Today there is less than a week until the big day. Two weeks of the summer holidays have gone by. The first week seemed to go pretty slowly. We had lots of jobs to do organising final details for the wedding and when we reached the weekend, I couldn’t believe we’d only been off school for one week. This week has gone MUCH faster, however, and I have no clue what bizarre things time will do next week.
I’ve really appreciated this time we’ve had off work, as it has allowed us to get so much done and we are now in a position where, with the exception of a few tiny jobs (like writing thank you cards for the best men and bridesmaids), the wedding is all planned and paid for.
My favourite job last week was putting together our table plan and table names.
Despite the fact that having two brides automatically puts our wedding into the category of ‘alternative’, for the most part our day will be pretty traditional and quite elegant: we are both wearing long, white wedding dresses; we have bridesmaids, flower girls and best men; we are getting married under a gazebo and our wedding breakfast is in a beautiful, thatched mews. We’ve also not spared a lot of expense. We’ve saved hard and paid for most of the wedding ourselves. At no point have we really compromised on what we wanted because of price.
Because of this, we decided that one area we’d be happy to cut a few corners and save a bit of money was in the table plan. We were more than happy to make the table plan, table numbers and name cards ourselves, using our printer and nice card from a craft shop. We decided early on that this would be our one major ‘budget’ area and then didn’t consider it again for a while as – obviously – the table plan needs to be done much nearer the time.
We were chatting with one of our bridesmaids several months ago about the tables. We had decided against a traditional top table, wanting not only to have a round table rather than a long one, but also to sit with our bridesmaids. The three of us were chatting about table numbers and how the numbers can create a sense of hierarchy that we didn’t really want. We discussed the concept of naming rather than numbering tables. We had seen this in various wedding magazines we’d read, but had no idea for a theme and so had discounted it almost immediately. We’ve not travelled a lot together (which seemed to be a common theme for table names) and we don’t have a movie or TV show that we both bonded over. The fact that we are both teachers didn’t seem to present many ideas either. “What would we name the tables anyway?” I asked, writing off the whole idea. “Different famous lesbians?!”
We all laughed and carried on chatting over our lunch.
Later that day, I spoke to L about it again. “Is it me, or is naming the tables after famous lesbians actually an AMAZING idea?”
“It’s either total genius or total insanity.”
So we set about seeing how many well-known lesbians we could actually come up with. We decided they had to be pretty conclusively out, so some names went on the list and then came back off when Wikipedia failed to back up our suspicions with concrete evidence. We also stayed away from lesbians who are mostly only famous within the LGBT community (Sarah Waters fell down on that count unfortunately). Once we had about 18 names, we tentatively addressed the idea with our bridesmaids. “Okay, so our concept for table names… Is it fun and interesting or crazy and inappropriate? Please be honest!”
The bridesmaids all loved the idea and, to be honest, by that point, we were totally sold on it.
I found pictures of all the ladies on our list and created files that looked quite elegant and could be printed onto high quality ivory-coloured card. We made the table names double-sided, so that the reverse could contain a couple of interesting facts about each Sapphic star – generally what they are famous for and something about their life as a lesbian.
I’m really, really pleased with how they’ve turned out and absolutely cannot wait to see them on each table. With a guest list that is predominately straight, we hope that not only will our table names be a bit of fun and a talking point over dinner, but also that people might be surprised and learn something they didn’t know before.
I’m happy to share the files if anyone is interested. Just let me know in the comments box or drop me an email.