Ask your reception venue or caterer if its waitstaff can do this double duty, or assign a few ushers to the job. Create a sign that shows the relationships between the guests who will be sitting next to each other—this wedding idea will help break the ice for those who haven't already met. Your guests' stomachs may not be ready to handle heavy food right away. Sure, a string quartet is nice, but you'll blow guests away with a jazz trio or a Spanish guitar player. Planning a winter wedding? Just when everyone thinks the fun is winding down, liven up the party with late-night snacks that'll leave everyone ready for an after-party. Instead, these are wedding songs you’ll want to add to your iPod for the reception or after-party, or give to your DJ to mix in his set. Helpful 59 Not Helpful 17. When choosing a brunch spot, remember to see it during the time of day you're planning your reception—ask yourself, is it dark and depressing due to a lack of windows? You may already be planning to have your ushers escort guests to their ceremony seats, but here's a unique wedding idea: consider  reception ushers. Think of your wedding favors as an accessory to your reception. Close off the area with curtains to create a VIP vibe. Make your guests feel like VIPs with welcome bags that go beyond a map and a few snacks. Instead of muffins and croissants, feature orange-scented scones and walnut banana bread. Offer an espresso bar or made-to-order drip coffee station, with an option for hot chocolate and tea for non-coffee drinkers. This alternative scheduling allows guests more time to see the exhibition in depth at their own pace, before meeting the featured guests. Unfortunately, not every father or mother can be present at a wedding. Or, if it'll suit your wedding style, get nostalgic with some charming yellow school buses. If you honestly can't imagine changing out of your wedding dress, make other changes: Let down your hair, switch your shoes, or add a few new pieces of jewelry. Does the sun beat down during the day, making the room sweltering hot? Take a sneak peek at the hottest engagement ring trends for 2021 you can shop now—including the new "it" gemstone. Your rental company and florist can work together to make this happen—and don't forget to make sure the reception wait staff will be standing by to clean up. The average cost of having a band at your reception was $3,094. Parents will love you forever for this helpful and unique wedding idea. Having an outdoor reception that might get breezy? Wedding reception costs rise on the weekend - especially Saturday. One creative idea we love: Create a jigsaw puzzle of your photo and let guests sign each piece. Choosing a wedding venue for your reception and ceremony tends to be the first step in the wedding planning process. To get the party going during the cocktail hour, look into hiring a mariachi band, a bluegrass group, or even a barbershop quartet for some seriously memorable melodies. We have a few sweet ideas that will hopefully raise a smile with your guests and allow you to graciously make your preference for money as a wedding gift clear – use these word-for-word or to get your creative juices flowing! Whether it is the overall décor, an outdoor or inside setting, wedding party ideas can provide special moments for you and your guests. ... don't replenish the wine, etc., after dinner. (Seriously, if your reception is a meal other than dinner, and you’re not planning on hanging out with your guests later, please build room in your budget to take yourselves out to a lovely meal somewhere.) Justine served as an Editorial and Community Assistant and Assistant Editor for The Knot. 30. Want a packed dance floor? If you're including wedding ceremony traditions or rituals some guests might not be familiar with, your program is the perfect place to provide explanations, whether it's the symbolism of a handfasting ceremony or the significance of the chuppah. Here's what's going to be hot in 2021. about your plans, and a time-saving Guest List Manager to organize your attendees. Just don't serve anything too strong—try mimosas or fruit-infused iced teas they can sip before taking their seats (and don't forget to have nonalcoholic versions too). Here are some things to do instead of a wedding reception. Out of town guests will appreciate a custom scented soap so they don't have to rely on the standard hotel samples. All eyes will be on you, so it'll be a huge shocker when you go from a classic wedding dress for the ceremony to a shorter, flirtier dress at the reception. Go light on the liquor, and if you'd like to serve it, consider offering it after some food has been eaten. Wedding venues are typically booked 1-2 years in advance, though some only need a few months’ notice. Looking to give your bridal party a fresh feel? The food at your wedding is undoubtedly one of the most important elements of the whole event. READ MORE: How to Plan a Wedding for £3,000 A simple wedding money poem can be a cute, polite and less direct way