A vibrant display of gem shapes cut from clear Lucite (I Love Lucite made these, 310-966-0740) show guests where they are seated. Cover them with calligraphed photography gels cut to fit, then hang with fishing line from a rod near your reception space -- the closer the better, so loved ones don't forget where to sit.
Instead of place cards, opt for this unique idea: String metal trinkets and hand-punched name tags onto ribbons, then tie them around napkins to be laid at each spot. After dinner, guests can wear them as bracelets.
The best part about this display is it doubles as decoration. Once attendees slide off the papers bearing their table numbers, the ribbons remain as cheery party streamers (we used M&J Trimming 1-inch Chromspun ribbon).
To hang them, loop one end over a dowel suspended from the ceiling; secure with a dot of glue. You can also drape them from tree branches or tack them to a wall. (One crafting tip: Be sure the slits in the cards are a smidge wider than the ribbon -- otherwise they won't slip down easily.)
These tiny chairs may be too small for sitting, but they are the perfect size for displaying guests' names and table numbers. The seats are made from heavyweight paper -- we used pale yellow for ladies and pale green for gents -- and can be calligraphed or run through a printer. Tidy rows, however, won't stay that way if a breeze blows by, so make this an indoor display.
For a rustic autumn wedding, craft-punched bright paper leaves bearing guests' names transform bare branches into majestic trees; we cut slits into the branches with a craft knife and then slid in the leaves.
Mega giant oak leaf, maple leaf, and birch leaf punches, by The Punch Bunch, from Scrappily Ever After.