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New Wedding Reception Ideas & Trends Your Guests Will Love

There’s always a new trend around the corner that could make your wedding reception become a memorable affair. Frequently, you don’t have to go big, make it extravagant, or even spend a mint. There are tons of fun and new wedding reception ideas and trends could be right up your alley. Read on for our take on some themes, trends, and Knick Knacks that are sure to enhance your special day and your guests experience.

Add Some Flair to Your Programs

Wedding days tend to provide guests with considerable amounts of free time. Whether it is the anticipation of the ceremony or the sometimes awkward timing before the reception, your guests are likely to have some “free” time throughout the day. Providing programs with some added flair is an excellent way to make those periods of time more exciting and enjoyable.

Blank notebook and wild flowers on blue wooden background. Concept flowers of spring,

Adding fun facts about the couple or ceremony location, introducing the wedding party, outlining the event schedule, and adding any fun tidbits, are creative ways to make the experience feel more personalized. It’s also a great conversation starter for family and guests that want to get to know one another. You’re also more likely to have guests taking pictures of your program and sharing fun with non-attendees.

Create Small Knick Knacks For Your Guests to Use or Keep

It goes without saying that the Bride is always the most important attendee at any given wedding. That being said, there are plenty or small ways to make your guests feel truly appreciated and more involved in the event.

Confetti in wedding thrown on the floor, celebrations and events

Providing to-boxes for leftovers or cake, personalized coasters to leave on drinks while dancing, or customized guest lists based seating arrangements to help people get to know each other, all make for great ways to make guests feel the love too. Going the extra mile to enhance your guests experience will make for an even more memorable reception. Make sure to add your wedding hashtag on these types of items so your guests can share their memories on social media!

Make Memories That Last a Lifetime

Hire a photographer that knows how to mix and mingle with the guests to take some candid shots. Nothing is staged here. These photos show the two sets of grandparents toasting each other. They show the bridesmaids and ring bearer flossing. Ask the pro to customize the borders of the pictures to spell out your wedding details.

The photos are printed out throughout the night and placed on a board. Guests can walk right up and take the images that they want. If there’s a shot you want but someone else snapped up, don’t worry! These photos also go on a website for downloading and social media sharing. To make it even more fun, all guests can use a special app that allows all images taken to be easily shared on social media. Now your wedding hashtag can truly go viral!

Skip the Restaurant and Invite the Food Vendors

Artisans from the local bakery bring the bread. The lady with the delicious cheeses at the farmer’s market stand brings some of her wares. The mom and pop restaurant with the fiery spaghetti alla puttanesca provides an experience worthy of its Napoli origins. The ice cream vendor whom you always see when you walk the dog? Invite him, too! He’ll bring the dessert. Now, that’s a party!

 

Encourage Guests to Bring Their Best Friends

No, we’re not talking about the plus-one option on the RSVP card. This best friend is the canine companion they refer to as a fur baby. If you and your significant other met in a setting that involved dogs, this is an ideal way of honoring the memory and giving the nod to the canine that brought you together.

Go wild, and encourage guests to dress up their dogs. Keep it low-key and merely let friends and family members bring their best friends as they see fit. Just be sure to provide plenty of water bowls, treats, and a designated area for doggies to do their business.

Incorporate Your Hobbies into the Party

The standard reception includes a meal, some toasts, and dancing. What would happen if you made your favorite hobby the backdrop to the standard? Are you and your love members of a roller skating team? Have the event at the roller skating rink! Did you meet at an indoor trampoline park? They have party rooms!

Wedding guests are enjoying a dance while the father of the bride plays piano music.

Just Have Fun!

In short, make the party a fun event for participants of all ages. Just be sure to let folks know if they need to bring special footwear or should pack a change of clothes. After all, nobody wants to jump on a trampoline in a long evening dress.

With so many new wedding reception ideas and trends, there’s no reason to do the same old routine. Forget the chicken or steak dinner and let’s party like you mean it!