of asking for cash for your wedding gift. Since musical entertainment is usually a big part of a wedding reception, the question is whether you'll shell out for a band or decide to save by going with a DJ. From tricked-out transportation to mouthwatering midnight snacks, these unique wedding ideas for your ceremony and reception are sure to make a last impression. It's the perfect way to keep everyone in on the party even when they're resting. Now that's a wedding idea that will make you feel good. Make sure you create an experience that showcases your unique style and taste. to get your guests in the mood; then be sure to send them a copy of their photo in your thank-you note. Ask your florist about setting up a make-your-own-flower station: Put out some sturdy blooms like spray roses or mums, supply lots of colorful ribbons and pins, and add labels with easy-to-follow instructions. Wedding venues are typically booked 1-2 years in advance, though some only need a few months’ notice. Take wedding transportation to new heights with a hot air balloon ride. Grilled veggies are a tasty alternative. Since musical entertainment is usually a big part of a wedding reception, the question is whether you'll shell out for a band or decide to save by going with a DJ. Who doesn't love a spread of crave-worthy brunch fare? One word: frittatas. Provide creative variations to satisfy any guests' cravings for lunch: grilled chicken salad wraps, open-face sandwiches made on homemade dill sponge bread, caprese salad and smoked salmon wraps instead of the traditional bagels and lox. It’s a way to have an upscale, intimate event without the expense of a wedding. Even your bicycle adorned with fresh flowers would create a memorable exit. Imagine the looks on your guests' faces when you and your pops break into a hip-hop routine mid-father-daughter dance. Project falling leaves or snow to add drama to a boring, beige wall; add a funky geometric pattern or your monogram to the dance floor; or get basic up-lighting for the perimeter of the room to instantly transform the space. Or, have a fleet of waiters standing at the entrance, drink trays in hand, ready to greet guests at the door. We scouted the Bridal Fashion Week runways to find the trends you need to know. Don't forget morning favorites, like Bloody Marys, mimosas, screwdrivers, mint juleps, punch, tequila sunrise (grenadine, tequila and orange juice), Bellinis or champagne with a few berries dropped in. A kind of informal wedding reception, the rehearsal dinner usually takes place the night before the wedding, just after the wedding rehearsal. Keep your guests comfortable all day by thinking ahead. The average price to have a DJ spin your night away was about 70% cheaper, or $941 for the night. Add a couple flower arrangements to the escort card table or have your stationer create a stylish seating chart display. Think beyond the typical guest book. If I were a DJ, these are EXACTLY the party songs I would be playing. If it's an outdoor wedding, create custom signs as pointers for guests ("this way to the cocktail hour" or "wedding this way"). The same guidelines apply here. "Smoked things—not just salmon and sable, but tuna bacon and salmon bacon, smoked tuna and smoked meats, and even smoked vegetables—are great for late morning or early afternoon," DiSpirito says. Keep in mind your health conscious guests and think beyond simply pancakes, cheesy eggs, bacon and sausage. Hire a babysitter (or two) and set her up in a room so your youngest guests have a place to go when they tucker out. Planning on dancing until the next morning? Take a look at these awesome and wedding ideas for inspiration, then take our fun Style Quiz for a truly customized wedding vision. If it's possible, pick a room near your reception location so parents can stop by to check in on the tykes and then return to the party easily. We scouted the Bridal Fashion Week runways to find the trends you need to know. Waffles, omelets, pastries and local fruit, all washed down with freshly-brewed coffee, mimosas, Bellinis and Bloody Marys—we could go on and on. The message will be clear: It's time to party. Per person cost versus a reception: very high. 30. Get your guests involved with live tweets or an Instagram feed, so you and your guests have a record of the day just as it happened. Wedding location(s) Include addresses for both your ceremony and reception venues, if they're being held in different locations. You can sync your Guest List Manager and wedding website to update everything at once. We have a few sweet ideas that will hopefully raise a smile with your guests and allow you to graciously make your preference for money as a wedding gift clear – use these word-for-word or to get your creative juices flowing! Satisfy friends and family with a bountiful buffet and fresh juice bar. Planning your wedding reception can take a lot of effort and it all begins with deciding on the location of the reception and the type of reception. 