Picking a theme is an excellent opportunity to show off your unique personalities and styles as individuals and couples. It’s the ideal way of putting your stamp on your big day.
Your theme will guide your choices regarding your venue, décor, menu options, and even your music playlist. It’s one of the most critical considerations of the whole planning process, and we’re here to help!
The classic white-dress wedding will naturally always be a firm favourite among couples. But there are plenty of other themes available to choose from too.
Opting for a unique and unexpected theme will make your wedding even more memorable for you and your guests—and could even inspire other couples in the future!
These seven unique wedding theme ideas are sophisticated, timeless, and will never go out of style. So please give them your creative spin, and you’re sure to have the matrimonial ceremony of your dreams!
Does your idea of the perfect wedding theme involve drama, glamour and unparalleled romance? If yes, you will love the idea of a night wedding.
Night weddings may be a relatively new thing, but it is certainly gaining popularity. After all, a ceremony under a starry moonlit sky is simply lovely. Not only is it an intimate affair, but it is also a whole new experience that your guests will not easily forget.
Not yet convinced? Here are some factors that are exclusive to nighttime affairs.
The Sunset And Night Hours Create A Magnificent Backdrop
Imagine how beautiful it would be if you had purple skies speckled with scatterings of sparkle from twinkling stars as your backdrop. The beautiful colours of the setting sun and magical sounds will be your background. Need I say more about how dramatic nature is at this time of day?
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.
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, specific pieces are more trendy than others in each season. Every year, from the Great Gatsby theme in 2015 to vintage glamour in 2017, it introduces us to new and exciting pieces. 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.
Avoid a cookie-cutter wedding by adding a personal flavour to the theme, whether with the colour palette, patterns or details. 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 love story.
The Perfect Venue
The term “perfect” is subjective, for different factors appeal to other 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 room for lounging, dancing and relaxing.
Apart from these factors, the venue must match the theme of your wedding. Only then will it become the perfect backdrop for your event. Since the choicest media tend to get booked quickly, this should be one of your priority wedding planning tasks. Therefore, start looking at potential venues as soon as you decide on your wedding theme. For more tips on choosing the right platform for your reception, visit this post on the Brides website.
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 your favourite 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.
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. Of course, depending on your budget, there are different ways to bring your theme alive. The good news is that you will come across numerous options with unique personalities and flavours with a bit of research and planning.
While there is no harm in DIY-ing most details, it can tax your time and effort. In all-inclusive wedding packages, the décor is usually taken care of. However, you can always add small signature touches to this and ensure your wedding has its 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 is 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 end up being lost in the clutter.
Centrepieces are an essential 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 centrepieces up close for a significant part of the evening. So, the better you execute it, the more impressive it will be. While your centrepieces should follow the theme, you can 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 centrepieces or ones that spread out, make sure the arrangement is neat and give each item its space. The centrepieces should also be high up or below eye level, not 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.
A Great Menu
Just as with signature appetizers, a good menu will make the wedding memorable. 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 perfect your chosen menu. Don’t forget to match the food to the theme in terms of colours, flavour 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.
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. It would be best if you were confident that they would keep the group entertained all evening long.
When hiring entertainment, remember that your guests will be from different age groups with varying likes and dislikes. So, plan your playlist in such a way that there is something for everyone. For example, mix new and fast numbers with classics so that everyone can join in the fun. Also, remember that the bandleader or DJ will primarily handle the announcements of the different events like cutting the cake and the first dance. So, coordinate 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.
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. Please 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 indoors and outdoors, it requires plenty of space.
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 your guests pick their food from a pre-defined menu, ensure everything is recorded and done correctly. There may be guests with specific dietary requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure their needs 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.
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 wedding 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 momentous 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, look at this article on The Knot.
Interaction With The Guests
Although it is your special day, you must acknowledge all those who participate in it. Irrespective of whether a guest flew in from a distant location for your wedding or just stepped in from next door, what matters is that they made it to your wedding. It is only suitable 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 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 following table after few minutes. You can then cover the entire lot in a minimum time. Your guests will appreciate this small dose of attention.
Planning a wedding is a detail-oriented, time-consuming and laborious task. Several details can make or break an entire wedding planning event. Nevertheless, with proper planning and execution, a wedding can progress smoothly from start to end.
At Best for Bride, we try 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. So take a look at our website and see what we have to offer.
FAQ – Wedding Reception
What is the difference between a wedding ceremony and a wedding reception?
The objective of each function is the most significant distinction between the wedding ceremony and the wedding reception. The objective of the wedding ceremony is to legally and officially marry the couple. The wedding reception, on the other hand, is a gathering to commemorate the couple’s union.
When it comes to wedding receptions, what is the standard order?
The best man usually speaks first, followed by the maid of honour and parents of either spouse (traditionally, the father of the bride speaks first, although any parent/host can speak).
