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11 must-haves for a classic reception your guests will always remember

Planning a wedding reception is exciting and daunting at the same time. This is the event that your guests look forward to, which demands you plan it well. When done right, wedding receptions are very memorable, and you do want your guests to remember yours fondly.

If you are a creative person, there is plenty you can do at your wedding reception. People remember unique wedding reception themes best. However, the cost climbs quickly with each idea you implement. Nonetheless, there are certain essentials for a reception, that you shouldn’t overlook. Let us look at these wedding reception essentials, that you must have to guarantee a good day.

1.An original theme

There are plenty of original ideas you can adopt for your wedding day. Nonetheless, as a couple, you should be able to identify with the theme you choose. If you think of it, certain themes are more trendy than others in each season. From the Great Gatsby theme in 2015 to vintage glamour in 2017, every year introduces us to new and interesting themes. While there is no harm in picking one of these for your wedding, ensure you do something special with it. In other ways, you should ensure you make it your own. Although you will find inspiration in magazines, on the internet or even at other weddings, try to add your unique touches to the theme you choose.

Whether it is with the color palette, patterns or details, avoid a cookie-cutter wedding by adding a personal flavor to the theme. Or better still, stay away from the trends and find a theme that reflects who you are as a couple. It could be based on your hobbies, what you like to do together or even on your loved story.

2.The perfect venue

The term “perfect” is subjective, for different factors appeal to different couples. However, let us concern ourselves with the wedding guests for now. In their eyes, the perfect venue will be easy to find, comfortable to settle into and welcoming with its ambiance and décor. This venue should also have enough space to accommodate your entire guest list. It shouldn’t be too cramped, but should have enough space for lounging, dancing and relaxing.

Apart from these factors, it is necessary that the venue match the theme of your wedding. Only then will it become the perfect backdrop for your event. Since the choicest venues tend to get booked quickly, this should be one of your priority wedding planning tasks. Start looking at potential venues as soon as you decide on your wedding theme. For more tips on choosing the right venue for your reception, visit this post on the Brides website. 

3.Delicious appetizers

A few signature appetizers are all it takes to nail that first impression. After all, the entrees give your guests a heads-up of what to expect in the food and drink department. Even while the rest of the meal is standard fare, interesting appetizers can pep up the menu. Small, bite-sized food items make a strong impression. It is also the best way to serve up your favorite dishes, if they aren’t suitable as the main course.

Don’t forget to make the presentation of your entrees impressive. This will add to its appeal, and your guests will be amazed by the attention to detail. Make the entire set-up festive and fun by adding a few unique drinks to the mix. If you want some inspiration to get the ball rolling, here are some ideas on the Brides website. 

4.Impressive décor

Your wedding reception décor creates the first impression of the event that follows. So, don’t hesitate to pull all stops to make it striking. Depending on your budget, there are different ways to bring your theme alive. The good news is that with a little research and planning, you will come across numerous options with unique personality and flavor.

While there is no harm in DIY-ing most details, it can tax you in terms to time and effort. In all-inclusive wedding packages, the décor is usually taken care of. However, you can always add your small signature touches to this, and ensure your wedding has its personal elements. If you have hired a wedding planner, you have the right person on board to guide you with the right décor that works within your budget and has the impact you desire. One important thing to remember that it is easy to go overboard or become overwhelmed with the many different options available. Stop when you find the right balance, and don’t add too many details that will simply end up being lost in the clutter.

5.Beautiful centerpieces

Centerpieces are an important element in wedding décor. However, these are also more important than most of the other items in your décor. This is because your guests will be seeing the centerpieces up close for a great part of the evening. So, the better you execute it, the more impressive it will be. While your centerpieces should follow the theme, you can also add unique touches to give it a signature effect.

Exercise your creativity and vary the designs across the tables for more appeal. Whether you choose towering centerpieces or ones that spread out, make sure the arrangement is neat and give each item its space. The centerpieces should also either be high up or below eye level, so it doesn’t obstruct the view. Finally, don’t overdo the details. Since your guests will sit close to it, it can look cluttered if there are too many details.

