Your wedding reception is your chance to treat your guests to a celebration that is, well, YOU! It should reflect you – your style, culture, heritage, and traditions, including food, color, music, flowers and more. Now that you’ve carefully selected your location, as well as the degree of elegance you’d like, what should you consider next?
Be creative with your decor.
When it comes to décor, think of the space as a blank canvas on which you get to “paint” YOUR style. Look online or at magazine pictures for inspiration and ideas, then talk with wedding professionals to get ideas on how to use lighting, flowers, centerpieces, table settings and more.
You can ask the reception site coordinator about how to best maximize the room. To add an eye-catching contrast, pair bright contrasting colors, such as vibrant electric blue and salmon color, in lieu of the typical pastels.
This year, I performed at four weddings that featured “mad hatter” or “topsy turvy” cakes, iced with an array of bold colors, custom shapes, and intricate details (as shown in the picture taken at a wedding at Mount Vernon Country Club).
It’s very easy to take a bare room from drab to fab, and do it in a unique way, by hiring a wedding professional, decorator or lighting designer to accent architecture in the room and make best use of foliage, table linens, or centerpieces.
Don’t forget the food.
No reception is complete without food. Buffets, sit-down dinners and even food served in large bowls at the table for a “family style” meal are all options. Buffets are usually more economical and allow your guests to choose from a variety of food selections.
You should also consider placing different food stations around the room instead of having only one or two serving lines, which is more efficient than having guests stand in one long line, and it also gives them a reason to mix and explore different parts of the room.
I’ve done weddings where each station features one ethnic style of food. For example, at a recent wedding, the Bride chose to do a Mediterranean theme for her food (one station featured Greek food; another station southern Italian food; a third had Middle Eastern Food and the final station was a “just in case” station for kids and picky eaters, with American food like sliders, ribs, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets and wings). Amazingly, almost all the guests tried and enjoyed the Mediterranean food, and just the kiddos ate the American food.
Dessert Bar with Coffee, mmmmm…
For dessert, what really takes the cake now is a dessert bar and a coffee bar with a Barista. Instead of the multi-tiered wedding cake, try a spread of amazing desserts with mini-cheesecake squares, fresh-baked gourmet cookies, brownies, pastries, mini crème brulees and chocolate covered strawberries, or even small table cakes that serve eight to ten and double as the table’s centerpiece.
Whether you choose posh and swank, or simple and casual, there are no “right” or “wrong” answers. Just remember that YOUR reception should reflect YOU and YOUR style. Have fun, be creative, and be yourself!