Is a wedding reception lasting 4 hours long enough?
Cocktails, food, toasts, and, of course, dancing are all part of a normal wedding reception, which lasts around 4-5 hours.
Is it a party at the reception?
A wedding reception is a gathering conducted after a wedding ceremony as hospitality for people who have attended the wedding, thus the term reception: the couple receives society for the first time as a married couple in the form of family and friends.
What exactly is a reception gown?
A reception dress is a separate gown worn by the bride for the reception. This is a great wedding trend since it allows you to wear a comfy, beautiful outfit while yet maintaining a more formal appearance for the ceremony (and your photos).
Aren’t you too excited with the idea of dressing up in a classic ball gown, with immaculate makeup and a hairstyle with every strand held in place, on your wedding day?
If you answered yes, it is likely that a formal wedding is not for you. Brides with an, easy-going personality cannot always relate to a formal wedding. This is because everything is bound by rules and expectations at formal weddings. A casual wedding theme at an exciting venue would perhaps appeal better. In this case, you have the flexibility of making and bending the rules. Not only is this more fun, it will be more memorable when planned properly.
Brides who have their heart set on an informal wedding do not usually want traditional gowns. If this doesn’t reflect the fun and bubbly element of your personality, there is no rule that requires you to wear it. Instead, there are plenty of dresses that are better suited for an informal wedding. This is what you should look at.
Destination wedding dress collections usually feature bold and at times, even daring wedding dress styles. These are good choices for an informal wedding. If not these, you may even find an attractive dress in an evening dress collection. So, look there instead of the traditional wedding dress aisles.
So, how do you go about shopping for your dress when your wedding is different from the rest? Here are some tips from our bridal consultants to help you with this.
1.Identify the venue first
The dress styles that are suitable for an informal backyard wedding will not be good for a wedding on the beach. So, the venue is an important factor to consider when planning your bridal look. Informal wedding venues include beaches and resorts, gardens, backyards and restaurants. Your wedding dress should be appropriate for the venue as well as comfortable for the weather. Always start your shopping only after you finalize the location of your wedding.
2.Do your research in advance
Just because you won’t pick a traditional wedding dress, you shouldn’t skip your dress research. Informal dresses come in different styles. From bridal pant suits to tea-length dresses and loose sheaths, you have a variety of options. Unless you know what to wear, dress shopping can drag on and leave you confused and overwhelmed. So, plan your look first. Have an idea of the dress styles that you want to try on. Then find a shop that caters to your needs.
3.Fix your budget
An informal wedding gown can also be expensive. Nonetheless, you should be able to find dresses in different price ranges. Calculate the maximum amount that you can spend on your dress. This will give you a reference point to base your search on. Also include the cost for alterations and accessories when calculating the price. These are additional expenses that you will incur when shopping for your wedding dress.
You may have to think out of the box and be open to looking at more than just bridal dresses to find a dress of your choice. Since your search is for something unusual, it may not be as easy as shopping for a regular wedding gown. So, be prepared to search in other departments to find what you want.
5.Don’t settle for what is available
Like I mentioned earlier, it isn’t always easy to find a dress that satisfies your preferences for an informal theme. Fortunately, you can always customize an available dress if it isn’t exactly your taste. Explore the possibility of having a dress dyed if everything but the color isn’t right. Or you can even have the dress tailored. This gives you the opportunity to plan your look to even the smallest detail. If you can find a talented seamstress, this is a practical and easy solution to your need.
6.Get alterations done
A dress doesn’t look right unless it drapes correctly and fits perfectly. So, you should alter your dress to your measurements once you purchase it. If the boutique where you shop doesn’t provide this service, look for a seamstress who has the experience to work with dress styles like yours. It can take anywhere between 3 weeks to 3 months to complete alterations, depending on the complexity of the dress. Make sure you do your shopping early so you have enough time for it and don’t incur rush charges.
7.Choose the right accessories
You can dress up or down with the right choice of accessories. Accessories can help you create the look you want. So, choose jewelry, shoes and other accessories that enhance your look. You can mix and match dress styles and accessories to look modern, vintage, classic or boho-chic. Also, think out of the box and try on accessories like birdcage veils, flower crowns and vintage jewelry to find your unique style statement. Also experiment with color to add a pop of personality to your outfit.
Now, let us look at some of the dresses suitable for informal-style weddings. All these dresses belong to our dress collection at Best for Bride. Enjoy your tour!
Style: Tea length dress with lace appliques
With dainty lace appliques in the bodice this dress is very attractive. Lace appliques are also present in the lower half of the satin and net skirt. The waistline is defined by a pleated waistband, which clearly emphasizes the smallest part of the bride’s waist. The dress also has a gentle sweetheart bodice and layered skirt, which exude a youthful charm. The exquisite lace details in the dress make it just right for a garden wedding.