6.A great menu

Just as with signature appetizers, a good menu will definitely make the wedding memorable. In fact, food is one of the things that your guests will look forward to most. So, don’t disappoint. Find a caterer who consistently delivers  and has the equipment, resources and knowledge to execute your chosen menu to perfection. Don’t forget to match the food to the theme, in terms of colors, flavor or choice of dishes. This will tie it to the wedding beautifully. Also pay attention to the presentation. It doesn’t matter how tasty an item is, if it doesn’t look good it will fail to create the right impression.

Don’t forget to find the right mix of drinks for the meal you plan. Since drinks complement the meal, choose them carefully. Remember that your guests will have different palates and varying preferences. Keep this in mind and choose a variety of dishes and drinks so there is something to please everyone.

7.Great music

The entertainment for the evening can make or break your wedding reception. So, don’t skimp on this part. Whether you hire a band or a DJ, make sure you check reviews and watch a CD or attend one of their actual performances. You should be confident that they will keep the group entertained all evening long.

When hiring entertainment, also remember that your guests will be from different age groups and with varying likes and dislikes. So, plan your playlist in such a way that there is something for everyone. Mix new and fast numbers with classics, so everyone can join in the fun. Also remember that the band leader or DJ will mostly handle the announcements of the different events like cutting the cake and the first dance. Co-ordinate with this person to make sure your reception progresses as per schedule. Also discuss your specific do’s and don’ts, and ensure that the guests have a good time with no unexpected issues.

8.Exciting entertainment

Games are a great way to break the ice, and to help your guests enjoy the evening. It is also a way to get bored guests involved keep themselves busy between events. Make a list of games that will appeal to all, whether they are young or old. Consider space constraints when making your choice. While certain games like musical chairs can be played both indoors and outdoors, it requires plenty of space.

You will also have to co-ordinate with the wedding party in advance, to make sure the games progress smoothly. Brief them on what to arrange, where to be and what to do, so they know their roles. This will help the event to proceed without hitches and your guests to have fun.

9.Good service

You may have good food and a beautiful presentation, but the service matters too. Unless catering arrangements at your wedding progress smoothly and on-time, your guests may end up dissatisfied. Make sure you discuss this factor with the team in action.

If you had your guests pick their food from a pre-defined menu, make sure everything is recorded and done correctly. There may be guests with specific dietary requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure their requirements are adhered to. So, cross check this with the catering manager. Prompt and cordial service and pleasant staff will ensure your event progresses smoothly and your guests are happy with how the day turns out to be.

10.Exciting photography

After your wedding day is long gone, the photos will remind you of the fun day that it was. Have your special day documented in full style by hiring the services of an efficient and talented photographer. He should make it a point to cover all the guests at the event. This will serve as a reminder of all those who attended this important occasion in your life.

While the photography should be fun, it shouldn’t compete for time with the rest of the events. No guest will like to attend an event where they barely get to chat with the couple. Discuss this with your photographer in advance. Set up specific slots of time during the day, that you can dedicate to taking photographs. Also discuss how you want your photos to look, and your photographer can plan his shots to reflect your taste. For more ideas on what to look for in a wedding photographer, take a look at this article on the Knot. 

11.Interaction with the guests

Although it is your special day, it is essential you acknowledge all those who participate in it. Irrespective of whether a guest flew in from a faraway location for your wedding or just stepped in from next door, what matters is that they made it to your wedding. It is only right that you spare a few minutes to chat with each of them and thank them for their time and effort.

You and your spouse can simply pop by at each reception table and engage in small talk with the guests. Say your thanks, give a few compliments and be courteous. Keep it brief and move on to the next table after few minutes. You can then cover the entire lot in minimum ti e. Your guests will definitely appreciate this small dose of attention.

Planning a wedding is a detail-oriented, time-consuming and laborious task. There are several details that can make or break an entire wedding planning event. Nevertheless, with proper planning and execution a wedding can progres smoothly from start to end.

At Best for bride, we try out best to relieve the bride’s stress to a great extent by giving her all she needs for her wedding under one roof. From bridal dress collections to bridesmaids dresses, mother of the bride dresses, bridal accessories, emergency kits and more, we have all you need for your special day. Take a look at our website by clicking this link and see what we have to offer brides who are soon-to-be-married.

