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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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6 helpful things to know before you start wedding planning

Now that you are newly engaged and finished celebrating your engagement party with your dear folks, are you all set to dive into wedding planning? Just wait a second! There are certain things that you should be aware of, before you start wedding planning. These will help you save a lot of money, as well as make your planning process a lot easier.

Today, let us take a look at a handful of helpful tips to use when planning your wedding. Trust us, it will save you a lot of confusion and regrets later. And, here they are!

1.Booking the venue—what to remember

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While factors like matching your wedding theme, the ease of reaching the location and number of people it can accommodate are all relevant factors, there are some things to remember, if you are on a budget. They are:

Peak wedding months are expensive: June to August is peak wedding season, and everything is at a premium cost during this time. Consider getting married earlier in the year, when winter is no longer as severe, and spring is just about to arrive. Or, you can consider early fall for your wedding, as venues often slash their prices this time of the year.

Don’t hesitate to ask for a discount: Don’t assume that the price you receive on your venue is final! Even if it is just falls within your budget, don’t quickly jump at the quote and book the venue right away. Negotiate with the venue manager and find out if there is any possibility of getting it at a lower price. If you are lucky, you may get yourself a better bargain.

Look at alternatives, before visiting your preferred location: This helps in two ways. First, you will know which option you will consider, should your first choice not work out. Secondly, it allows you to know what else is on offer, and make a wise decision based on it. As with anything wedding related, it is a good idea to research and explore your choices before you settle down with what you actually choose for the wedding.

2.Wedding planner—what are the options

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Booking a wedding planner will make your wedding planning a lot easier. However, you should know that there are different options, and depending on what you choose, the service you receive and the price you pay will be different. So, let us take a look at what are your options.

Event planners: This is the whole package, where the planner will be involved in every aspect of planning your wedding. They will literally do your job for you, and will be responsible for executing everything at your wedding and making sure there are no hassles on the day. Event planners are quite expensive, as they will be working on your wedding for several months and you have to compensate them for their time and effort.

Part-time planners: This is where you do not outsource the entire wedding planning process, but only selected aspects that you aren’t able to handle yourself. This is more budget-friendly, as you can delegate the tasks that you do not have the time for, and pay only for it. Since you will be doing the greater share of the work, you will find it much cheaper than booking an event planner. If you are naturally organized and want to personally oversee your wedding details, this may be the right option for you.

Day-of coordinator: Even if you are handling everything about your wedding yourself, a day-of coordinator should definitely be considered. This is because you do not want to worry yourself with last-minute details on your wedding day. If you want a stress-free wedding day, a day-of coordinator can take charge of managing the various factors on that day. They will see that everything progresses smoothly and as per plan, leaving you to enjoy your wedding as you should.

Once you choose which of these services meets your needs best, again discuss the charges with the people you consider for the job. Compare the rates for an all-inclusive package with one for customized services, and choose the one that is best for your budget and needs.

3.Before paying for Wedding Entertainment

Choosing between a DJ and a band can be really confusing. You may be under the general impression that a DJ costs much lesser than a band. However, it can be quite expensive to book a good DJ who can actually make your party come alive. There are ways in which you can get a reasonable quote for a band too, and here are some tips for that.

Look for experienced student groups: If there is a music school in your area, you may be in luck. Student groups are usually energetic, exciting and just as efficient as a trained band in creating a lively party atmosphere. The bonus is that they cost much less. So, if you are up for the risk, look around for such a band.

Ask for the breakup charges: Instead of just being shocked by the overall quote from a band, ask them for the breakup costs. If it includes transportation, see if you can arrange a cheaper alternative and save some cash that way. Also, look at the list of musicians and ask if you can downsize to just those who you actually need.

4.Before you go wedding shopping

Cool wedding accessories for the winter bride

Wedding dresses are crucial to transforming you into a splendid bride, however they can be quite pricey. Before you step into the shop, do your research and know your options. Here are some ways to make the most of your wedding dress budget.

Consider more than one style: If you keep your options open, it is easier to find a dress that falls within budget. Do your research ahead of time, and identify which styles will look good on you. Then look at dresses in these styles and choose the one that you are satisfied with, both in look and in price.

Look at the clearance and sale section: Many bridal shops like Best for Bride, will always have dresses on discounts and on sale. Before you look at the latest collection, it may be a good idea to see what is available in the sale section. You may find a dress that is quite similar to what you love in the current collection, at a fraction of a price.

Wait for trunk shows: Trunk shows are a bride’s dream-come-true, especially if you are in a standard 8-12 size group. These shows allow you to find the dress of your dreams at a reduced cost. If you are engaged for a year or more, it is likely that you will come across at least one trunk show during this time. So, call up the boutiques in the area and find out whether they have one scheduled in the near future. Put off your wedding shopping session till after wards, so you can take a chance and hope to find your wedding dress at the trunk show.

Save on alterations: When you fix your wedding dress budget, you also have to account for the alteration charges for the dress. It is highly unlikely that you will perfectly fit into a dress you find off-the-rack. So, you will have to pay extra to alter it to fit you. However, you will have to pay less on alterations if you take care of the following factors

  • find a dress that is closest to your actual size, neither too big nor too small
  • not make expensive custom changes, like altering the neckline or design feature as any amount of rework will cost more money

Rent your dress: If you really want to make the most of your wedding dress budget, consider renting the dress instead of buying it. At shops like Best for Bride, the rental section has ample choices in different sizes. You can rent the dress along with the accessories for a fraction of the original cost, and not worry about boxing or caring for the dress afterwards and put the money to some other use. Alternately, you can also scour the internet for unused dresses on sales, that usually are a great bargain as they are brand new, but not as expensive as a fresh piece in a shop.

