Posted on 7 Comments

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.

Posted on 3 Comments

10 top tips to help you plan and enjoy your honeymoon

couple

After hectic months of planning and bringing together a wedding, a honeymoon is a huge relief for most couples. This is the time when you and your new husband can finally find the time to relax and enjoy each other’s company, and finally settle into being newly-weds.

While a honeymoon is more about the experience than the place where you go, you may find that certain destinations are more enjoyable than others. So, the place where your best friends enjoyed their honeymoons may not always be the best place for you. The ideal place to honeymoon at depends on your personality, budget, and many more factors. And this is why you need some help to choose the location you should go to.

Here are ten top tips to help you plan and enjoy your honeymoon after considering all possible factors

1.Determine your budget first

The first step to planning your honeymoon is fixing your honeymoon budget. Although you may like to visit the far East or set off on a safari in Africa, it will be impossible unless you have the budget for it. Decide on your honeymoon budget soon after you begin wedding planning, so you can make your reservations and avail of the best offers. Sit down with your partner and chalk out the maximum amount you can afford to spend on the trip. Once you know this, you can then look at the various locations that will fit into this range.

2.Plan how much time you can take off

You will have to consider the amount of time you can take off work, to decide on a practical honeymoon destination. You will already be taking a few days off for the wedding. So, the question is how many more days can you afford to stay away from work. To travel out of the country, or to a place with several must-see tourist attractions, you should have an extended leave. There is no point in spending most of your honeymoon traveling to the place, and not enjoying it because you have to return soon. If you do not have enough leave to accommodate the traveling time and also a few extra days, it may be better to settle for a place nearer home. The other option is to have a mini honeymoon for the moment, and save the real vacation for later, when you can afford it in terms of time and money. Either way, make sure you have your honeymoon soon after the wedding. It is a well-deserved break, before you get into the routine of daily life.

3.Decide what type of place you would like to visit

It is imperative to choose a spot that is interesting to both of you. Think of the type of place you would enjoy most. Is it a beach, where you can relax and snooze in the sun? Or would you prefer to visit a destination with historic sites? Perhaps, you would prefer an adventurous trekking trip in a scenic location, instead of the above two. Basically, find an option that is interesting in most ways to either of you. You should also consider how much time you would like to actually spend on sight-seeing, as this will help you plan your itinerary. A good honeymoon destination will be one that both of you are eager to visit. For this take both your tastes into consideration, and find a place that has something to offer both of you.

4.If you can’t decide, create individual dream lists and compare

What if you and your to-be-husband aren’t on the same page and fancy different locations. Let’s face it, with so many options out there, it can be difficult to decide where to visit. Or it could also be that you want a bit of all these places, and can’t decide. We have the solution to your problem! We suggest that you both make your individual lists of the top five or ten places that each of you would love to visit. Then compare the lists. The places that figure on both lists, is what you should be looking at. And what if these places are not practical options due to budget constraints or lack of annual leave, or anything else for that matter? Find a location that comes close in providing a similar ambiance, and settle for the next-best. Save the actual choice for another celebration, say your first anniversary or the next holiday you go on!

5.Consider weather conditions and other factors at the destination, at the time

When looking at honeymoon spots, don’t forget to pay attention to the local conditions there at the time of your wedding. You may be able to get cheaper deals, if the place you plan to visit provides off-season rates at the time. However, if the weather isn’t favorable at the time of your visit, it may not be such a great idea. For example, do you think it will be exciting to visit a beach during hurricane season, or places in Europe in winter when many spots are closed due to unfavorable weather conditions? Apart from the weather at the place, you should also give due importance to other conditions that may affect your trip. This could be conflict situations or natural disasters that the place is still recovering from. Your ultimate aim is to enjoy your honeymoon, and you may not be able to do so, if the place is under turmoil of any kind. In that case, either put your honeymoon off for later or settle for an alternate location that provides a similar experience.

6.Plan and book early to find the best offers

Do not wait till the last minute to book your honeymoon trip. The closer to the travel date you start looking for tickets and accommodation, the more money you will have to spend. Once you settle on a location, immediately set out to book your tickets, accommodation and any other package deals you may like to use at the location. Check around and you may find an early bird discount. Sign up for newsletters and track popular airlines to the destination, to learn about any offers around the time. Also check their social media sites to learn about special deals and discounts. It is not just about the travel, but you may also be able to avail better deals on sight-seeing tickets and similar other choices when you look early. So explore your options and find out the best deals for your money. If you look closely, you may even find good package deals which club accommodation with meals or sight-seeing options that take your money further.

7.Do your research about what you must take along

Different locations call for different needs. It is not essential that your hotel will provide you all the things that you require for your  stay. Plan your luggage depending on the weather, available resources and other factors. When visiting some countries you may have to carry along mosquito repellent and bug spray. In other cases, it may be thick winter gear to tide through the cold. The best way to know is to check with the hotel where you will be staying. Call up in advance and find out how the weather at the time of your visit will be. Then ask them what will be included in their package and what you are expected to bring along. You should also check online to confirm you haven’t forgotten anything. Remember that it may not always be possible to buy some things that you may require, after you reach there. So, it is best to carry everything you need with you. You should also find out whether there are any dress restrictions at the place. Some tourist spots may not admit people in clothes that do not cover the shoulders or may not admit you if you wear shorts. It is best to find out in advance and be prepared for it, rather than go all that distance and be unable to visit these spots, just because your attire is unsuitable for these locations.

