Sara Reynolds Events » A Maryland based events & wedding planner

If you are looking for a quintessential American wedding; full of red, white, and blue, fried chicken, and corn hole? Well you are in the right place then! Liz and Brian were married over Memorial Day weekend in a waterfront ceremony surrounded by their closest friends and family. They wanted to create a picnic atmosphere for their guests and they completely succeeded. Guests dined on drunken fruit skewers, BLT bites, fried chicken sliders, wedge salads, mini pies, S’mores pops, and BBQ short ribs in cheesy grits (I still fantasize about these, that’s how good they were). Then they danced the night away to 80’s music. It was a wedding full of happy tears and a fantastic couple. Liz and Brian, THANK YOU for allowing me to be a part of your special day.

Venue: Historic LondonTown and Gardens

Photographer: Brad Nguyen Photography 

Wedding Planner: Sara Reynolds Events

Catering: Rogue Catering

Flowers: Bay Blooms 

DJ: Washington Talent

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Raise your hand if creating your seating chart for your wedding made you want to elope. (RAISE THOSE HANDS) You never knew that Aunt Sally can’t stand Cousin Joe or that it was super important that your college roommate doesn’t sit next to your friend from the softball team because they dated once and now things are weird. My favorite is when the bride tells me that the parents’ tables MUST be the exact same distance from the sweetheart table or else they will start thinking you like one set of parents more. Friends, this is real life. Seating charts are HHAAARRDDDD. But, please, don’t try the whole “we won’t make one and everyone can sit where they want”. I have never seen that work. Ever. However, I can offer you some tips and tricks that I have found helpful along the way. Try them out. Perhaps it will cut down on the tears and massive amount of wine you are drinking right now.

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Michael & Carina Photography

  1. Start with grouping people. At this point in the game, don’t focus on the seating capacity of each table, just relationships. For my own wedding we had to group: my family, Mitch’s family, my co-workers, Mitch’s co-workers, Maryland friends , and Connecticut friends.
  2. Next, decide if you want a sweetheart table, a head table, kings table or any other sort of configuration. Plug those necessary people into their table. Again, I will keep using my wedding. We knew we wanted a head table with their significant others. Right off the bat I had 20 people seated and ready to go! Only 140 more 🙂
  3. Now is when you want to pull out the actual layout of your reception. This is an important step especially if you have groups of people who can’t sit next to each other (i.e. Aunt Sally and Cousin Joe). You also want to take note of where the DJ is and where their speakers will be located or facing. If possible, try to seat your friends closer to the dance floor and the speakers rather than your grandparents. Perhaps you have a friend or family member in a wheelchair and it would be easier if they were closer to a bathroom. These are just examples of some things to be aware of as you build the layout.
  4. Personally, I used the Pinterest method of writing everyone’s name on the Post-it note flags on a giant poster board layout of my reception space. It worked great for me! This method allowed me to keep the grouping through color coding but if we needed to move someone we just moved the flag around the poster board. I would start with family first and keep them close to your sweetheart or head table. Then I would try to keep as many friends (or groupings) together, as possible. I lucked out and our tables could fit 12-14 people and therefore most of our “grouping” were able to stay together.
  5. Don’t freak out if you can’t find the “perfect” spot for someone. If they are normal, rational human beings they will understand that seating charts are hard, you did the best you could, and at the end of the day you really only sit at the table for an hour during dinner. I have never had a friend or family member say anything to the bride and groom about where they are sitting (on the wedding day at least–up until then, yes).

Last few tips: if you have more than 5 children (not babies, obviously) at the wedding designate a kid’s table. Resist the urge to play match maker while planning your seating chart. Try to have fun with the seating chart! Match people based on known hobbies or interests if you are having a hard time finding a place for them. At the end of the day, the seating chart exists for dinner purposes only. Don’t stress too much!

Xo,
Sara

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Friends, I have another couple for you to meet. Did I tell you that I love 2016 already? Well, I do! This good looking couple is getting married on July 5th (yup, it’s a Tuesday) down in St. Mary’s County. If I can share a funny story with y’all real quick: so Katie and I were emailing back and forth about a date and time to meet. We finally decided on one and then she emails me “Does Mitch need to be there?”. Well, here is the thing, she hadn’t told me her fiance’s name yet. I literally stared at that email for like 3 minutes wondering why she wanted my husband to be there. It was late. I might of had some wine. I digress.