4. Here's what's going to be hot in 2021. Are you hosting an after-party or parties? Yours won't be just another cookie-cutter wedding. Everybody wants to dance at your wedding but coaxing those first few couples onto shake their nerves is sometimes a little bit of a stubborn process. Here are the bridesmaid dress trends you should know about. Whether it's a cocktail dress you bought (but couldn't find an excuse to wear) or a sparkly, white dress that's just too short for the aisle, have fun with it. How much time is included in your vendors’ contracts? When it comes to your wedding, timing is everything! Want to forgo the eggs altogether? If your song is slow and romantic, have fresh flower petals instead of confetti dropped from the ceiling. Then we treated them and immediate family to dinner … Let us know in the comments section below! Not only do you not have to greet the dawn, but afternoon weddings still leave enough time for just the two of you to go out for dinner. You may opt for a lighter confection, such as tres leches, mille crepe, carrot, lemon, angel food or coffee cake. Guests will love this colorful wedding idea. "I always was curious: What would I say when I'm proposed to?". We're not saying you should spend a gazillion dollars on a 20-foot-tall floral arrangement, but first impressions are important, so take time to think out the entrance to your reception. You may opt for a lighter confection, such as tres leches, mille crepe, carrot, lemon, angel food or coffee cake. Consider a cozy brunch by a roaring fire. 10:00 a.m.—Hair and makeup / Getting ready 12:00–2:00 p.m.—Most vendors arrive for setup 2:00 p.m.—Wedding party and family photos start 3:30 … "The frittata feels lighter yet substantial without being rich. A wedding is a ceremony where two people are united in marriage. How could your guests not take a picture of that? Make toast time delicious by letting guests customize their champagne. You can do that in lots of different ways. The vice president Googled him before the first date. These "live escort cards" walk guests to their tables for an upscale restaurant experience. And so many things differ between rehearsal dinner speeches and reception speeches. Things You Should Never Ask Your Bridesmaids to Do, Our Official Guidebook for COVID-19 Wedding Help, Say "I Love You" with 120 Love Quotes for Her, The Biggest Wedding Budgeting Mistakes to Avoid, 15 Ways to Honor a Deceased Loved One at Your Wedding, 24 Simple Wedding Decoration Ideas That'll Wow Guests, 24 Disney Wedding Ideas To Happily Ever After, The Official Wedding Dictionary (COVID Terms Included), Why the Anniversary Reception Is Going to Be Huge After COVID, 12 Ways to Celebrate Your Wedding Date If You've Postponed. ​The father-daughter dance and mother-son dance are well-established wedding traditions. Because the 4 p.m. ceremony time, 10 p.m. reception end (with both ceremony and reception in the same venue), with secular ceremony and photos beforehand is a pretty common format, let’s start with that wedding timeline. Start the party long before your wedding day with a brilliant wedding website (computer science degree not required). Morning naturally sets a more mellow tone. Try personalized cake pops with guests' names and table numbers written on them in icing (or on a cute tag), or engraved martini glasses that double as favors. Special thanks to Amy Nichols of Amy Nichols Special Events in San Francisco; Josh Brooks of Fete in New York; Thomas Bui of Thomas Bui Lifestyle in San Diego; Melina Dreyfuss and Dawn Van Dyke of DM Events in New York; Vicki Grafton of My Simple Details in Washington, DC; Emilia Jane of Sweet Emilia Jane in Los Angeles; Kristen Jensen of Sugar Rush Events in San Francisco; Lauren Knuepfer of LK Events in Chicago; Claudine Ursino of La Belle Soiree Event Planning in Seattle; and Claire Weller of Big City Bride in Chicago. When in doubt, book as soon as possible so you have the best chance of securing your dream venue. Having a photo booth is a surefire way to capture memories a photographer might miss. Include addresses for both your ceremony and reception venues, if they're being held in different locations. Your first dance will be one of the highlights of your wedding, so add this extra-special touch to up the entertainment factor (and make for some serious photo ops). And just because it's before noon doesn't mean you can't have a wedding cake. Thanks! You may also be able to donate your flowers, your extra food or even your wedding dress after your event. It’s perfectly fine to choose a few top-40 singles or even a few that haven’t hit the radio just yet. Fact: Melania walked down the aisle with rosary beads. Think about it: crinkle French fries, fresh chocolate chip cookies and milk shooters, a fully loaded taco bar or doughnut truck. Take a few dance lessons before your wedding, but instead of the standard waltz, kick it up a notch by learning a sultry tango or a high-energy swing routine, and then surprise everyone during your first dance. A wedding is a ceremony where