8.Don’t forget the essentials

Even if your are certain that your hotel will provide you the basic amenities, stay prepared by packing in essentials like towels and toiletries. Create a checklist in advance, of all thing that should go into your suitcase. Tick it off as and when you pack these into your bag. This way it is unlikely that you will miss carrying anything you may need. If you are traveling abroad, make sure to carry photocopies of your passports and other documents that may help you, if any unforeseen circumstances arise. Remember that the electricity connections in the country you visit may not be similar to your own. Find out in advance and carry adapters to make sure your electronic devices can be charged without issues, once you reach there. Also inform your family or friends of how you can be reached when you are there. Leave the contact address of your hotel and don’t rely entirely on your email or social media network, in case the internet connection isn’t reliable at the place you are visiting.

9.Tell everyone that you are on your honeymoon

You will have to travel using your maiden name, since it is unlikely that your name change documents will all be sorted out in time for your honeymoon. So, book your tickets and accommodation in your maiden name. Nevertheless, let everyone know you are on your honeymoon. Most airlines, hotels and hospitality services like to encourage and pamper newly weds who choose their services. So, tell them you are celebrating your honeymoon, and don’t be surprised if you receive special upgrades, a bigger room, bubbly to celebrate your first journey as a married couple, or a token gift. Although all this doesn’t really matter, as it is all about you enjoying your newly married experience in the most exciting way, it certainly does increase the fun factor. So, right from when you arrive at the airport to check-in your luggage, make sure you tell the people you are dealing with about your new relationship status. Who knows, you may set out on your journey in business or first class, with a welcome upgrade. Wouldn’t that be fun!

10.Make up your mind to relax and enjoy your time

Unless you’ve been to the destination you are visiting, you may not really know what is in store for you. You may find the ambiance different from what you were expecting, or surprised with some other aspect of your holiday. Whether the situation is just as you expected or entirely different, make up your mind to enjoy it. So, if you think the place is hotter or if the hotel room is not to your satisfaction, just take it in your stride. Think of the bigger picture—you are here to celebrate with your partner, and let the trip be just about that. Don’t worry about things back at home, and make the most of every opportunity that arises. Try to make memories that will last forever, collect mementos to remind you of the exciting trip, relax and enjoy! Plan couple activities and cozy up and spend time finding out more about your husband. Return rejuvenated and refreshed to start your life off as husband and wife. This welcome break away from normal life will give you that perfect start to face life’s challenges and struggles together.

Plan a wonderful honeymoon and you will enjoy your wedding even more. For everything that you need for the perfect wedding, we are here to help you. From fantastic wedding dresses to wedding vendors to bring your dream wedding together, we have everything you need in one place. Visit our Best for Bride website to find out more about all the services we offer, and keep visiting our blog for more tips, inputs and advice on everything wedding-related.

Posted on 4 Comments

Wedding centerpiece ideas

You may not give much thought to the centerpieces for your wedding reception tables, but they are more important than you think. Your wedding guests will spend a lot of time at their tables, as they have their dinner and chat with each other. So, these centerpieces will be in constant focus. Their arrangement will reflect the tone of the wedding and set the ambiance.

While some venues offer a few custom centerpiece options to choose from, you can also opt for your own design and find one that is suitable for the theme of your party. Let us look at the different factors you should pay attention to when designing your centerpieces, so you can maximize their effect.

Height of the display

decoration-668404_1280

This is an important criterion to pay attention to when choosing your centerpiece designs. A centerpiece that is too tall will obscure the view of the guests who sit across each other, and it will be difficult for them to communicate. So, your centerpiece should be low. You can still create an impact by designing the centerpieces to be unique and with interesting design elements. The only time you can go with higher centerpieces is when the design is elongated but not broad. This way, it will not obstruct the view, and will allow guests to talk to each other comfortably.

Width or size

The centerpiece should be compact and not spread out. It should be proportional to the size of the table, and the arrangement should be neat and attractive. Depending on whether the tables are round or long, choose a centerpiece that has the right proportions. A single centerpiece or a cohesive group that occupies a circle in the center is ideal for round tables. Well-spaced tall arrangements on a table runner through the center will be good for long tables.

Choosing the design elements

candle-584448_1280

Flowers and candles are the popular choices for centerpieces. Apart from these, you can also use balloons, crystals, gemstones, jars, pebbles, shells, fruits or anything else that you can think of. The elements you choose should blend well with the theme. For a beach wedding, a clear vase with shells at the base and floating candles on top would be appropriate. You can also make use of seasonal flowers and fruits to add color to the centerpieces, and also get them at a lesser price. Make sure that you keep the color palette consistent and don’t go overboard with details. It is always the simpler designs that create more impact.

Choose variations for more visual interest

It isn’t necessary that all your tables are decked up the same way. In fact, it is more attractive if each table was personalized differently. Keep the colors consistent and the designs similar, but make slight variations in the arrangement. This will be more interesting. You could alternate two color combinations for each table, or even change the heights and designs of the centerpieces from one table to another. When you alternate styles, the only thing to remember is all the pieces should be tied together with a few unifying factors and not look too distinct.

For more wedding decor tips and advice, visit us on Best for Bride.