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It’s Dear Abby day and I am so excited to share this first question with you. One of my dearest friends, Cat of Cat Seto and Paper Studio in San Francisco, sent me this dilemma that her clients Tien and David are going through. Here’s the story…

Savethedate

Tien and David met in grade school and wanted to get married in their
schoolyard. They recently discovered that the school denied permission to be
married there because the school did not meet earthquake
requirements. To make a long story short, they are having to move their ceremony
to the ballroom where they are having their reception. They are looking for a
few ways to incorporate their schoolroom love story into their affair, in a
ballroom setting. They don’t want it to be too themed, but they do want to
infuse their wedding with a few fun details.

Cat has enlisted the help of SMP and our readers, along with Minhee of Paper + Cup designs whose recent school themed wedding was featured in Martha Stewart, to help.

You can read Tien and David’s whole story over at Cat’s blog Shop Friends. I know that the couple would love ANY and ALL ideas that you guys have!

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I thought it would be fun to ask my favorite event designer, Lisa Vorce of Oh How Charming! to help out with some ideas and suggestions for this cute couple. And I am beyond thrilled with the tips that Lisa has come up with…classic details that would add a touch of whimsy and a huge handful of charm!

From Lisa…

What a fun design challenge! I’m sitting here sipping my morning coffee
reminiscing about grade school. Bringing back such great memories! For Tien and
David – if they can’t have their ceremony at their grammar school — let’s bring
the grammar school to them! Here are some quick ideas for them….
  • Escort card display: Would be so great to hang their escort cards
    from monkey bars! (Quick tip…scour ebay for a set of monkey bars…after your wedding, donate them to an area school or day care center)
  • Table Numbers: Each table can represent one of the classrooms from
    their grammar school (i.e. “Room 2″). Can even add the teacher’s name as well!
    Table numbers can be hand written on mini chalkboards or on that fabulous lined
    paper
    that we all had to use when we were practicing our cursive.
  • Grammar school trivia: Would be fun to list quintessential grammar
    school trivia on cocktail napkins (i.e. Who was the 5th president of the United
    States”).
  • Menus: Use phonetic spelling on the key elements of the menu to give
    the look / feel of a dictionary entry.
  • Guest sign in: Create an attendance chart! As guests sign in – have
    an attendant place a gold star next to their name.
  • Lounge area decor: If they’re having any lounge vignettes – use
    grammar school text books as cocktail table decor instead of coffee table books.
  • Popsicles: Popsicles always remind me of grammar school. Have the
    caterer tray pass popsicles as a late night snack.
  • Favors: If budget permits – collect vintage lunch boxes and have them
    lined up on a table as guests exit. The lunch boxes can be filled with a snack
    size carton of milk & homemade cookies. As alternative packaging – use brown
    paper sacks which are just as cute!
  • Bake sale!: As a dessert display – set up an old school Bake Sale
    table with yummy grade school treats (brownies, rice crispy treats, chocolate
    chip cookies, etc).
  • Groom’s cake: If having a groom’s cake – make it in the shape of a
    back pack, a globle, or a ruler.
  • Ceremony programs: Use old Pee-Gee folders as the cover of the
    ceremony program.
  • Transportation: If providing transportation – use old yellow school
    buses!
  • Cigar Lounge: If budget permits — park one of the school buses just
    outside the dinner reception and use it as a cigar lounge.
  • Grand entrance for the wedding party: If doing a grand entrance — do
    a “roll call” for the wedding party where they have to state “Present!” when
    they enter the room.

These ideas are brilliant, Lisa!! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing some of your genius with us! I am also loving all of our reader ideas…keep them coming! Too cute!