two people are united in marriage. Celebrate your nuptials with French toast and mimosas. Brunch is best served buffet style or as a seated meal (or a combination of the two). The other alternative is a cocktail brunch, where guests enjoy passed delicacies hors d'oeuvres style ( scrambled egg tartlets and mini French toast bites) and cocktails like mimosas, Bellinis, champagne and punch, as they mingle and celebrate. Here are few tips for throwing a fabulous brunch reception your guests will be talking about forever. To make this great wedding reception idea come true, stuff personalized tote bags with mini bottles of bubbly or a six-pack of a local microbrew, a gift certificate to your favorite local coffee shop and an individual "Welcome!" It's full of vegetables so it appeals to the health conscious and can be prepared with delicious cheeses and herbs." Get Our Wedding Planner App On Your Mobile Device. Therefore, the tone of the rehearsal dinner is typically very different from the tone of the wedding reception. Dinner party. Your guests won't be expecting any drinks until the reception, so give them a pleasant surprise by setting up a table of light beverages on the way into the ceremony. This is also a great chance to bust a move to your favorite childhood song and even do some fun choreography.​. To implement this fun and sophisticated wedding idea, fill the space with couches or chairs and plenty of pillows to sink into. After that, create a free, personalized wedding website to keep your guests informed (and excited!) Come up with a wedding exit that'll get guests talking. 4. Or put out silver trays with engraving pens so guests can carve a lasting message on a useful keepsake for you. Your guests will be so impressed. With all the wedding ceremony details in place and the wedding ceremony script in the works, it’s now time to focus on the wedding reception ideas. New wedding songs can be complicated if you have multiple generations at your wedding reception. And for a summer outdoor ceremony in the afternoon, provide a station with spray-on sunscreen and a stack of inexpensive sunglasses. The average cost of having a band at your reception was $3,094. Serve juices, coffee and cocktails along with some light, fruity nibbles before moving onto the main course, to avoid overwhelming guests who may still be wiping sleep from their eyes. You worked hard on figuring out that seating chart, so get the dinner conversation started by showing guests how they're connected. Love is not canceled, neither is your planning. Book a space with a completely different vibe from your reception (like a relaxed patio bar or a karaoke club to offset a … The 272 Best Songs for Every Moment of Your Wedding, 9 Wedding Reception Upgrades Worth Your Budget, 14 Inappropriate First Dance Songs You May Want to Avoid, 21 Wedding Cake Cutting Songs That Aren't Overplayed, 24 Simple Wedding Decoration Ideas That'll Wow Guests, Why the Anniversary Reception Is Going to Be Huge After COVID, Everything You Need to Plan an Outdoor Wedding, 6 Creative Ways to Serve Beer at Your Wedding, 15 Awesome Entrance Songs You Might Have Overlooked. Maybe your car-obsessed uncle would be willing to play driver for the night in exchange for showing off his ridiculously cool Mustang. Have your caterer or ushers collect any stray glasses to make sure the space is tidy before the processional begins. The 46th President of the United States of America proposed five times. Say your vows at sunrise with a breakfast spread to follow, or have a brunch-inspired reception any time of day. or even hangover kits (filled with Aspirin, water and snacks) for guests to grab on their way out of the reception venue. Southern-inspired comfort food, like shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles, and homemade bicuits are also making a comeback. Even better: Stage your own mini parade by passing out parasols and noisemakers for your guests to escort you to your getaway car. One of those people who wants a non-wedding wedding? For an extra-special touch, outfit your booth with themed props (snorkel gear and an under-the-sea backdrop for a summer wedding, opera masks and monocles for a formal affair, etc.) note from you. Fact: Melania walked down the aisle with rosary beads. It's also a good idea to list the city and state of your wedding for any out-of-town guests who might be looking for those details. My daughter and son-in-law had a justice of the peace perform the ceremony. Instead, bring out tea and coffee, and if guests want more alcohol, have them find their own at a bar in the venue. Once you have a plan for your out-of-the-box wedding reception ideas, search out the right vendors in your area to help you bring it to life. Give guests a place to mingle between dance breaks by creating a lounge area at your reception. Here are the bridesmaid dress trends you should know about. Picking a Wedding Venue. No valets? The vice president Googled him before the first date. Not sure where to begin with your