Lists have been made
A date has been set
An auditorium has been booked
Hand made Invitations have been created
Envelopes have been licked, sent off, and a few RSVPs have already trickled in.
Soon the guests will arrive, and then what?
What happens first? Where does everyone stand? Or sit? And for that matter, when des everyone sit? And perhaps most importantly when does everyone eat?
First off, a few deep breaths; in and out, in and out, there you go.
The answer is quite simple really; all it takes is a little planning.
The event is composed of two essential parts: the reception, held in the entrance and typically requires a lot of standing and mingling, and the main component held within the auditorium with people mostly sitting down.
During the reception, our guests were greeted with light appetizers, hugs and kisses, and light background music.
Later on the guests entered the hall and sat around tables, which requires careful seating arrangement to avoid small-scale disasters.
Anyone who has ever invited guests knows the challenge of arranging guests into harmonious table groups. It requires clear thinking, determination, and a certain fearlessness not often seen beyond the confined squares of only the most advanced Sudoku puzzle.
In a perfect world guests would come in groups of ten, sit wherever there’s room, participate in free-flowing conversation, and rise to dance a delightful waltz.
But the world isn’t always so kind,
There are tables of ten and tables of twelve.
There are constraints: there are groups of three, groups of seven, singles, people who need to sit in the aisle because of strollers, and some families have certain aunts who will remain unnamed who cannot be seated together due to a long-standing and yet very unclear family feud.
There must be some computer program somewhere that pre-configures seating arrangements, but since that kind of computer intelligence is beyond me, (not to mention the inability of such a program to fix last minute emergencies) –
This is what I did:
I asked for a diagram of the auditorium with the number of tables that would be set up for the amount of guests we had invited.
In our case, we had round tables that would seat ten and square tables that could seat twelve.
I outline the different tables and wrote the names of each guest on a reusable sticker.
The stickers can be made by cutting out the sticky strip of a Post-It notes, or if you find it, Post-it Full Adhesive Roll – a paper roll with a sticky back that can be cut into which ever length you choose, and you can easily remove and re-position.
Personally I used two different colors-pink for family members and yellow for friends.
These types of notecards come in a huge variety of colors and so can be used for more specific categories such as: guest of the groom, guests of the bride, work friends, college friends, childhood friends, Facebook friends :), and more.
You can even mark guests you aren’t sure will actually be able to make it.
And after careful planning (or should I say strategizing our battle plan) we could start making the sitting arrangements.
Chocolate Flavored Sitting Arrangements
During the reception, our guests found their place setting on a small box
We came up with our unique and sweet sitting arrangements two Bat Mitzvahs ago –
We filled the boxes with chocolates ahead of time,
I printed out the Bat Mitzvah logo on round sticker paper that is home-printer friendly
And we wrote out the name and table number by hand (but feel free to print this part out too if you so wish).
If any of our guests really wanted to enjoy their time at the Bat Mitzvah they simply had to look at all the pictures of our beautiful Bat Mitzvah girl that we put on display.
In order to make the picture collage, I simply looked through the picture files on my desktop (good thing the pictures on my computer are filed by month and year!)
And the chosen pictures were sent off to print (remember back when we had to deal with a little thing called “film”?)
On a three-fold out cardboard poster board (most commonly used for science fairs and school presentations) I glued subtle wrapping paper that served as a background.
I placed the pictures in a seemingly random pattern (which required a lot of moving around until I was satisfied of course)
I added a title and the Bat Mitzvah date, which I had cut out of turquoise paper.
The poster board opens and closes, stands up on it own, and most wonderfully-is very travel friendly.
Whoever wanted to jot down a few words could leave a message in our guest book.
The book was made out of cardboard squares with four holes held together with binder rings.
I bought this set after my search for a blank white book was met with constant disappointment, but it turned out very well in the end.
Since the paper itself was pretty brown and drab, I added pieces of 12″ x 12″ patterned paper, pictures of Attar, and paper flowers embellishments in gold, turquoise, and silver.
Don’t forget to include pens and markers!
Of course, the most important part of the reception with Attar’s Bat Mitzvah project that was on display.
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