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Amanda Adams Photography

How did you two meet?

We met on Facebook, in May 2013, through mutual friends. We had went to middle school together but never knew each other. He knew my sister in high school, but I went to a different high school. Then we both moved back to Towson in the fall (how convenient) and we’ve been together just about 24/7 since then.

How did he propose?

To celebrate me finishing my first year of law school in May 2015, Mitch told me we were meeting my dad for dinner on Solomons Island at the restaurant we went to on our second date. On the way to dinner, my dad texted me saying he couldn’t make it because he wasn’t feeling well. I was worried we couldn’t go to dinner anymore because I thought my dad would pay for it and the restaurant was definitely not cheap. But Mitch said it was fine and we could still go, just the two of us. After an AWESOME dinner, we walked along the boardwalk and stopped to sit in the gazebo. He proposed at sunset and it was so perfect.

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Amanda Adams Photography

What do you think will be your favorite part of the wedding day?

My favorite part of the wedding day will definitely be the ceremony, and being married by my grandfather. Mitch is looking forward to the speeches by his best friend and older brother and dancing.

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Amanda Adams Photography

Can you provide planning advice to brides in the thick of it right now?

Make sure you include your fiance in every decision and let them know when you’re feeling overwhelmed. They will definitely be able to give you a different perspective on anything you’re having trouble with and remind you what’s most important.

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Amanda Adams Photography

What are you most looking forward to about married life?

I’m excited to finally be a Seifert! And being able to call each other husband and wife. We are also looking forward to buying a house and starting a family in the next few years.

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Amanda Adams Photography

 

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Guys, I have been the worst at keeping up with social media, this blog, and maybe just life in general. I also call that #weddingseason. Anywho, I am getting caught up now with my next super awesome couple that is getting married in 19 short days! Ah! How is that possible?

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How did you two meet?

We worked in the same office. Initially, we didn’t tell anyone we were dating because I was a civilian employee and Min was a contractor. A coworker thought I had a boyfriend and I was cheating on him when I went on a beach trip with Min – but I had been dating Min for months. Min got a new job that same year, so it all worked out.

How did he propose?

Amanda and I were celebrating our 4 year anniversary. I had been having a difficult time trying to think of some grand, elaborate way to propose that I finally gave in for something more intimate. So I had planned to sneak out of bed early that morning to make her breakfast in bed. I created a nice little arrangement of her favorite breakfast foods–fruit, waffles, and tea in a cute little red teapot. I had rolled a napkin with the ring around it and strategically placed in inside of her teacup. When I brought the tray up for her, she was so excited to see I had made breakfast. I placed the tray on her lap and she dug right into the food, not even noticing the ring! I anxiously went to open the window, hoping the extra light might draw her attention to the little bling in her mug. Finally, I just went ahead and asked, “Why don’t you have some of your tea before it gets cold.” As she pulled the napkin out of the mug to reveal the ring, I dropped down on one knee beside her and popped the big question. Needless to say, she said yes and made me the happiest man on Earth!

amanda+min-80P I N I T What do you think will be your favorite part of the wedding day?

Amanda – definitely saying our vows. I’m looking forward to promising my forever to Min and I just hope I don’t sob like a baby!

Min – our first look photos, when I finally get to see Amanda in her dress. I’m also looking forward to the private, intimate moments we can steal before everything gets really hectic that day.

Can you provide planning advice to brides in the thick of it right now?

Number those RSVP response cards, in case people just check yes or no but don’t put their names on them. And to take a break – it gets so overwhelming sometimes, but when you sit back and think big picture, you realize that getting married is far more important than what the centerpieces look like or what kind of food you’re serving. Everyone will have a good time and you’ll be husband and wife!

amanda+min-50P I N I T What are you most looking forward to about married life?

Amanda – #babies HA! No, seriously, we’re ready to see where life takes us. I’m really going to like calling Min my husband and it’s going to sound amazing to hear him call me his wife.

Min – starting a family and spending the rest of our lives together.

