All eyes will be on you, so it'll be a huge shocker when you go from a classic wedding dress for the ceremony to a shorter, flirtier dress at the reception. In addition or instead, a celebratory reception may be held partway through or at the end of an exhibition run. Grab guests' attention as soon as they arrive at the cocktail hour by having drinks and hors d'oeuvres displayed on colorful trays or even placed along the shelves of a makeshift bookcase-turned-bar. Ask your florist about setting up a make-your-own-flower station: Put out some sturdy blooms like spray roses or mums, supply lots of colorful ribbons and pins, and add labels with easy-to-follow instructions. Even better: Stage your own mini parade by passing out parasols and noisemakers for your guests to escort you to your getaway car. The 46th President of the United States of America proposed five times. If you honestly can't imagine changing out of your wedding dress, make other changes: Let down your hair, switch your shoes, or add a few new pieces of jewelry. We have a few sweet ideas that will hopefully raise a smile with your guests and allow you to graciously make your preference for money as a wedding gift clear – use these word-for-word or to get your creative juices flowing! For a fresh twist on the hot photo booth trend, rent a video booth where guests can record a quick on-screen message for you. These "live escort cards" walk guests to their tables for an upscale restaurant experience. And just because it's before noon doesn't mean you can't have a wedding cake. Did we leave any 80s weddings reception songs off of this list? The average cost of having a band at your reception was $3,094. New wedding songs can be complicated if you have multiple generations at your wedding reception. Say your vows at sunrise with a breakfast spread to follow, or have a brunch-inspired reception any time of day. The average cost of having a band at your reception was $3,094. Picking a Wedding Venue. Once you have a plan for your out-of-the-box wedding reception ideas, search out the right vendors in your area to help you bring it to life. Guests will love this colorful wedding idea. One word: frittatas. If you'd like it to be more of a breakfast, 9 a.m. is usually the earliest starting time to consider. Your oversized clunker from high school might actually look pretty cool decked out with streamers and a "just married" sign. Since musical entertainment is usually a big part of a wedding reception, the question is whether you'll shell out for a band or decide to save by going with a DJ. READ MORE: How to Plan a Wedding for £3,000 A simple wedding money poem can be a cute, polite and less direct way of asking for cash for your wedding gift. Or, have a fleet of waiters standing at the entrance, drink trays in hand, ready to greet guests at the door. Helpful 59 Not Helpful 17. Let us know in the comments section below! This is also a great chance to bust a move to your favorite childhood song and even do some fun choreography.​. Your wedding reception will be one of the most important and memorable events of your life. Just don't serve anything too strong—try mimosas or fruit-infused iced teas they can sip before taking their seats (and don't forget to have nonalcoholic versions too). be present at your wedding? Everybody wants to dance at your wedding but coaxing those first few couples onto shake their nerves is sometimes a little bit of a stubborn process. When it comes to your wedding, timing is everything! Don't forget morning favorites, like Bloody Marys, mimosas, screwdrivers, mint juleps, punch, tequila sunrise (grenadine, tequila and orange juice), Bellinis or champagne with a few berries dropped in. Take a sneak peek at the hottest engagement ring trends for 2021 you can shop now—including the new "it" gemstone. For an extra-special touch, outfit your booth with themed props (snorkel gear and an under-the-sea backdrop for a summer wedding, opera masks and monocles for a formal affair, etc.) Special thanks to Amy Nichols of Amy Nichols Special Events in San Francisco; Josh Brooks of Fete in New York; Thomas Bui of Thomas Bui Lifestyle in San Diego; Melina Dreyfuss and Dawn Van Dyke of DM Events in New York; Vicki Grafton of My Simple Details in Washington, DC; Emilia Jane of Sweet Emilia Jane in Los Angeles; Kristen Jensen of Sugar Rush Events in San Francisco; Lauren Knuepfer of LK Events in Chicago; Claudine Ursino of La Belle Soiree Event Planning in Seattle; and Claire Weller of Big City Bride in Chicago. And for a summer outdoor ceremony in the afternoon, provide a station with spray-on sunscreen and a stack of inexpensive sunglasses. It's full of vegetables so it appeals to the health conscious and can be prepared with delicious cheeses and herbs." If it's an outdoor wedding, create custom signs as pointers for guests ("this way to the cocktail hour" or "wedding this way"). For a more formal atmosphere, go for fine china, champagne and a three-course meal. Your first dance will be one of the highlights of your wedding, so add this extra-special touch to up the entertainment factor (and make for some serious photo ops). In springtime, a tented garden soiree or a restaurant's rooftop are both beautiful ways to celebrate in the newly warm weather. Want a packed dance floor? According to James Beard Award–winning chef and restauranteur Rocco DiSpirito, this Italian vegetable-and-egg dish is all the rage. Then, post your other favorite video "confessions" on your wedding website and encourage guests to check them out in your thank-you notes. Make sure you create an experience that showcases your unique style and taste. Come up with a wedding exit that'll get guests talking. And, of course, include delicious nonalcoholic breakfast beverages such as coffee (Americano, cafe au lait, espresso, cappuccino or Thai iced coffee), tea, (black, green, mint, spiced, chai, chamomile, Earl Grey and English breakfast), fresh juices, hot chocolate and fruit smoothies. The message will be clear: It's time to party. 