#McMillion Wedding: Seating charts, placecards, centerpieces and more saints

by Emily McFarlan Miller

Joel and I will be married a year this month. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. At the same time, I can’t believe we’ve condensed everything that’s happened since into 365 days — not even! Needless to say, I’ve been thinking about all those things, all those other things we’ve learned and the party that started it all. And while the marriage part is the most important (and I have the privilege of sharing some of that now on Start Marriage Right), I thought I would share a little bit of the wedding part here this month.

Enjoy the wedding. Love the marriage.

Joel and I always have loved to throw a party, and, to us, a party means three things: Way too much food, a bonfire and saints candles.

The saints candles became a party staple after Joel, his roommate Keith and I once went to the grocery story for ice cream and came back with the fixings for a four-course dessert dinner and a couple candles, including “The Alleged Money-Drawing Candle” (That’s really what it says). These candles were at every grocery store in Joel’s very Mexican neighborhood, and I loved them.

Our wedding was our biggest and best party yet, and that meant three things: Way too much food, a bonfire and saints candles.

The Berghoff helped us accomplish the first, with three Chicago neighborhood-themed food stations (including a Logan Square station with Mexican food). Promontory Point, our reception site, had us at “fire pit.”

We already had included the saints in our Catholic prayer card save-the-dates, custom-printed for us by Customized Catholic Prayer Cards (who could not have been more prompt and affordable and easy to work with!). Our church, where the ceremony was held, also already was pretty saintly.

So we incorporated that into our reception by assigning our tables saints, rather than numbers. That meant a different saint candle in each centerpiece (1), and a matching prayer card from Customized Catholic Prayer Cards at each place setting (2). We made saints candles as gifts for each of our bridesmaids and groomsmen, which marked their seats at the head table, along with prayer cards that read, “All You Holy Saints Of God, Pray For Us.” Joel created our seating chart in Photoshop (3), listing each saint, his or her patronage and the guests at his or her table under the very liturgical heading, “Please be seated.” I used Sticky Dots to glue each prayer card above each table list and snapped it all together with a cheap, plastic, craft-store frame.

We tied the whole Mexican-saints theme together with papel picado banners ordered from Casa Bonampak. We cut apart and set yellow banners under our centerpieces and strung white ones around the reception venue.

One more of those banners:

Place card favors (also featured on seating chart): Customized Catholic Prayer Cards.
Saint candles: Various Mexican grocers around Chicago.
Papel picado banners: Casa Bonampak.
Cake topper: Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Read all posts in the “#McMillion Wedding” series here.

Photo credit: All wedding photos by the incomparable Shauna Bittle. Squiggles divider by IROCKSOWHAT.