Our wedding guests were only our nearest and dearest friends and family so I wanted our place cards to be intimate and something guests could take home to remember the special day. I’ve always loved place cards that doubled as souvenirs such as sand dollars or messages in bottles, but although they matched the beach location of our wedding, they didn’t feel personable enough.
While working on my photo booth, it suddenly hit me to use polaroids of old photos with our guests as place cards! In addition to keeping the event intimate and thoughtful, it also allowed me to use guests’ first names or nicknames without any confusion. These ended up being a huge hit and even better – conversation starters! Everyone was remembering where their photo was taken, retelling stories from those memories, and sharing them around the party like trading cards. On top of it all, everyone smiled or laughed when they found their seats. I couldn’t have been more pleased!
Although these took a bit of time and effort, they were very much worth it. Here’s how to copy this idea for your event:
1. Download the polaroid frame template here and resize it to fit your tablescape. The standard size for a polaroid frame is 3.5″ x 4.25″, but any size will work.
2. Find a memorable photo for each guest. This is the most time consuming part, but also the most rewarding since you can flip through all of your old photos – something I do far too infrequently.
3. For guests that are missing a photo or for guests’ plus ones that you haven’t met yet, find a photo to use as a place holder. Although I could’ve taken some missing photos off of Facebook, I wanted all of the polaroids to be authentic memories with my husband and/or myself so I used a cute friendship photo as a place holder.
4. I used Photoshop to add the guests’ names onto the polaroid frames, but you could easily do this by hand, letterpress, a calligrapher, stamps, or an embosser.
5. Print and cut! I used glossy photo paper to copy the look of a real polaroid and a paper cutter to keep my edges straight.
Happy DIY-ing! :)