photo place cards

Look, your wedding guests aren’t going to care whether you spend big bucks on calligraphy for your place cards (and if they do, you should get new friends). But they will appreciate the personal touch of the photo place card.

Printing an old snapshot of each guest next to his or her name is a perfect way to honor your nearest and dearest — as well as an instant conversation starter to break the ice at your reception for guests who won’t already know everyone at their table.

Don’t have a shot of your childhood best friend’s date for the nuptials? Email her to tell her how curious you are to see a photo of her new beau. You can also try sites like Facebook or MySpace — if a guest has a page, it probably includes a picture you can copy
and save. If all else fails, substitute a photo of someone famous. When
a friend who’d just broken up with her boyfriend decided to bring her
pal Ross to my wedding at the eleventh hour, it was too late to dig up
a close-up, so I went with a glamour shot of David Schwimmer instead.

Read on for instructions on how to make your own…

Be
advised: Depending on the size of your wedding, tracking down a photo
of every last guest and scanning those you don’t already have digitally
can be a serious time commitment. And if you’re anything like me,
you’ll agonize over whether to pick the roller rink–party Kodak moment
or the heavy metal–hair senior portrait for your little brother. But
the delight of your guests on the big day will make it all worth it.

Here’s how to make it happen:

1. Buy place cards designed to be used with a printer at an office supply store or

online.

2. Scan
snapshots or gather digital photos of all of your guests. (Old, quirky
photos guests don’t have copies of themselves are ideal.)

3. Using
Microsoft Word, go to the Tools menu and select "Letters and Mailings,"
then "Envelopes and Labels." Click on the "Options" button and select
your place cards’ product number. Click on "New Document."

4. The
cursor will automatically move to where you’ll add a guest’s photo and
name. Insert a guest’s picture by going to the Insert menu and
selecting "Picture," then "From File." Browse for the image you want,
then click on the "Insert" button.

5. Type
the guest’s name next to the photo. Don’t have a place card–feelin’
font? Do a Web search for "free fonts" and download one.

6. Print!

Too
lazy, tech-shy or overwhelmed with wedding planning to do all this
yourself? Do what I did and get a professional to handle it for you
(all of mine — including the one above — were done by Torry at

Graceful Correspondence).