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The In-Depth Guide To Planning a Restaurant Wedding: 16 Secrets No One Will Tell You About

The In-Depth Guide To Planning a Restaurant Wedding

Restaurant weddings are smart and sensible! It is no wonder that more and more couples choose their favourite restaurants as their wedding reception venue. The interesting thing is that it is not only food-lovers who make this choice. Many couples nowadays prefer a small, intimate and meaningful wedding ceremony and reception instead of a big bash where they hardly know all the guests. Restaurants are a likely choice for such couples as well.

Here are some of the other reasons why restaurant weddings are so attractive.

It is the best option for those who are short on time:

It is an easy go-to solution for a couple who are short on time or aren’t too keen on planning every small detail of their wedding day. So, if you are a bride or groom who has many pressing needs at work or otherwise, and fitting in wedding plans is nearly impossible, a restaurant wedding may be the easiest option available.

Budget-friendly options:

Restaurant weddings cost a lot lesser than weddings at other venues when you want good quality service and food for a smaller number of guests. Hiring a wedding venue, renting or buying all the things for the reception, hiring catering and serving staff, and planning all the décor can be very expensive and take over most of your budget. When you choose a restaurant, the décor is done and there is no need to rent furniture, linens, or tableware. All that’s needed for the service is available and you do not have to hire extra staff.

beach wedding decor
Continue reading The In-Depth Guide To Planning a Restaurant Wedding: 16 Secrets No One Will Tell You About
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10 smart ways to save on your reception cost

church wedding

Your wedding reception will take over a big part of your wedding budget. With many things to rent for the occasion, from the décor to the tableware and seating, it will all quickly add up and cost a lot. While there is no way you can escape from setting aside money for your reception, there are some smart ways in which you can have a fantastic reception without breaking the bank. This is what we will look at today.

Read on for 10 tips on how to save as much as is possible on your reception cost.

1.Choose one venue for both the ceremony and reception

church wedding

One of the best ways to reduce your overall reception expense, is to choose a single venue for both the wedding ceremony and reception. There are many benefits of choosing this option and they include the following

  • You have more flexibility in timing, as you do not have to account for the transportation time between the two venues
  • There is no need for additional transport arrangements to help guests travel to the reception venue, from the wedding venue
  • Guests will be happier if everything is staged at a single venue, as the likelihood for delays and waiting time are less
  • This is obviously a cheaper option. Even when the ceremony venue is a church, you will have to spend more in terms of a donation or ceremony fees.

2.Choose items that do double-duty

By this, we mean you can make your money work more if your décor, seating or anything else can work in more than one way. For example, if your wedding ceremony and reception are at the same venue, consider having the flower arrangements done in such a way that it can be reused as reception centerpieces. That way, all it takes is a few extra minutes to move the arrangement to the reception venue and set it up. Although it may involve a certain labor cost, it will be much cheaper than having the entire reception venue decorated from scratch using fresh décor items. You can also choose wedding favors that act as place cards. Similarly, here is a suggestion we found on the Knot web page, that sounds sensible. Consider using simple glasses in a universal design to serve all your drinks, instead of having to rent various types of glasses for the different drinks that will be served at the reception. The same idea is useful for every wedding aspect you can consider, including your wedding dress. A two-in-one wedding dress that can give you two different looks, is a brilliant idea for a wedding. The Mori Lee 5316 with a detachable tulle skirt is one such dress.

3.Look for all-inclusive packages

all inclusive

Unless you have the talent, time and practice to handle most of the details by yourself, rather than depend on independent vendors for each of the décor essentials, DIY weddings can be very expensive. The cheaper alternative is to choose an all-inclusive package, and customize it to meet your specific needs without spending too much money. The other benefit of choosing an all-inclusive package is that you needn’t worry about arranging all the aspects and have them all come together at time. It is usually taken care of by the vendor-in-charge, and you only need to follow up. Without too many options at hand, it is also a relief for brides who are easily overwhelmed with too many choices. Check with your venue for whether they offer package deals, or ask your vendors for the additional tasks they can handle. This way you will not have to follow up or work with too many people, and this makes the process streamlined and easier.