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What your guests will remember and quickly forget about your wedding

One of the most important things about wedding planning is ensuring a good wedding guest experience. Although the couple are the most important people on their wedding day, the event will not be a success without the co-operation of the guests at it.

Certain details matter more than others. This checklist will help you identify what will be remembered and forgotten by your wedding guests. Of the various aspects we discuss below, you may consider some of them more important than others. In fact, there is always a gray area, that some people notice while others skip. So this is up to you to identify and fix.

Those that are soon forgotten, because they weren’t worth remembering

1.Wedding invitation stationery

This is one detail that you needn’t lose sleep over or splurge too much money on. Whether you choose to amaze your guests with a stunning wedding invitation or keep it basic, the same purpose is served. Although your invitations give your guests the first idea of your wedding, they will only use it to find what they must know about your wedding. So, choose a good-looking invitation and make sure it contains relevant information about the venue, time and date. Don’t worry about the quality of paper stock or ornamentation. Take a look at this checklist on the Spruce to learn about the basic information that every invitation should have.

2.How special or expensive the linens were

Just like a beautiful invitation is just a beautiful invitation, good looking tablescapes are just that. Every bride and groom wishes to have a beautiful wedding. All the elements you choose for your décor are very important for this. However, quality linens can be very expensive, even when you rent them. As long as they are clean and crisp, we are sure none of your guests will want to know the details. It won’t matter whether your linens are made of curtain panels from thrift stores or sewn up bed sheets. Since no one else is likely to notice, it is better to invest that money in something more noticeable.

3.A super-gorgeous cake

I agree that the reveal of your wedding cake is an all-important moment. A breathtaking cake is an amazing sight. Nevertheless, spending a fortune on a gigantic cake with intricate details isn’t a great idea. Although your guests will be awed by the magnificence of it at the moment, it is unlikely that they will remember much of the details later. It is also good to remember that even the prettiest cake will quickly lose it’s charm if it doesn’t taste good. So focus on how the cake tastes instead of how it looks. Your guests are then more likely to remember the cake.

4.The guest book

Guest books and creative alternatives for it may sound interesting. However, think clearly of whether it really make a difference to your guests? Also imagine how often you are likely to use it in the future. You can of course use it as a keepsake. But I am sure you will have other things for the purpose. Your wedding album will have enough pictures to tell you who all attended your wedding. And amidst the fun of the day, it is unlikely your guests will pay attention to the beautiful guest book. They may sign in it, but not be in the mood to pore over the pretty details in it. So, save yourself the trouble and keep it simple or eliminate it altogether.

5.The bouquet toss and garter toss

Although a tradition at weddings, the bouquet toss and garter toss are two events that you can easily eliminate from your wedding timeline. It is unlikely that your guests will miss this part of the day. You can then hold on to your bouquet and preserve it or have it turn it into a wedding day keepsake. Take a look at this previous article to find out how you can do this. As for the garter toss, let’s face it. Not everyone really looks forward to seeing this bridal garment fly through the air or jump to catch it.

6.The flowers

Are you struggling with the choice between daisies and baby breath for your décor and bouquets? Well, hear this then! Half your guests are least bothered about what flowers you choose. Few years from now, all that matters will be that the floral décor and accessories look beautiful; not what it contained. Since flowers can be really expensive, consider this a sign to take it easy. Don’t use a huge chunk of your wedding budget on flowers that will last no more than a day. Your guests won’t mind, I am sure!

7.The favors

There are few wedding favors that tempt guests to save and use again. Pretty packaging is usually expensive, and ultimately is simply tossed away. Edible favors are the only exception. For your guests won’t really mind the after-party treat to enjoy at leisure. Hence, find a wedding favor with either a utilitarian aspect or make sure it is edible. Unless you do, it will likely be thrown away or confined to the depths of a closet. So, don’t sweat over this detail and just pick a gift that is reasonably priced and will be well-received.

The things that aren’t so easy to forget

1.A wonderful venue

The venue is one of the most important things that can make or break a wedding. The right venue will play up your décor, create the right ambiance for the theme and be easy to decorate. Hence it is important that you pick the right venue for your wedding day. It should easily accommodate all your guests, be easy to reach and have necessary facilities for your guests. Whether indoors or outdoors, the venue should be the right choice for the weather at the time of your wedding. So, aim for a wonderful venue that ticks all the above conditions and your guests will remember it forever.

