For each weekend left until the wedding, we have little projects, mostly arts and crafts. Thankfully, we know that all the really big stuff is covered (catering, venue, music, ceremony). I'm glad we got those things out of the way so we could feel free to try some slightly outlandish (for us) things that might fail, knowing they are of minor importance.
Our first project was actually rather successful. We are using the very traditional two-card seating system. Each guest will pick up an "escort card" upon entering the reception tent, and then at each seat will be a "place card." I believe that giving people specific seating assignments helps alleviate the awkwardness of choosing your spot at a "mixed" table of friends and strangers.
It only came to mind recently that this system doesn't exactly lend itself to an outdoor wedding. Lots of little pieces of paper flying around is neither charming nor particularly "green." Fortunately, we are not the first people to seek a way to hold those little cards down.
Somewhere in my obsessive scouring of the internet's matrimonial treasures, I found a picture of an escort table crisscrossed with ribbon. It looked quite lovely – very formal, and a bit more interesting than some of the simpler options. I filed it away in my mind, but later – couldn't remember where I had seen it.
Fortunately, this project is more popular as a bulletin board than as a tabletop, so applicable examples and instructions were widely available. Also, Michael and I – although not artsy/craftsy – are also not total idiots. Thanks to the crafts store that bears my fiancé's name, we were able to assemble enough ribbon, scrap booking supplies and double-sided tape (no hot glue guns - that's a serious level of commitment) to make this happen.
The downside of this project is that I spent hours looking for the escort-table idea that I had remembered but failed to bookmark. In doing so, I saw so many - dozens upon dozens! - of great place card ideas. I felt so inferior to all these creative folks! I realized how many cool, creative projects we hadn't even tried. But I didn't want to change course. A simple, utilitarian display is infinitely more "our style" than any cool deployment of corks, pine cones, seashells or origami.
And I am sure that no one will show up to our wedding having just spent hours clicking through galleries at The Knot or MS Weddings. I hope not, anyway!
Update: Look what somebody else posted today (!): http://tinyurl.com/682455