4.DIY or outsource it to a known contact

Although we said that DIY may be expensive, it needn’t always be so. This may in fact, be the cheapest route available to you, if you are organized, have the time for it and are confident in your abilities. If you have done things previously on a scale similar to that of your wedding, or you have the time and resources to bring it all together perfectly, DIY can help you cut the costs to a great extent. You can try your hand at anything from creating the wedding centerpieces, to assembling the party favors and even baking the cake. Or if you have a trusted friend or relative who is a wedding vendor, this may be the route to consider. As an associate you personally know, you are more likely to get a considerable discount on their services, and this can ease the financial cost greatly.

5.Be on the lookout for discounts and offers

sale

If you have a long engagement before getting married, you have time to attend wedding fairs and shows. Here, you can find interesting deals and good discounts for your reception. You will easily find several vendors offering their services and also discounts to stay ahead of the competition. So, if you find one that you like, this is the time to snag it. Wedding exhibitions will also have stalls with wedding décor accessories and other items, and they may be cheaper and unique compared to what you find outside. Also, don’t overlook items that cost nothing, but are a valuable add to your wedding. Free wedding fonts, for example, can help you personalize everything at your wedding, from coasters and place cards, to menu and sign boards for little to no cost. Additionally, we suggest that you sign up for bridal magazines and join the mailing list for newsletters and updates at popular bridal shops and vendors. This way, you will immediately know of any discounts and offers that come up. When you go shopping for your wedding, also check out whether there are any benefits of booking or buying more from a single place. For example, your wedding baker may give you a discount if you ask them to do edible favors as well. It is likely that you will also be able to save more on service and delivery charges when you go with a single vendor for more than just one service. So, explore the options and ask around, you may just be lucky to find a deal that will work.

6.Stay on top of your expenses

Wedding finances can be tricky, unless you are in full control. Before you go shopping, it is best if you create a budget spreadsheet and divide it into the amounts you have put aside for each aspect. This way, you will know what amount you can afford to spend on a certain factor. One way you can stay in control, is to note it down and add it into your accounts as and when you incur an expense. Unless you consistently do this, you can easily lose track of all the small expenses you have already been involved in. This can all add up to a shocking extra in the end. If you however, keep your budget updated and have a clear idea of how much has been spent already and what is remaining, you can make sure you do not overstep your budget and spend beyond control. Also, if you get a good deal on certain items, you can adjust the profit into another aspect, and splurge on it instead.

7.Choose less risky wedding reception venues

garden venue

Planning an outdoor garden reception in the summer? Don’t ever rule out the likelihood of rain. In case Mother Nature decides to shower her blessings with a drizzle on the day, you will have to risk your guests getting wet. The sensible alternative in such a case, would be to have an alternative venue where you can move your reception to, in the likelihood of rain. But, this would mean paying money for all the extra arrangements and that would simply cost you more. If you want to avoid such risks, settle for a low-risk reception venue. An indoor venue that has no risks associated with it, would allow you to breathe easy and be done with the funds you have allocated for this. You can also think of getting yourself insured, so that you are covered if any unforeseen circumstances that cost money, arise out of the blue.

8.Find cheaper but working options for your décor essentials

There are many ways in which you can find cheaper options for your wedding decorations, if you keep your mind open. For outdoor weddings, barn weddings and rustic styles, bistro lights and twinkling fairy lights are beautiful but inexpensive décor items. The romantic effect they create is really worth the insignificant price you pay on them. Similarly, if you want a shabby chic wedding, consider switching out table cloths for newspapers under a glass table top. If you are unhappy with the chairs you have at your reception, but cannot afford hiring new ones, consider getting them covered with chair covers. This will not cost too much, but you can instantly add more life to your wedding venue with this single change. It is also sensible to consider a venue that comes with seating and interesting décor already. Restaurants are such examples. Since they are already set up for service, they will have all the necessary items for the food service and good décor too. So, you can save on planning and preparing the venue specially for your wedding, when you book such venues.

