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The 9 Finishing Touches that Make All the Difference on Your Wedding Day

The 9 Finishing Touches that Make All the Difference on Your Wedding Day

“Faith makes all things possible. Love makes all things easy, ” wrote Dwight Moody, though if you’re currently planning a wedding, then “easy” may be the last word on your mind. A Zola survey of 500 engaged or newlywed couples showed that around 71 percent of couples found wedding planning more nerve-wracking than other major life events, including finding a job. Weddings necessitate a host of planning for everything from the site for your ceremony to your decor, reception venue, wedding meal, and flowers. The key to beating stress is planning… setting a schedule and listing down all the significant bookings you need to make while also scheduling time to prepare the little details that will make your wedding memorable. Below are just a few “extras” worth thinking through so your big day can be everything you dreamed of.

Lighting Up Your Reception

One of the hottest trends in outdoor weddings is the boho-chic style, which marries effortless beachy vibes to 1970s fabrics (think Guipure lace for a wedding dress or macramé hanging art for a wedding table on the beach). Lighting is critical to getting the laid-back vibe right. As such, savvy wedding planners are creating beautiful string light installations that make for beautiful aerial shots by night. The colour of the lights is an important consideration to keep in mind when creating mood. For extra warmth and romance, go for golden rather than white lights and consider the use of fire for vivid illumination.

Hang beautiful lanterns from the different branches of an old tree, choosing varied lantern shapes (including round, oblong, and star-shaped lanterns). Add dynamic lighting into the equation with candles at the primary and auxiliary tables and pretty outdoor fire pits, which are perfect for garden weddings. Equally popular are neon signs with romantic, love-centred messages. Imagine a “living green wall” topped with a neon sign in a cute font spelling out the title of your favourite song or a line from a meaningful poem.

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Music that Lifts the Mood

Nothing gets an audience onto the dance floor as efficiently as a live band. According to Wedding Wire, a live wedding band typically charges from $3000 to $6500 in the U.S., with most couples spending about $4500. Because bands can be considered a significant investment, you must pick one whose style and typical playlists you love instead of trying to please all your guests. Usually, seasoned wedding bands create playlists that everyone enjoys, and they know how to keep crows on the floor, but you can also arrange for them to sing the songs that are part of your history with your fiancée. Before making your choice, check out your chosen band’s Instagram page, their promotional videos and reviews other clients have written about them. Wedding bands typically play for only two hours. Therefore, you can fill the remaining hours with great music and party classics. For something extra special, involve your guests in creating your playlist. When you send the invitation, ask them to send in song suggestions and aim to play at least one song from every invitee’s list.

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Serenading Your Guests’ Sense of Smell

Smell has a powerful effect on mood. For instance, studies have shown that therapeutic-grade essential oils like lavender and chamomile have a lovely calming effect that will help the new couple and guests feel relaxed and energized. If part of your reception will take place indoors, diffuse these fragrant oils through the reception hall. You can also add a beautiful fresh smell outdoors with the help of lavender and other fragrant flowers. Choosing your fragrance adds meaning to your special day, as well. You can go for light aromas (with fruity and white flower notes) or more powerful notes (like sandalwood and patchouli). As recommended by Fragrance Affection, wearers should always select the fragrance that goes best with their personality. When doing so, ensure your skin is free of other smells and avoid rubbing perfume into the skin (as it will immediately dissipate the top notes). Feel free to spritz your favourite perfume onto your hair and layer up different versions of the same scent.

Adding Texture to Your Wedding Decor

Texture is trending again in interior and exterior design, reports The Spruce, with textures taking over everything from small accessories such as pillows to more extensive features like furniture and even walls. Texture adds depth to your wedding decor and pampers your guests’ sense of touch. Many reasonably priced items can achieve this aim. For instance, you can use hammered metals for table vases, candlesticks, and charger plates. You can also layer up different rugs (these make an excellent backdrop for photos, especially if you add chic elements like throw blankets, embroidered and other textured cushions, and Moroccan pouffes) and place them in the garden or a free green zone in your reception venue. Natural materials are perfect for adding the kind of texture that guests enjoy touching. You can use cotton paper, ribbons, and wax seals for your wedding invitations. Some invitations have elaborate paper carvings, stones, and pearl decorative elements. You can keep it simple yet fun to touch by relying on techniques like engraving and embossing and materials like kraft and wood-grain paper, which give invitations a rustic feel.

