Wedding Tips - Wedding Lush » Reception Wedding Ideas Thu, 09 Dec 2010 11:53:59 +0000 en hourly 1 Stocking up your Own Bar at your Wedding Reception Wed, 08 Dec 2010 15:30:31 +0000 galleca If you are thinking of hosting your own bar at your reception, congratulations! You are well on your way to saving potentially hundreds of dollars that you can otherwise spend elsewhere. Before you tempt the idea of hosting your own bar, you will have to consider these things:

  • Will the venue allow for you to have your own open bar' Or do they have one that you must use?
  • You will probably need to obtain a liquor license in order to serve alcohol in a reception venue. Will you be able to obtain one?
  • Unless someone you know of is a bartender, you will have to hire one on yourself. There are a lot of 'freelance' bartenders on there, check out local ads in newspapers, online, or even visit a few bars and see if any of their bartenders are interested.

If you have all of those things covered, then it's time to start thinking about how much alcohol you will need for your guests. Experienced wedding bartenders will be able to give you a pretty good idea of how much you'll need of what, but it's still a good idea to prepare yourself mentally and financially for the costs. What you will generally need are as follows:

  • Beer: 5-6 Cases
  • Red wine: 2 cases
  • White wine: 3.5 cases
  • Gin: 2-3 liters
  • Scotch: 2 liters
  • Tequila: 1 liter
  • Rum: 1 liter
  • Whiskey: 1 liter
  • Bourbon: 1 liter
  • Dry vermouth: 1 bottle
  • Sweet vermouth: 1 bottle
  • OPTIONAL: Champagne: 1-2 cases

The amount of liquor listed above is an average need for a 100 guest reception. Different factors should be taken into consideration, such as how many people actually drink alcohol. There are some families who do not drink, or who may only have a glass of wine or champagne for your toast. Then there are other families who are reputable drinkers who you know will probably well exceed the alcohol listed above. For instance, if your side of the family just can't seem to get enough of scotch, consider adding on an extra liter or two.

Here's something else to consider: What kind of bar are you going to have' While the 'open bar' is still the most popular form, as expenses rise, brides and grooms are looking at other alternatives. Some alternatives include:

  • The Limited Bar: This usually includes all you can drink beer and wine, and maybe one mixed drink or a signature cocktail. You can also limit the time in which this alcohol is served, such as offering it only during cocktail hour, during toasts, and for an hour after dinner. Another option that many brides and grooms are choosing is to have servers serve the drinks to people directly so they can't simply go up to the bar and get as much as they want
  • The Ticket Bar: You can hand out a set number of tickets to each guest per night, with each ticket representing one drink. Two to three tickets is usually a fair quantity. If anyone wants any more than that, then the expense is on them.
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How to Throw a Brunch-Style Wedding Reception Wed, 08 Dec 2010 13:54:10 +0000 galleca The 3-course sit down dinner and the buffet just aren't for you. You would like something a bit more casual for your guests to enjoy, but you want to do more than simply have a cocktail and 'appy' hour. Brunch style wedding receptions are growing in popularity for a number of reasons. They're still sophisticated, you're offering guests a quality meal, and it also gives your guests the afternoon and evening to carry on with their regular day-to-day lives. Brunch wedding receptions are also a fantastic idea for those gorgeous outdoor spring and summer weddings.

What is Brunch?

Brunch is a meal that usually takes place right between breakfast and lunch, spanning the hours of 11:00am and 2:00pm. More breakfast-style brunches tend to take place at 9:00am.

A lot of people swear by kick-starting brunch with some lighter fare to 'prepare' the guest's stomachs for a meal. This means serving drinks like juice, tea, coffee, and cocktails if you are serving alcohol. Along with the drinks you may choose to serve on some lighter foods, like sliced berries and melons.

Once the lighter fare has been passed around, then it's time for the main course! What you have as a main course may be dependent on the type of wedding that you are having. Grilled vegetables are often a fun alternative, and almost everyone likes a frittata for brunch. Smoked meats and bacon are also a guest favorite, as are sandwiches and wraps.

When the main course is finished, then it's time for more coffee, tea, and your wedding cake!

What should the Theme of my Brunch Be?