9.Keep the timing fixed and stay organized

Venues and service staff charge by the hour. So, it is necessary to stick to the timeline. You may get a better deal if you cut short your booking hours. Simple steps like cutting short your cocktail hour to 45 minutes, and similarly polishing off few minutes from various aspects can save you precious time. This will translate into a reduced bill. Also, your guests will be relieved that there is minimum waiting around, as long as everything progresses smoothly. However, make sure that you stick to the stipulated time and it is a reasonable time frame that you have set for each event. All in the wedding party should be aware of what time slot is allotted to which activity, and not overstep the time limit for each of them. Also discuss the working hours with your wedding vendors in advance. Ask for how much their overtime charges are, rather than run into a long bill after you simply employ them for much longer than initially agreed. Wind up early in the evening, and you can head home or off on your honeymoon much earlier.

10.Take the paper-free route and think outside the box for everything else

sheet cake

There are many things at a wedding that you can do without, and still have a great wedding. Wedding programs are one such item. You can choose to skip these, as they use up a lot of paper, and also cost for the printing. They aren’t really necessary, and are usually tossed at the end of the day. For your guest’s reference, you can use a single chalkboard or signboard display at the welcome, and this will do the job just as well. To really cut your budget, be open to options like using a sheet cake at your reception, and substituting the reception dinner with a tea-time affair or brunch. Although this may be one of the most economical options around, it may not be for everyone. But definitely do consider it.

Can you think of more ways to save money on the wedding reception? If so, do let us know in the comments below.

For more tips and wedding planning advice, visit us at Best for Bride—your one stop bridal destination. Don’t forget to check out our online bridal store, where you can find everything from stylish wedding dresses to dresses for the entire wedding party, and also chic evening gowns and beautiful prom dresses. Apart from this, we also have a range of wedding-related services like wedding cakes, invitations, favors, photography, flower arrangements, décor and more. Check out our website here, to find out more about how we can complete your wedding perfectly.

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Things to know when planning a backyard wedding

The intimacy of a wedding held in your own backyard is unbeatable. Not only is the environment homely, it is joyful.

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Although backyard weddings were initially chosen for vow renewals, now more and more first-time marriages are also choosing this option, for various reasons. Some of these include

  • getting married on any day of the year.
  • not worrying about a venue being available, or battling other couples to get bookings for a particular day
  • saving the extra cash required for a wedding venue
  • Getting married at the place that is most dear to them

Nevertheless, don’t be fooled into believing that a backyard wedding is easier than one in another location. It isn’t! In fact, it requires more effort and lot of planning. Here are some details to take care of, so your backyard wedding is a hit.

Make sure home improvement work is completed well-ahead of schedule

Your guests will be in and out of your home, throughout the wedding day. So, it is necessary that your house is presentable. This takes time. So plan ahead to take care of any paint jobs, cleaning or repairs, so you are prepared to welcome your guests into your home on your big day.

Prepare for every weather

Backyard weddings are usually done in spring and summer. If you live in an area that is prone to showers, make sure you have a Plan B for such a scenario. Will you have tents put up in any case, or can your house accommodate all the guests, should it rain? Similarly, if the temperature rises too high, do you have fans in the tents?

Take care of pesky little bugs

The last thing you want is your guests complaining of insects crawling over them. Unfortunately, this is a possibility, when you plan your wedding outdoors. Get set for it, by buying bug spray and clearing the area of any potential infestation sites.

Make arrangements for toilets, electricity and water

It is unlikely that the loos in your house will cater to the needs of all the guests at your party. You do not want them your guests to uncomfortably wait in line, all day. Make arrangements for portable toilets. Similarly, rent a generator and make sure your water tanks are full.

Check the legalities

Before you go about planning the wedding at home, check if it is alright to do so. If you need permits or there are space restrictions in your locality, make sure these are taken care of. Also, inform your neighbors of the event. Nice neighbors may even lend their parking space, or offer help.

Hire help for before and after

You will need extra hands to get things done on time. The same goes for cleaning up after the wedding. So, plan accordingly and get your help on time. You don’t want to be over-stressed and running around in the chaos, while you should actually be relaxing and enjoying the experience.

Having a backyard wedding may seem fun, but it calls for plenty of organization and keeping cool. Whether you decide to have it, or go with another venue, visit us at Best for Bride for all your wedding shopping needs for the perfect wedding.