Style: Casual style with High-low hemline skirt
Very simple with delightful, uncluttered details. The simplicity of this dress adds to its appeal, giving it a casual vibe. The bodice features an empire waistline. It is embellished with intricate lace details till here. Soft layers of net flow from the waist to floor length. There are pretty lace appliques in the lower half of the skirt. The tonal strapless bodice features spaghetti straps that support and act as an interesting detail in this area. The high-low hemline makes this dress just right for an informal wedding style.
Style: Fun and flirty A-line dress with hi-low hemline
This dress is bound to take years off age off the bride who wears it. With a lace-bordered hi-low hemline, the dress is casual but fun. Soft scintillating straps support the lace-embellished sweetheart bodice. A crystal-studded waistband defines the natural waistline. This little detail adds a touch of pizzazz to the beautiful dress in white. Exquisite details like the hemline, waistband and pretty lace appliques will ensure the bride in it stands out from the rest of the crowd.
Style:Colored wedding dress with simple details
Here is another dress with all the essential elements for a casual wedding. The ruched bodice and pleated skirt have no fussy embellishments, but is very charming. The simple floral detail on the slim waistband complements the simplicity of the dress. This gown is easy to manage in the outdoors, and the pale pink color creates a vintage effect.
Style: Floor-length gown with illusion back details
This is a stunning beauty from the Mori Lee bridal collection. The 6836 dress is of floor-length, where the details are concentrated in the embellished bodice. With a V-neckline and beaded satin belt, the dress has bridal charm. However, it doesn’t overwhelm with details. The gathered A-line skirt is universally flattering, which makes it suitable for brides of most body types. It also features an amazing illusion back. This dress would be beautiful for a non-traditional wedding in the warmer months.
Style:Spaghetti straps on sheath style wedding dress
If your dream dress is one that drapes closely and shows off your natural curves effectively, here is a dress that satisfies your taste. The 6815 Mori Lee dress has an asymmetrically draped bodice in lush crepe. The criss-cross detail in the sweetheart bodice is complimented by thin spaghetti straps. The sheath silhouette courses to full length, gently defining the natural curves and creating a sexy effect. The dress is perfect for a destination wedding. It can be chosen for both indoor and outdoor venues.
Style: Pink beauty for the bride who loves color
Let your love for color reflect in your wedding dress choice. This Sans Pareil gown in soft pink is a picture of magnificence, and yet entirely non-traditional. From the fit-and-flare silhouette to the color, there are many unusual elements in this beautiful dress. The scintillating threads of crystal along the length of the gown create a spectacular effect. Equally bewitching is the low-cut open back detail and the deep-dip illusion V-neckline. This is a bold choice for a bride, but one that will stay in your guests memories for long.
Style:Sexy illusion neckline on non-traditional dress silhouette
You will be remembered as a glamorous bride, when you choose this amazing Sophia Tolli gown as your bridal dress. The plunging illusion V-neckline has embellishments that add an air of intrigue. The ruched bodice extends into shoulder straps and is gathered at the natural waistline. The skirt has wispy layers that flutter in the breeze, so it resembles drifting clouds. The artistic touch of crystal details in the neckline and decolletage are what makes this dress unique. It is a dress that is just right for a beach wedding.
Style: Black and white wedding dress
Be a bride with a difference when you add a touch of black to your wedding day outfit. This dress from the Jasmine designer bridal collection has a trumpet silhouette. From the strapless neckline, the dress follows the natural curves all the way up to the thighs. From here, it opens out into a layered misty skirt. The entire bodice has a ruched criss-cross effect for textural finesse. However, the signature element has to be the black lace appliques that adorn the length of the bodice along the sides. It extends from the bust all the way to the dropped waist, and has a pronounced effect. Classic and sophisticated, yet unusual, this is a dress for the bride who wants to stand out from the rest.
Now you’ve seen our favorite informal bridal dress picks from our wedding dress collection. One of the other places you should look at, is our bridesmaids collection. There are some real beauties in there that will easily pass off as wedding dresses.
One of our customers, Julie Santos is an example of how bridesmaids dresses can work as a wedding dress. Her pick was a bridesmaid dress from our Jasmine collection. Julie, who was married on the beach, says this was the perfect dress for her big day, and many of her guests couldn’t even believe that the dress she wore wasn’t from a wedding dress collection. Pictures of Julie on her wedding day are available here.
So, you now know that there are plenty of options in informal wedding dresses. Plus, designers are now on a spree to bring out more and more unexpected dress styles that fit into the wedding dress category.
To see all the dresses featured in this post up-close and also search for more options, check out our bridal dress gallery. And don’t forget to tell us which of these dresses you would choose to wear to your celebration. Or do you have another dress in mind? Do share your comments and ideas in our comments section below.
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