2.A beautiful ceremony

Even in this digital age, beautiful wedding ceremonies churn up emotions and become memorable. So, plan your wedding ceremony carefully, with due attention to detail. Keep it short and sweet. Remember that you can spoil the excitement of the moment with a ceremony that drags on and on forever. Have the wedding altar decorated with care, so it is a feast for the eyes. All your guests will then look forward to making strong memories of the special moment at which you are married.

3.Well-dressed bride

Half your guests may not recognize whether you wear a ball gown or mermaid dress. Nor will they pay attention to your makeup and accessories. However this doesn’t mean you can take the dress aspect lightly. The image of a bride in her beautiful wedding dress creates a strong impact. It is instantly etched into the onlookers memories. So, settle only for a dress that looks amazing and reflects who you are as a person. This will enhance your best features. It will also make sure you are remembered as a lovely bride on the most special day in your life.

4.A fantastic meal

Food is one of the most important things that guests look forward to, at a wedding. Not only is a good meal the best way to impress your guests, it is also an option you can nail without much trouble. Plan your menu so that the dishes are enticing and appeal to most of your guests. Also make sure there is sufficient quantity to fill them up. Send your guests home happy, and the excellent meal you served at your wedding will be the talk of town in many years to come. You may like to take a look at some excellent advice on choosing your wedding menu is available here, on the Martha Stewart website. 

5.The drinks to celebrate the day

Many couples try to cut down their wedding day expenses by reducing the drinks budget. Unfortunately, weddings and booze are inseparable. Even limited quantities of booze are acceptable, as long as it is available and free. Nothing spoils a guest’s wedding experience like when they have to pay for their own drinks. Don’t forego the bar or ask your guests to pay for their drinks. Instead, take a look at these ideas on the Borrowed and Blue website to quench the thirst of your guests for less. 

6.The cute details of the day

I mentioned earlier that your guests are not likely to pay attention to the umpteen number of details you set up at your wedding. However, there is an exception. A few cute, unusual or quirky details can easily capture their attention and stay in their memories. These little details can range from customized signs to pretty buntings and personalized drinks. At least some of your guests will gush over these details, and consider these ideas of yours brilliant.

7.How good the entertainment was

Good entertainment is crucial to the success of your wedding party. Not all your guests may look forward to dancing at your wedding. Nevertheless, don’t disappoint those who do by letting your entertainment be an after-thought. There are definite benefits to choosing either a band or a DJ. From budgetary constraints to the songs that you personally prefer, you should consider various factors to make your choice between a band and DJ. More information to help you make the right choice is available in this article on the Knot

8.Your hospitality

Other details aside, your behavior on the day will greatly impact the guest experience. Your guests have traveled from far and wide to attend your special event. They expect you to welcome and acknowledge their presence. It will be a terrible disappointment if you are aloof and too engrossed in yourselves. This will certainly remain in their memories. So, don’t make this dire mistake. Extend a hearty welcome to your guests, chat with them at some point of the day and thank them for making it. Follow up with a note of thanks for their presence and their gifts. This will be greatly appreciated by them.

9.How long they can party

What is the point in planning an amazing party, if you must wind up while the guests have just started having fun? The wedding guest experience has a close link to the enjoyment they have on the day. And the longer the party goes on with amazing entertainment, the better they will remember the event. So, plan your party to give them enough time to have fun. Cut the ceremony short, but don’t compromise on the time allotted for the reception. Keep this factor in mind when choosing your entertainment and venue.

Now tell us which of these factors are most important and least important to you, in your wedding planning?

As we mentioned earlier a gorgeous bride is always a fond memory, and we have all that you need for this. Visit us in-store or online at Best for Bride for a wide selection of wedding dresses and accessories. Having been in the industry for over a decade, we have the expertise and inventory to cater to your wedding day vision to the very last detail. We also stock a wide variety of bridesmaids dress collections, dresses for the rest of the bridal party and offer a range of wedding day services. Head over to Best for Bride, the one-stop bridal destination today, and realize your wedding dreams.

