Truly Engaged: Visual Wedding Planning Tools

Categories Ceremony + Reception + Wedding Planning

I’m getting married! Now what? Truly Engaged is a new blog series written by Rachel, our *newly engaged* staff writer. As she wades her way through the wedding planning process, she’ll be sharing some of the emotions, inspiration, and insight she uncovers along the way

Eek! Our wedding is two weeks away! Scary, exciting…all sorts of emotions churning through me right now. My life has been a blur of details and deadlines…oh, and on top of that: we moved! <sigh>

Because we are having our wedding within a large, public park, I’ve been trying to finalize a bunch of layout/setup details, including:

  • seating charts
  • reception layout
  • wedding processional path
  • “photo op” spots for our First Look and Wedding Party pics

Not only do these details have to be figured out, but they also have to be communicated to those who will be helping execute them.

Tedious? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely.

For today’s post I’m going to talk about a visual wedding planning tool I discovered that has really helped me sketch and map out these tedious, but important wedding details: Google Docs Drawings.

Yes, Google Docs has a drawing tool! It’s not just spreadsheets and text editors. Google Docs drawings has been immensely helpful for our wedding, as a way to translate our layout ideas into physical, visual representations that can be saved, printed, and shared with other wedding participants.


Why I Love Google Docs Drawing:

I can create, edit, and share my designs from any computer. 
Unlike InDesign or other  design programs (which are great programs), Google Docs can be accessed on any computer device–anywhere, anytime. This makes it super convenient for me to work on drawings whenever I have time in my busy schedule: during my lunch break at work, at home on the couch, etc.

I can invite others to view, comment, or even collaborate.
I love how I can mock up the basic design, and then have my fiance and mother help fill in the details. I can also control the settings, if I don’t want others to actually edit the designs.

For example, I mocked up the general reception layout, then I shared it with my mom, who helped fill in the actual seating arrangements, since she has been managing the guest list.

I can share my Google Drawings with non-Gmail users, too.
My fiance actually discovered this little gem! He’s been able to email our drawings to his sister, who does NOT have a Gmail account. This capability gives us the freedom to send it to virtually anyone with an email account.

I can print them for people to reference on the wedding day.
Drawings can be downloaded as a PDF, PNG, or JPG–plus, they can be printed and passed out to wedding vendors and party members. For example, our “helpers” can use one of our printouts as a visual reference as they arrange tables and set up the centerpieces and decor.

Below is one example of a Google Docs drawing I created for my wedding. I uploaded a map (photo)  of the park where our wedding will take place. I then drew symbols and lines on top of the map to indicate where key events will be taking place.

It’s not finished yet, but you can see how it looks below:


I think Google Docs drawings is really helpful for anyone who is having an outdoor wedding, or a wedding at a non-traditional venue (rustic barn, anyone?).

I’d love to hear from other brides and grooms– What visual planning tools did you use for your wedding? How did you figure out your floor plans, photo locations, etc.?


 Rachel for MagnetStreet Weddings



Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Categories Resources + Wedding Stationery

You’ve decided you are not inviting children to your wedding ceremony or reception. Now, you need to let your guests know … is there an easy way to tell them?

Yes, there is. It might be one of those sticky situations in your wedding planning, but with the right wording, your wishes should be respected and your worries be put to rest.

How to communicate that children are not invited to your wedding
{without actually saying -  CHILDREN ARE NOT INVITED}

- While it really isn’t ok to say NO CHILDREN on the wedding invitation, it is ok to say something like “Adults Only” or  “Adults Only Reception” on the wedding invitation

- Another great option is to allow your mom and wedding party to spread the word for you.

- Don’t forget to use  double envelopes to clearly communicate who is invited and who isn’t.

adults only wedding reception

Looking for polite ways to respond to questions about your reception choice? Try these:

‘We hope no offence is taken but due to budget restrictions, we are unable to invite your children.’

‘We thank you for understanding that we have chosen to invite only the family children to our wedding.’


Personalize Your Tablescape

Categories Resources

A fabulously set table is a beautiful thing!

But what makes a fabulously set table? I think it has everything to do with an attention to detail!

Coordinating with your wedding theme…  choose elements and patterns and use your colors to surprise wedding guests and create a wee bit o’drama at your wedding reception tables.  From simple to elaborate…  From casual to elegant… it’s all about reflecting your style.

table setting

Martha Stewart

Put a little pizazz into your sweetheart or head table chairs with a stunning chair back pattern! Love it.


BBJ Linen chair backs

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Pretty Napkins and Folds

Categories Inspiration

Napkins and a variation of folds hold a fascination for me.  Be them cloth or paper… I always appreciate the time and creativity of an interesting pattern and fold.  And, they contribute so much personality to the table setting.


Love the organic yet chic feel of this table setting!


How clever… using pretty rubber bands to hold down the napkins for a casual, outdoor reception. {below}


3 table settings images above





last two images

Interested in exploring different folds?  Find a variation of napkin folds and etiquette instructions here.

As always, I appreciate you stopping by! Let me know you were here…