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You guys, I love this couple for SO many reasons. I love their sense of humor, their willingness to do anything (thanks for being models in my styled shoot), their love for each other, and the way they like to do things a little bit differently. For instance, Christina dislikes jewelry. That is quite a predicament for a man looking to propose, huh? Well, Andrew got creative & two Billy Joel tickets and a coffee mug later they were engaged! A coffee mug? Yup, a coffee mug. Friends, Christina has (to put it lightly) a coffee addiction. When we were discussing their menu for the wedding she asked me about 4 times to make sure we had coffee available. There WILL be coffee at your wedding, Christina! 🙂 Oh, and for the record they decided to answer some of my questions in the third person. Again, doing things a little bit differently!

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Brittany Thomas Photography

How did you two meet?

They met at a barbecue wiffleball tournament. Their first words to each other were a heated exchange of whether it was appropriate to run to first base with bat in hand. It wasn’t love at first sight. Later on that night, these two argued further about their respective football teams. Andrew wasn’t too keen on purple.  Christina was all set to ignore this ‘ignorant’ football fan, until later while playing a card game. When Andrew asked the crowd, ‘Can you ever just be whelmed?’, Christina immediately responded, ‘I think you can in Europe’ (He was quoting one of her favorite movies). She realized he might not be entirely terrible.

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Brittany Thomas Photography

How did he propose?

Skip ahead a few years. Christina and Andrew wanted to have a little vacation, so they went down to DC for a long weekend last June. They went to the International Spy Museum, had a few fancy dinners, went kayaking on the Potomac, and walked to all kinds of DC landmarks. Unknown to her, Andrew had been carrying around a coffee mug all weekend, waiting for an opportunity to ask her a question (Somewhere along the line, Christina confided in Andrew her hatred of jewelry. She refuses to wear any, and told him if he every wanted to propose to her, he shouldn’t bother with a ring. It would be pointless. Coffee, however, now that’s the way to a girl’s heart). It was a very hot weekend, and walking around town got very tiring. So on the morning they were packing to leave, (when they were both well rested and fed and not at all sweaty) he decided it was the perfect time. With one knee down, he pulled out the coffee mug, asked Christina if she’d like to get married. Christina, confused for a split second, asked “To the mug?”, before realizing his intention, and accepted. Then he pulled out two tickets to see Billy Joel, and her smile got twice as wide. After packing they went to the zoo and saw panda bears. It was a good day

What do you think will be your favorite part of the wedding day?

Christina: I think my favorite part of the wedding day will be the point at which I finally get to call him my husband.  So naturally after that point I will also greatly enjoy constantly reminding him throughout the night that now he’s stuck for life!

Andrew: I am greatly looking forward to everything.  The ceremony, where our life together gets out of the opening previews.  Seeing all my favorite family and friends having fun. And of course throwing all the attention on Christina, who usually wants to be in the back row, quietly not being noticed.

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Brittany Thomas Photography

Can you provide planning advice to brides in the thick of it right now?

Get a wedding planner!  There’s plenty to do even if you have a wedding planner so the fact that every time something comes up you don’t have to be the one to make a phone call or send an email or play phone tag with a  vendor is so helpful!  Also, you will not find a way to please everyone, (try to make everyone happy, but don’t try to make every single person happy.  Aim for like 90%) the sooner you reconcile with that fact the less stressful the process will be! Keep your own sanity at the top of the ‘must have’ list.  It’s your day to have fun, so don’t let other people put their preconceptions on you.  If you want to ride a llama into the sunset, do it.

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Brittany Thomas Photography

What are you most looking forward to about married life?

Christina: We already do a lot of the typical things that people might look forward to in a marriage like always having someone there at the end of the day, having someone to share vacations with, or having someone to kick back on weekends with.  Therefore, I think the thing I am most looking forward to is not having to figure out who’s paying for coffee that morning or who’s paying for dinner that night.  No more playing the who’s gonna pay the check game because it’ll be coming from the same pot!

Andrew: I’m just looking forward to knowing that I’ll have someone who is always there for me.  Who knows how to make me laugh, and who I can share tons of memories with. So that when we’re 90 and can’t stand up, we can still reminisce about that great time we had when we laughed so hard we peed ourselves.  And then pee ourselves again, because we’re 90, so who’s gonna stop us.

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