Peter Andrew Ryan

Fall 2012 Organize Your Wedding Concept, Web App Design & Development

In the months leading up to our wedding, we were well on our way to knocking out most of the remaining items on our checklist, but one of the big tasks looming on the horizon was creating a seating chart. It seemed like a process that we wanted to get started on early, but also one that would frequently change as we received RSVPs. We considered the "post-it note on a bulletin board" method, but wanted something more flexible that we could reference and change when we weren't at home, and something that could actually result in an easy-to-read list for our venue.

There were a few online solutions, but they required paying extra for the seating chart tool, as well as a lot of initial setup. So why not just create something custom that did exactly what we wanted? Our guests' info was already in a Google sheet, so importing it into a new database was pretty trivial (since then, NPR has streamlined this process even further).

The dashboard gives an overview of upcoming events, milestones, and todos.

And once our guests' info was in a database, other possibilities starting opening up, and I started thinking about other tools we could have used earlier in our planning stages. In the end, I was able to use my FRAME web app framework to create an array of tools including searchable and sortable guest and vendor databases, a calendar and associated todos, a budget calculator, and a drag and drop seating chart tool.

The budget recalculates in real time.

Each list in the system is catered to show pertinent information at first glance, but are fully searchable and sortable by a wider variety of options.

The seating chart allowed us to drag and drop attending guests into tables, and subsequently drag and drop the tables themselves to arrange them into their final configuration. At any point, the "grid" view could also be viewed as ordered list for quick reference or printing. Like most of the features, this began as very bare-bones, functional tool that evolved as my (then) fíance and I, the actual users, could better define our needs.

The feature we actually and truly used to create our seating chart.

Once our wedding actually happened, development on this app slowly ceased. I toyed with the idea of continuing to grow it for a wider audience, but time did not allow for the upkeep needed to make that happen. However, it was incredibly gratifying to build something that was designed for our needs and actually helped us accomplish a goal.