Given that brunch is a morning to early afternoon meal, you're holding it at a more quiet and 'tame' time of day. This doesn't mean that your brunch won't be fun, but it won't be a wild, crazy party.

If you would like to go for the fancy yet still formal type of brunch, consider setting out the fine china and champagne. You can also offer a three-course brunch-style meal.

The time of year can also play a huge role in what the theme of your brunch will be. If you are having a winter wedding brunch, then try to arrange the brunch around a beautiful fire. Fall wedding brunches do well in spaces that offer great views of the leaves turning to brilliant yellows, oranges and reds. Spring brunches can be beautifully laid out on the lawn beneath a tent. You may want to consider making it into a type of 'picnic' brunch.

How much will it Cost?

The good news about brunches is that they are perhaps the most cost effective meal option that you can ever have for your wedding. You can expect to pay any where from $15 to $85 for brunch, though it really is dependent on the type of foods that you will have there.

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How to Make your Own Wedding Programs Wed, 08 Dec 2010 13:29:49 +0000 galleca Wedding programs are a great way to introduce your guests to your wedding. Programs allow your guests to follow along with every part of the wedding, as well as help you introduce any traditions or customs that you and your fianc may be incorporating into your wedding day. Not only that, but they are also a great keepsake!

You don't need to go to a printer to have your wedding programs made. If you have a computer, a printer and a bit of creativity, you can whip up your own wedding programs in no time. To start, make sure you include these important elements:

  • The full names of both the bride and the groom should be included on the program
  • The wedding date, as well as the city and state where the wedding is being held should be announced
  • The order of the wedding ceremony, including music (be sure to include the composers), and any readings (include any authors) as well as those who are reading the readings
  • Provide a brief 'wedding party bio' for each of the attendants. This can be as simple as describing each person's relationship to you.
  • The name of the person who is marrying you, or the officiant, should be provided
  • A 'thank you' note to parents and then one to all of the guests is a nice inclusion on wedding programs, though not necessary.
  • Honor any deceased loved ones and include a quote, a poem or a fond memory of the person
  • If you are having a religious ceremony, make sure you explain the customs that they will see during the ceremony on the program.

Now that the essentials are out of the way, you can start thinking about how you are going to personalize your programs so that they speak true to both you and your fianc. Some things to think about adding to throw in that 'personal touch' are:

  • Favorite quotes
  • Favorite songs
  • Photographs
  • Poems

Here's the trickiest part for most brides and grooms: just how are you going to make these programs' One way to do this is to set up a 'wedding program' station in your home, which will have your paper laid out, ribbons, and embellishments you would like to include. Alternatively, you can choose a template off of the computer and print them off using your own printer. There are dozens of fantastic wedding websites that offer beautiful wedding program templates that are free to use. Another option would be to purchase a pre-made 'do it yourself' wedding program kit that will direct you on how to piece them together.

Something else to consider is just how you are going to present your wedding favors. This can be as simple as lying them out on a table, or you can try to present them in a way that suits your theme. For example, if you are having a winter wedding, you may wish to have them hanging from a crafted cloud and have them appear as snowflakes falling from above. Or you can place them in a whicker picnic basket for a country-style outdoor wedding.

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How to make a Toast on your Wedding Day Wed, 08 Dec 2010 13:21:44 +0000 galleca If there is something that the vast majority of people on this planet hate, it's public speaking. Most brides say that they would rather spend weeks, if not months going through the wedding planning process again rather than giving a toast to all of their guests, but the toast does not need to be so difficult. Keeping in mind that the people in attendance are those who love and cherish you, here is how you can make a toast on your wedding day.

Understand the 'Why'

Why should you make a toast on your wedding day' To thank everyone for coming! It also gives you the opportunity to share a few special words about and with your spouse. You won't get an opportunity like this again, so seize the day and make the most of it.

TIP: As a bit of a consolation, it is not necessary for the bride and for the groom to make a toast. The only person in attendance who is expected to make a toast is the best man.

How do I Write a Toast?

