Photography chooses not to use flashes and artificial light whenever possible. Please consult with us before choosing your location!
When and What time?
Engagement sessions will typically be on a weekday evening because we have weddings on the weekends during wedding season. Sarah Lindsay Photography chooses to photograph your session 1-2 hours before sunset, this produces that gorgeous golden glow that you see!
Hair & Makeup
Ladies, this is a great chance to do your demo with your hair and makeup person. This allows you to try your wedding makeup and see if you want to tweak anything before your big day. Plus you're having professional photos taken, why not have professional hair and makeup for it? If you choose not to have your hair and makeup professionally done for your engagement session, you will need to put on your blush and eye makeup a little bit heavier than normal. Everyday street makeup will tend to look lighter on camera than it does in person so to avoid this, just make it a little darker. Also, fake eyelashes will be your best friend when it comes to professional photos. They are the easiest way to make your eyes pop and give them that extra flair. Here is a youtube video for instructions on a great application: Applying False Eyelashes.
I love props! Incorporating them into your engagement session is always an awesome idea. I suggest choosing 1-2 props, anything more than that and we may run out of time and not get the photos you want! As always, choose props that represent you and your relationship. Here are some easy prop suggestions: vintage bicycles, cozy blankets, picnic stuff, awesome sunglasses, balloons, signs that say "save the date' or "I said yes", etc. Even a coffee cup that says "bride" can make a great prop!
Pinterest: The good and the bad.
Who doesn't love Pinterest?! I know I do. One of my favorite pastimes is to drink a glass of wine (or two) and pin until my fingers hurt. Although lately, Pinterest has become a point of contention with photographers because their brides see these super cute photos on Pinterest and expect their photos to look identical. When that doesn't happen, they get upset with the photographer instead of realizing that they had an unrealistic expectation. However, when proper expectations are set by the photographer, Pinterest can be a great tool to learn more about their clients.
Sarah Lindsay Photography asks you to create a Pinterest board of photo inspiration for your engagement session and wedding day, but we always tell our clients that your photos will not look exactly the same because 1) you have a different photographer, 2) you have a different location 3) it may be a different time of day, and 4) you are different people than those in the photo.
We strongly encourage you to tell us why you like the photos you pinned. Is it the pose? The lighting? The angle of the shot?
The more information and communication the better!
We want you to be yourself in front of the camera and we try to get you to laugh by saying weird things, but we don't expect anything from you. Our goal for your engagement session is to have fun and to build a relationship before we photograph the biggest day of your life!
We hope this guide has given you some great tips to ROCK your engagement session!