wedding planning? City Hall and a Meal. The average price to have a DJ spin your night away was about 70% cheaper, or $941 for the night. If you play it right, your ceremony exit will be one of the most heavily photographed moments of your wedding, so forget the rose petals and birdseed. Book a space with a completely different vibe from your reception (like a relaxed patio bar or a karaoke club to offset a formal ballroom) to keep the party going. These are not traditional wedding songs in that you can use them for your first dance song or for a father daughter dance (though several of these could be used for recessionals or intros). Some food is often served, as in academic gatherings. How long will your photographers (DJ/band, videographer, etc.) Other non-cake ideas: a table decked out in donuts, an ice cream bar, or a giant Rice Krispies Treat cake. Instead of gifts, ask each member of your wedding party to make their favorite app (or an app you assign) for the reception. Serving brunch is one of the most cost-effective receptions you can have: They can range in price from $20 per head and up, depending on the menu and the site you choose. Consider more abundant healthful or vegetarian offerings, like fruit yogurt, egg-white omelets, gourmet pizza, poached salmon, vegetable tarts, grilled veggie sandwiches, whole-grain baked goods and salad nicoise. It all depends on the type of venue and your personal criteria. Looking to give your bridal party a fresh feel? If keeping a low environmental footprint is important to you, then make an effort to reduce, recycle, reuse for your ceremony and your reception. Put out baskets of flip-flops (in your wedding colors, of course) so guests can take their shoes off. For an unexpected surprise, get your dad or even your grandpa in on the act. Fun Wedding Songs for Wedding Reception Regardless of how many obscure songs end up on your wedding reception songs list, including a few upbeat familiar hits is always a good idea. For a fresh twist on the hot photo booth trend, rent a video booth where guests can record a quick on-screen message for you. If you've arranged bus or shuttle transportation, have a favor waiting on board for guests. If you're planning on shuttling your guests from the ceremony to the reception, make the journey part of the fun by renting some seriously cool mass transportation. Instead of just hitting the bar next door when your reception venue closes, plan a true post-wedding bash for you and your hardest-partying guests. be present at your wedding? A sibling dance lets you celebrate the people who have known you the longest and have been by your side for all your trials and tribulations. Plus, reception sites are often less expensive to rent in the morning, midday and early afternoon. Unique wedding ideas are abundant and finding inspiration will be easy and fun. It might also be helpful to list the ceremony start time and reception start time, especially if there is a break in between events. Set out baskets of the gifts, such as soft eye masks with notes that say "Sleep tight!" Instead of just hitting the bar next door when your reception venue closes, plan a true post-wedding bash for you and your hardest-partying guests. Send guests home feeling taken care of by having your valets place small favors or end-of-the-night snacks in guests' cars before handing over the keys. And just because it's before noon doesn't mean you can't have a wedding cake. Consider an omelet, French toast, crepe or pancake station (with various toppings and syrups). Love is not canceled, neither is your planning. And for extra flair, customize the ride by playing fun music or decking out the bus with a sign that reads, "Sarah and John's wedding or bust!". Instead of a paper card that'll get lost or thrown away, upgrade your escort cards to something worth keeping (or eating). Really want to wow 'em? In springtime, a tented garden soiree or a restaurant's rooftop are both beautiful ways to celebrate in the newly warm weather. Even better? Your wedding reception timeline will be tighter if you have to end the party at a predetermined time. B ack when I got married, in the distant past of 2009, if you were picking the best wedding songs for your reception, you were probably also wrangling an iPod and wondering if you were going to be able to make a bumpin’ reception happen without a high-priced DJ. 2. Ask your videographer to edit some of the best clips into your wedding video. Make sure guests keep warm by offering up some cozy pashminas. A table topped with your engagement photos, your parents' wedding albums, and any other from-the-family artifacts would make meaningful additions. My daughter and son-in-law had a justice of the peace perform the ceremony. Then we treated them and immediate family to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant. Have a decadent raw bar if you're really looking to impress. Choosing a wedding venue for your reception and ceremony tends to be the first step in the wedding planning process.