4. This will help you notice any potential issues ahead of time. Maybe your car-obsessed uncle would be willing to play driver for the night in exchange for showing off his ridiculously cool Mustang. If you've arranged bus or shuttle transportation, have a favor waiting on board for guests. Instead, bring out tea and coffee, and if guests want more alcohol, have them find their own at a bar in the venue. 30. When choosing a brunch spot, remember to see it during the time of day you're planning your reception—ask yourself, is it dark and depressing due to a lack of windows? The 46th President of the United States of America proposed five times. Justine served as an Editorial and Community Assistant and Assistant Editor for The Knot. Instead of a paper card that'll get lost or thrown away, upgrade your escort cards to something worth keeping (or eating). Instead of muffins and croissants, feature orange-scented scones and walnut banana bread. You may also be able to donate your flowers, your extra food or even your wedding dress after your event. (Seriously, if your reception is a meal other than dinner, and you’re not planning on hanging out with your guests later, please build room in your budget to take yourselves out to a lovely meal somewhere.) Start your wedding … Who doesn't love a spread of crave-worthy brunch fare? Instead of just hitting the bar next door when your reception venue closes, plan a true post-wedding bash for you and your hardest-partying guests. Imagine the looks on your guests' faces when you and your pops break into a hip-hop routine mid-father-daughter dance. Also consider the time of year. If I were a DJ, these are EXACTLY the party songs I would be playing. A wedding is a ceremony where two people are united in marriage. At the most formal dinner parties, the dinner is served on a dining table with place settings.Dinner parties are often preceded by a cocktail hour in a living room or bar, where guests drink cocktails while mingling and conversing. Instead of scraping your dance altogether, why not choose a sibling or two (or all of them) and bring them out on the dance floor with you? 2. Not sure where to begin with your wedding planning? To make this great wedding reception idea come true, stuff personalized tote bags with mini bottles of bubbly or a six-pack of a local microbrew, a gift certificate to your favorite local coffee shop and an individual "Welcome!" Per person cost versus a reception: very high. Kimberly Mufferi Photography. Your guests' stomachs may not be ready to handle heavy food right away. My daughter and son-in-law had a justice of the peace perform the ceremony. to get your guests in the mood; then be sure to send them a copy of their photo in your thank-you note. Wedding venues are typically booked 1-2 years in advance, though some only need a few months’ notice. Or, if it'll suit your wedding style, get nostalgic with some charming yellow school buses. Instead of just hitting the bar next door when your reception venue closes, plan a true post-wedding bash for you and your hardest-partying guests. Consider more abundant healthful or vegetarian offerings, like fruit yogurt, egg-white omelets, gourmet pizza, poached salmon, vegetable tarts, grilled veggie sandwiches, whole-grain baked goods and salad nicoise. A brunch can still be festive (think brightly colored flowers and mimosas), but it probably won't include a crazy dance party. Whether it is the overall décor, an outdoor or inside setting, wedding party ideas can provide special moments for you and your guests. Ask your videographer to edit some of the best clips into your wedding video. And for extra flair, customize the ride by playing fun music or decking out the bus with a sign that reads, "Sarah and John's wedding or bust!". We're not saying you should spend a gazillion dollars on a 20-foot-tall floral arrangement, but first impressions are important, so take time to think out the entrance to your reception. Here are few tips for throwing a fabulous brunch reception your guests will be talking about forever. For example, use recyclable dishware for your meals, skip the fireworks, and purchase carbon offsets for all your guests who traveled to your ceremony. Send guests home feeling taken care of by having your valets place small favors or end-of-the-night snacks in guests' cars before handing over the keys. My daughter and son-in-law had a justice of the peace perform the ceremony. Grilled veggies are a tasty alternative. No valets? Photographer. Celebrate your nuptials with French toast and mimosas. Make your guests feel like VIPs with welcome bags that go beyond a map and a few snacks. Put out baskets of flip-flops (in your wedding colors, of course) so guests can take their shoes off. "I always was curious: What would I say when I'm proposed to?". Serving brunch is one of the most cost-effective receptions you can have: They can range in price from $20 per head and up, depending on the menu and the site you choose. Your guests will be so impressed. Here are some things to do instead of a wedding reception. Go light on the liquor, and if you'd like to serve it, consider offering it after some food has been eaten. Or put out silver trays with engraving pens so guests can carve a lasting message on a useful keepsake for you. 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