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15 Important things to do in the week of your wedding

The last week leading up to your wedding will be a whirlwind of activity. This is the time when you have to complete every last detail on your wedding checklist. Since there will be plenty of work to do at this time, it is easy to forget one or more things in all the hurry.

Having seen so many brides over the years, we can understand how exhausting it is when you should finish it all and also get everything right. Fortunately, we know how to make the task easy. Here is a checklist of all the important things you should complete in the week leading up to your wedding.

Use this list to finish your tasks in a planned manner and without hassle.

1.Pick up your wedding dress

Plan your final wedding dress fitting early in the week during your wedding. This will help you ensure that the dress fits perfectly. You needn’t worry about any size changes following this session, and hence can enjoy the best possible fit. In case your dress fitting is over before this, don’t forget to try on your dress during the last week. You can do any necessary alteration if there is any change in measurement at the time. Also try the dress on with the accessories you intend to wear. This will let you see how the overall look comes together, and you can make any necessary changes.

2.Pack or prep your wedding dress

If you plan to get dressed at home, set your wedding dress on a hanger. Steam or iron the belt or sash that comes with the dress, so it looks crisp and clean. In case you should transport your wedding dress, zip it into a garment bag after ensuring all parts are perfectly packed. Check with your wedding dress boutique to find whether there are any likely issues with transporting the dress. Follow their suggestions, if any.

3.Break in your wedding shoes

Don’t wait till your wedding day to first wear your wedding shoes. Unless you break them in, wearing them on the very day can be painful. Brand new shoes pinch, cause blisters or may feel too tight. If the heel height is more than what you usually wear, it won’t be easy to dance in them. So, start using it the month before your wedding and your feet will get accustomed to the fit. In the last week, wear it for a short while every day. Wearing them in short spurts will help you break it in gradually. Get used to the heel height. Also try to dance in them. For more tips and advice on how to break your shoes in effectively, take a look at this article on the Bustle. 

4.Practice your vows

You may have written your vows already. So, now start practicing it as well. Even if you will be reading it off a piece of paper, try it out in advance. This will allow you to modulate your voice and pace your lines for the right effect. Another benefit of doing this is that it will alleviate some stress. After all, many brides become nervous when the moment finally arrives and they have to say their vows in front of all these people. Prepare yourself with the lines and you are less likely to fumble and make mistakes. Thus, you will feel calm and confident when you have to finally say it at your wedding.

5.Check and confirm with those who will speak at your wedding

This is the right time to cross-check and confirm with those who are saying the wedding speeches and toasts. A gentle reminder will be sufficient for them to get their toast ready in time for the wedding. It is a good idea to inform then of when it will be their turn to speak on the day. Long toasts and speeches are boring. So, ask them to keep it short and not longer than 5 minutes. Also limit the wedding speeches to three or four at the most, so your guests don’t feel bored.

6.Put together your wedding emergency kit

There are many things that can go wrong on your wedding day. Get ready to tackle all such issues with an emergency kit with all necessary supplies. You will have to stock items like tissues, blotting paper, chalk, safety pins, thread and needles to handle potential wedding dress issues. Apart from that you should also include your hair and makeup essentials. Smelling salts, plaster and tape are some of the other items that can come in handy. For the full list of items to have in your wedding emergency kit, visit this previous article. If you don’t want to set up your emergency kit by yourself, you can also buy it ready made. Find out all about what our emergency kit contains and how you can order it from Best for Bride here. 

7.Complete all work-related assignments

You will have to run around a lot for your wedding tasks. So, get your work out of the way before that. Complete all pending assignments and delegate responsibilities to your colleagues in-charge during your absence. Send emails to all those concerned, informing them of your non-availability during your wedding and honeymoon. Get your work things organized and in-place. Create easy to access lists and information for your co-workers, boss and subordinates, so they will not have to contact you while you are away.

8.Confirm with vendors and suppliers

Don’t wait till the day before your wedding to get in touch with your wedding vendors. Call them up early and cross-check if everything is progressing as per plan. Confirm that there are no issues and all required ingredients and materials are available. Inquire about any likely changes, and give the go-ahead only after verifying them. Confirm arrival, transportation and pick-up plans for the day. Provide a contact who they can get in touch with in case of any questions on the day. If you have a wedding planner, she will handle all this. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to verify that everything is moving smoothly.

