Custom Photo Escort Cards for Wedding

Another pre-wedding DIY recap: Personalized photo escort cards.

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Without the invention of Etsy, Pinterest, Dropbox, Facebook, Instagram and scanners this idea would not have been possible. Also — without Lilly, who cropped and printed all the photos, Harry, who built the innovative clothes line 2 days before the wedding,  and  friends and family who went on secret missions to find photos, this idea would have only been a fun thought, not a great execution.

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It started with a pin found on Pinterest which got me thinking about photos and escort cards and then in an email to Katie, Lilly and Elizabeth on February 25, 2013, I outlined my big plan:

“OK — another long lead DIY project.

Harry thinks this is crazy, but if I get out if front of it I think I can make it happen.

The escort cards are going to be photos…So each person will find a photo of himself/herself with a table number on the back. The photos will be all sorts. In some cases a guy/girl with his date/significant other. In other cases a friend with harry or me. It doesn’t really matter. I will write the names at the top so its clear.

I have to figure out how to hang all of them, but it will be a big photo masterpiece before people start taking them…”

So it began. the Dropbox folder started to fill up with all sort of special photos from the past — from physical photos that were scanned to stalking friends on Facebook and downloading photos from their page — we searched high and low.

Next, I decided each photo would be placed in a paper Polaroid frame,  but I couldn’t imagine finding the time to cut all the frames, so to Etsy I went. Rainbow Scrapbooks delivered on my request for 200 die cut Polaroid frames.

It wasn’t until a week before the wedding that the project really started to come together. Harry and I sat at a table in his mom’s living room. He sewed bowties and I taped (double sided!) and glued photos into Polaroid frames and wrote names and table numbers. Just like hand-writing the invitation addresses (framed with a Polaroid stamp. Not sure if anyone noticed that coordination, but I loved it!), I enjoyed a small moment with each guest before the wedding. I was thinking about each of them leading up to the big day and that was very special.

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I’m not going to say it was easy — but the outcome was magical. On the morning of the wedding, Elizabeth texted that Harry had left to pick up the cupcakes (actually she texted: “The chicken has flown the coop. Bring in the noodle.”) which was my chance to hang all the photos without seeing Harry.  It dawned on me (sort of late in the week) that I wouldn’t be at cocktail hour when friends and family first discovered the photos. I was a bit disappointed, but I hung each photo with care (and urgency) and looked forward to hearing about their reactions.

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Special thanks to Jess and Jess of Paired Images for all of the wonderful photos. They captured what I didn’t get to see in person. I wonder what this idea could be in the future? What about a video or GIF of every single guest on a small screen as thin as a newspaper.

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