bridal decor

Taste Temptations for Guests

Donut walls are a popular and Instagrammable feature that millennial (and younger) generations rely on to tantalize guests’ taste buds with something “extra sweet.” However, you can take taste sensations way beyond a food wall without ruining your budget. Healthy ideas include a “help yourself fruit bar,” featuring an array of seasonal, organic fruits and small baskets guests can fill up as they return home. You can embellish the fruits with stickers of yourself as well as funny sayings like “You’re berry special,” “We make a great pear,” “I cherry-ish you,” or “You’ve got a peach of my heart.” When receptions go all night, soup bars can also be very welcoming to guests. Around three or four hours after the main dinner, they may feel pecking again, so if you are celebrating an outdoor event during a fantastic month, a soup bar with warm bread will hit the spot. You can have more than one food corner. A few treats to set up on a cool reclaimed wood table include pizza, English-style high tea sandwiches, and a barrel filled with beer. How does an endless tray of tacos and condiments sound if you are into Mexican food? Guests will never feel hungry and have all the energy they need to keep rocking for hours.

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A Sweets Buffet

Not everyone is into the wedding cake, but some of your guests who forego a slice may still have a sweet tooth. You can set up a table and top it with around ten small barrels filled with sweets guests can help themselves to, buffet-style. Your buffet can include dried fruits, cotton candy in different colours of the rainbow, s’mores ingredients and utensils (including wooden sticks, marshmallows, Graham crackers, and chocolate) that guests can use to toast over a fire. Currently trending are popcorn buffets featuring buckets of popcorn in various flavours—such as caramel, cinnamon, blue raspberry, apple pie, and strawberry. Next to this table, you can have a multi-layered pyramid structure with a host of colourful cocktails and mocktails.

restaurant wedding reception table

Cocktail Pairings Guests Will Love

Whether you are throwing a rustic-style wedding or one that oozes sophistication, entice guests from the moment of your welcome cocktail with cute pairings that appear together on a tray. Think a tasty provolone toast with a small glass of Malbec wine, sliders and craft beer, nachos and margaritas, sushi and sparkling wine, chocolate and mescal, or salmon blinis and Champagne. The key is to make everything bite-size so that guests have enough room to try a few combinations while still having enough room for the main meal

Adding Interactive Elements to Your Reception

If you asked a typical wedding guest what they most enjoyed about weddings, they would probably answer “the party,” “meeting new people,” and “dancing the night away.” Of course, couples probably most value the moment they exchange rings and the seconds when their lips first meet as a married couple. Wedding speeches, too, add a romantic air to their event. However, to keep guests involved and engaged, aim to put them under the spotlight by including interactive experiences they can be part of. One example of how to keep them occupied and moving is a photo booth. Create a cute cut-out frame, props, and signs, and spend a few dollars on vintage and secondhand disguises, outfits, funny wigs, and mustaches. If possible, have a dedicated photographer snap the pics and email them to guests later. You can include all these fun snaps on your wedding site and ask guests to use a dedicated hashtag (it can have your name and your wedding date—for instance, #samsasha5423) when they upload images from your wedding onto Instagram or other social media sites.

Outdoor wedding reception

Fun Outdoor Games

If you will be celebrating an outdoor wedding, get ready to add fun via games and competitions. The games can begin as early as when you and your new spouse are having photographs taken. The list of activities can include Jenga (place this on tables in the cocktail area of your reception), oversized Connect Four, ring tosses, croquet, bocce ball, giant chess or checkers, and even reception table games, which can serve as icebreakers. These work exceptionally well in tables where people may not know each other well. Finally, you can make a test filled with trivial questions about you as a couple. It can include questions such as, “Where did we first meet?” “What’s X’s favourite band?” “Where did they have their first kiss?” and similar. The table (or person) that gets the most answers right can take home a special prize. Another great game is a picture scavenger hunt. Ask guests to use their phones to photograph specific items/events on a list. These can include entries like “Capture a couple that is not the bride and groom kissing,” “Take a selfie of your entire table,” or “Take a picture of someone pulling a silly face.” Once again, there should be prizes for the winners to encourage the most competitive guests to give it their all.

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board game wedding game

After a couple of years’ hiatus, the wedding industry is back on a big day, and the time for tiny, intimate, sparse weddings is over. It’s about creating carefully planned celebrations again, where guest lists are sometimes ampler, and no detail is spared. After all, we live in the age of Instagram, one in which your food, decor, and special touches will feature not only in your wedding albums and videos but also on social media for all the world to see. There are many ways that you can make your wedding unforgettable. When doing so, think of ways to pamper your guests’ senses. Their sense of sight, for instance, will appreciate beautiful lighting features and fire. Their sense of hearing, meanwhile, will benefit from a talented band that pulls out all the stops when it comes to getting every pair of feet onto the dance floor. Then there is the sense of touch. Texture up your reception area so it doesn’t fall flat. Finally, cater to their sense of taste by ensuring they have a myriad of delicious snacks and sweets they can peck on when hunger sets in, many hours after the main meal is over.

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