9.Verify plans with your wedding party

Get in touch with your bridesmaids, ushers and the rest of the members in the wedding party and inform them of the wedding timeline and plans. Check and confirm that your bridesmaids have collected their dresses after necessary alterations. Also discuss their hair and makeup plans for the day. Delegate the responsibilities to the right people, so everyone is aware of what they are in-charge of. Inform them of where they have to be at different times on the day. Also discuss the details of how, where and when they should do their hair and makeup on the day. Once you do the overall planning, delegate the responsibilities to ensure each aspect is covered to your maid-of-honor, best man and bridal party.

10.Pack your overnight bag

Even if you will be getting dressed at your home, put all that you need together for easy access. Make a list of all the things you need to get ready. This should also include your change of clothes, an extra pair of shoes, your emergency kit and other essentials. Then pack a bag with these items and put it away safely. Once you have this ready, simply pull it out when it is time to go. You need not worry about searching for all you need at the last minute.

11.Pack your honeymoon bag

Pack all that you need for your honeymoon in the week before your wedding. Depending on the location, make a list of the different things you have to carry. Then pack these items into your bag. If your honeymoon is abroad, don’t forget to pack your passport and other travel documents. When you get everything ready in advance, you are less likely to forget any essential detail. For new clothes, shoes and other items, get rid of the tags and price stickers before packing them in.

12.Confirm the guest head count

This is the right time to ensure that your seating arrangement is done properly and that there are no changes to plan. If someone has failed to RSVP, reach out to them to find out if they are attending or not. You can make suitable last-minute changes to the seating plan if there is a difference in head count. Share this information with your caterer, venue manager and wedding planner, once the list is ready. If you have asked guests to make a choice from the menu options, this is also the time to follow up with those who haven’t responded already. Your vendors and caterers will need such information to plan their work for the day.

13.Prep your home

There will be people visiting you during the week before your wedding. So, get it ready for hosting, in advance. Do a deep clean, put everything in its right place and neatly arrange your house. Have your kitchen stocked with easy-to-prepare meals, for days that do not go as planned. Plan your outfits for the week, so you can dress quickly and efficiently. If there are items that are to be stored away safely, put them away now and you needn’t worry about them when you have to lock and go. Hire help if necessary, for the cleaning, maintenance and any other essential tasks. Also identify the zones where you will be taking photographs on the wedding day, and set them up neatly and as preferred so they are ready for pictures.

14.Get your mani/pedi and confirm hair and makeup appointments

You should do your manicure and pedicure closer to the wedding day, for best results. So, schedule your appointment just a day or two before the wedding. Make sure it doesn’t clash with any of the remaining wedding plans. You will have to spend at least an hour at the salon for this purpose. Decide on how you want your nails to look for the occasion. Here are some ideas on the Huffington Post.  This will prevent you from randomly picking it up and later regretting the choice. Book your appointment at the salon in advance. If you will be using a hairdresser or makeup artist for your wedding, double-check your booking details to avoid confusion on the day.

15.Brief your maid-of-honor or wedding planner on wedding day responsibilities

You do not want to spend your time overseeing every detail on your wedding day, when you ought to actually have fun. So, assign all responsibilities to a capable person or persons. Discuss factors like what to do with the décor after the function, how to handle vendor payments, what to do with your wedding dress etc. Give clear instructions on each aspect that is important. You can thus minimize their need to consult you with questions on the day. Do a double check of your wedding checklist and make sure everything has been handled.

Wedding planning is strenuous and can overwhelm every bride at some point or the other. To avoid drowning in the stress, it is wise to chalk out time for yourself during the wedding planning process. Also, don’t forget to enjoy every milestone you cross. Finding the perfect wedding dress is a big achievement in your wedding planning, and we can help you with this. Visit Best for Bride for the latest and most modern as well as classic bridal dress collections. Apart from that, also browse through our bridesmaids dress collections, wedding accessories collection and more to jump start your wedding planning today.