5.Before you take any pictures

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Wedding photography is an essential for every wedding, and you can choose from different types and packages based on your preferences and budget. Before you even set out to look for a photographer, consider how you want your wedding photographs to be captured. The different types of wedding photography include:

Traditional: The classic portrait style photographs with group pictures in specified poses.

Casual: Candid photography, where the photographer captures casual and original moments of the day, and shoots from unconventional angles. The photographer aims to recreate the memories of the day, by capturing the wedding with the most relevant and unique pictures that characterize the wedding.

A mix of the two: Here, the photographer uses both casual and posed portraits to completely cover the wedding.

Art-style: Here the focus is on creating one-of-a-kind photographs that transcend into the realm of art. It is anything but traditional.

Depending on your personal taste, you can decide upon the type of photography to have at your wedding, and then find photographers who work with the style you choose. Some tips to help you, before you start shortlisting photographers are as follows.

Compare packages and custom deals: You may not always require all that is included in a photographer’s package. If this is the case, ask if you can have a custom quote based on what you require. This is also useful if you need an extra service from what is included in a package deal.

Discuss how many hours you will need the photographer to cover your wedding: Before you meet with a photographer, be clear on how much time you will need his services for. You must make sure that he will be available for the important events both at the start and the end of the day. If he charges overtime rates for staying beyond certain number of hours, and in case your wedding goes on for longer than anticipated, make sure you know in advance.

6.The food factor

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There are many factors that decide the food expenses you will have to incur. Factors to consider when choosing your caterer are as follows.

Choice of menu: Remember that gourmet meals will cost more than standard meals. So, let the choice of cuisine be one of the guiding factors in determining your food budget. The overall presentation and whether the dishes have to be created fresh on-site or can be prepared in advance will also decide the catering cost.

Buffet or plated-style: Buffets and plated meals, both have their own pros and cons. The sensible and budget-friendly option is to have a mix of both styles. This means you can use shared platters for the main meal, while individual portions are served as starters. This will minimize wastage and maximize the value for money.

This brings us to the end of the various factors that will prevent a headache for you, later. Do your research and plan the possible workable options for each of these choices, and you will be able to work it out very easily.

Best for Bride is a wedding shop that brings you the latest and trendiest in wedding gowns, bridesmaids dresses and attire for the wedding party. We also have invitations, wedding favors and services like wedding cakes, décor arrangements and florists. Visit our online bridal shop to learn more about all our services, and also find out about the latest offers, discounts and sales we have. Experience the best of bridal shopping with our seasoned bridal consultants who will assist you in finding the dream gown for your big day. For a fun-filled and enjoyable experience, contact us today and book your appointment.

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No-fail ideas to keep kids busy at your wedding

Many couples prefer not to include children in their wedding reception. It could be the difficult task of keeping them occupied, or the worry that they will cause too much distraction. So, if you have a list that includes these young guests, you are being very considerate.

Having young children attend your party means more planning than before. Nevertheless, many wedding parties involving children have happened without many hiccups, and you can do the same at yours. All you need is to plan some entertainment to keep them engaged throughout the evening; give them great food, and they should enjoy it just as much as the other guests. Here are some ideas to try at your wedding, so the little ones are engaged and have fun.

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Plan a play space

You cannot expect children to sit still, and enjoy a serious party like adults do. If you do, they will simply squirm and whine, and spoil the fun of the party. So, plan a separate space for the children, which will be filled with activities to keep them busy. Art-and-craft centers are favorites, where they can entertain themselves. Just make sure that you go with options that aren’t messy, and there is plenty for all of them to indulge in.

Appoint a babysitter and/or hire an entertainer

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While most of the parents will manage their tiny tots, at least a few would appreciate the chance to engage in some conversation and enjoy themselves in the other activities at your wedding. This wouldn’t be possible without the help of another responsible adult, who can manage the kids. Consider hiring the services of a babysitter or two, to attend to the children. If there are quite a number of children from different age groups at the wedding, set up an entertainment plan for the kids and hire a professional who can either put up a show or plan games for them. Face painters, clowns, comedian, puppet artists and magicians are always loved.

Plan their menu carefully

If most of the kids are very young, seating them down to a five course meal wouldn’t be a good idea. Rearrange the menu choices and throw in child-friendly food choices, when planning their meal. The service should be such that they will not be forced to wait. Substitute gourmet adult food choices with those that kids love, in their menu. You can also consider sending out a few options, and having parents choose what the set menu. This will eliminate confusion, and they will get what they are most likely to enjoy.

Make arrangements so they can rest and nap

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If the guests are really young and your reception is in the evening, they will most likely be tired and sleepy before the evening is over. Take this factor into consideration and make arrangements for them to rest or nap comfortably, should they require it. This will allow their parents to relax and enjoy the evening, without disrupting their child’s schedule.

With a little planning and preparation, you can easily make your wedding party child-friendly. And, don’t forget that kids love gifts. So, choose some awesome party favors. For more wedding tips and advice on planning your lifetime celebration, visit us on Best for Bride.