Wedding seating plans and escort cards
- To set the Renaissance theme, create a wedding table plan on a large parchment sheet – either learn to write calligraphy or, for the less artistically inclined, print using an Old English font on the computer.
- Add Shakespearean romance to your escort card display by inscribing a Shakespearean quote on each card.
- Set your guests a challenge and put a well known quote from a Shakespeare play or sonnet on each escort card. Tables are named after the play or sonnet and guests must guess match their quote to find their table.
Table names and numbers
- Favourite authors, poets or playwrights from Great Britain or the world.
- Favourite plays by William Shakespeare. Here is a very elegant example, where the table name has been printed using the publisher Pelican’s design for their edition of the Shakespeare plays. Choose your favourites from this complete list of Shakespeare’s works.
- Mount table numbers on pages from Shakespeare plays or sonnets. Here is one that uses a page from ‘A Midsummer Night’s dream’. This design works well if you have a specific colour scheme, as you can coordinate both the number and the backing board.
- Use table confetti made of vintage pages of a Shakespeare play. If you want to make your own, you can buy shaped paper punches from most craft shops.
- Use pages from an old book to create a Shakespearean table runner.
- Make some paper flowers using pages printed with your favourite passages from Shakespeare.
For buffet food, use Italian flavours and wines to create a feel of young, romantic love in an Italian setting. Hire a music group who can play traditional instruments, perhaps also in Renaissance costume. Hire some actors who can give short impromptu performances of romantic scenes from Shakespeare for your guest’s enjoyment.
A note on Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets
Shakespeare abounds with romantic inspiration – for example, plays such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado about Nothing and of course, the many sonnets are full of great quotes perfect for your wedding. Here are some to get you started:
- Sonnet 116 is the well known ‘Let me not to the marriage of true minds…’
- “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day” (Sonnet 18)
- “If music be the food of love, play on” (Twelfth Night)
- Wikiquotes has a list of romantic Shakespearean quotes
A minor note of caution: Although much of Shakespeare’s famous Romeo and Juliet is full of passages about love and romance, it is actually a tragedy – not quite the undertone you want for your special day. Rather than avoiding Romeo and Juliet altogether, however, just stay with the well-known romantic quotes. Additionally, be wary of beautiful, romantic quotes that are often attributed to Shakespeare (such as ‘When I saw you I fell in love and you smiled because you knew’) – but are actually by someone else!