The Layout and Guest Seating Tool is one of the most sought after features that comprehensively meets all of your planning and design needs! This feature will help you envision space in a whole new way and arrange guests in a snap. In today's Q&A, Penny Baird from Blessed Magnolia talks about how she uses the Layout & Guest Seating Tool in her business. Penny says, "Understanding all the tools that Aisle Planner has to offer is my great honor so I can help other wedding professionals make the most of this platform!"
1. What are your top tips and tricks for using the Layout, Guest List, and Seating Tools? Are there any special and innovative ways you use them?
In the Layout Tool, I really love to use all of the items in the library to help make the layout as visual as possible for my clients. When drawing a ceremony area, if we're doing an altar, I'll draw a placeholder for the altar and fill in the color with that of the actual altar. If the ceremony is outdoors on grass, I like to fill in the color for the grass. If there are trees that would be behind the altar, then I would draw those by using the large plant item in the library and adding as many as needed to help with the visual element. I enjoy using the move to the front/back tool as well when drawing in the Layout Tool. It's truly helpful when you're drawing a colored background for the layout to sit on top of. It is also helpful when using specialty tables and wanting to add specialty chairs and you want to send them to the back of the table.
2. What are your favorite things about these tools and why?
I was sold on Aisle Planner from the first moment I explored all it could do. However, as someone that loves logistics, it was missing the layout feature. When that feature came to the platform, it was a game-changer for me. I dove in and learned everything that Aisle Planner had to offer. I love being able to stay in Aisle Planner and show my clients their layout, make changes to the flow if they are undecided, and add or take away all without having to change to a different website, screen, or tool.
The seating chart is totally awesome. I love that once you mark your RSVPs, you can then just start dropping and dragging names to tables. What I love even more is sitting with a couple and doing it together. The look on their face when they see how easy this process can be is worth it all the time. I once had a client that was a COVID-19 redo, and they had their original table seating chart prior to hiring a planner. They had all the sticky flags and table charts and were doing it all by hand. We sat there and in a matter of 30 minutes had all the guests seated, along with a color-coded meal chart that we could give to the caterer. They were in awe!
3. How do your clients feel about these tools? What's their experience like?
Many of my clients are full-service clients, therefore, they don't typically do much work in Aisle Planner. However, those that are partial planning clients have enjoyed the ease at which they were able to do RSVPs and seating charts once we walked through a quick tutorial.
4. How do you use the Layout Tool in conjunction with venues? What do you wish more pros/ venues knew about the benefits of this tool?
I like to draw or input all my layouts under the templates. This way when I have a couple using that venue, I can show up prepared to our meeting with the layout in hand and start working on the design of table placement right away. This has really helped my clients understand that I am experienced and that they have made the right choice in selecting me as their planner.
5. How do you customize the Layout Tool by using the Style Menu, Color Picker, Drawing Tool, etc.?
I customize the tool by drawing text boxes to give descriptions of what I am drawing. For example, for a cake table I like to change the font type, size, and usually make it bold. I use the color picker when I have a broken wall that I plan to use as a divider from one room to another, I like to draw that one wall with a different color than the others.
6. How do you use the Guest Manager to maximize the organization of your guest list, guest seating, and overall planning?
I use the Guest Manager tool to help my clients visually see where their guests will be seated in relation to their seats. It truly helps them visualize when they are trying to be sure that they have their family close or bridal party when they don't have a head table.
Take a look at one of Penny's layout designs below:
Need help getting started? Check out An Intro to Aisle Planner Layouts & Seating.