The hardest thing about writing a toast is thinking of a way to try and 'break the ice' at the very beginning of your speech. The best way to do this is to open up with something that is amusing, but that isn't crude, lewd, or an obvious joke of sorts. Telling a funny story about your spouse (that isn't embarrassing, that is) is a good ice breaker that your guests will appreciate.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your toast should be under 3 minutes in duration. While this may feel like an eternity as you are speaking in front of a group of people, it is actually a considerably small amount of time. Keep the toast simple. After breaking the ice, thank your parents and your in-laws. Thank all of the guests for being there with you. Lastly, toast your brand new husband or wife who is sitting beside you and seal it with a kiss. You don't need to go into long prose-like stories about your childhood or recite poetry; speak from the heart and use tact. Do not say anything rude or mean spirited, even if you may think it's humorous (the humor is often lost on your guests and will just make them uncomfortable).

Reconsider the Alcohol

As nerve wracking as it may be to get in front of a crowd of people and give a toast, make sure that you limit or at least monitor your drinks prior to the toast. Though you may think that getting up there and being a bit 'tipsy' will make it easier for you, you chance embarrassing yourself, ruining the toast and bore your guests, or you may say some inappropriate things that you did not mean to say.

Can I Read my Toast of off a piece of Paper?

No one likes memorizing things for a crowd of people, but reading your toast off of a piece of paper will come off as cold and not genuine. For the best effect, make sure you memorize the key elements of your toast and fill in the other small details as you move forward.

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How to Create your own Floral Centerpieces Wed, 08 Dec 2010 12:40:34 +0000 galleca Nothing beats that classic arrangement of beautiful flowers in a glass vase. If you aren't too keen on spending a lot of money to have a florist create a simple centerpiece, absolutely anyone can craft their own floral centerpieces that will suit their wedding. Here is what you will need to start the project:

  • Up to 75 stems of a more hardy flower, such as a rose
  • A container (this doesn't need to be a glass globe or cube, you can choose a container that may better suit the theme of your wedding)
  • One-quarter inch green adhesive floral tape
  • A stem cutter
  • A stem stripper

Preparing the Stems and Flowers

Start off by removing any excess leaves, thorns, and other foliage from the bunch of flowers you have chosen. Pull off any dead or wilting petals.

Next, fill up your sink or a large bucket with water and, while holding the stems underneath the water, take your stem cutter (or a knife) and then cut your stems about 2 inches from the bottom, and cut them at an angle (cutting at an angle allows for increased water absorption).

Allow your flowers to dry while holding the stems under water, and then place them in a bucket filled with cool water until you are ready to use the flowers.

TIP: Do not cut the stems too short from the start. Keep the long and trim them as you come close to completing the arrangement.

Assembling the Flowers

To assemble the flowers, simply hold one stem at a time, and then use your other hand to hold the flowers in place. Start off by assembling four flowers in a square shape and keep them at even height. These flowers will be in the center of your floral arrangement.

Continue by adding other flowers one by one so that they encircle the center flowers. This should create a 'dome' shape once completed.

Securing and Measuring your Centerpiece

To secure the centerpiece, you will want to use the adhesive floral tape to bind the flower stems at a spot where they seem to naturally join (this will probably be within 3 to 4 inches below the heads of the flowers). You can continue to bind the stems towards the end of the stems, but make sure you leave approximately 2 inches of excess beneath the bind for trimming purposes.

Now, hold up your arrangement to the container that you have chosen. This will help you gauge just how much stem you will need to trim from the ends. As you trim, remember to cut at an angle.

Finishing and Storing your Centerpieces

When you place your centerpiece in the container, take extra care while doing so. Once you have finished them, make sure that you keep the centerpieces well misted and refrigerated. What ever you do, keep the centerpieces away from heat and away from light!

TIP: If you have chosen roses as your flower and there is a bud that hasn't opened yet, place the stem in hot water. This will quicken the blooming process.

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Wedding Centerpieces: Huh? Tue, 07 Dec 2010 19:01:57 +0000 galleca Some brides just have that vision of their perfect wedding day. They can tell you exactly what they want and how they want it, and they'll very well tell you that they have been planning this day since they were 5 years old.

There are many brides like you, however, who lack that vision and who really haven't given marriage and the whole 'wedding thing' a whole lot of thought until your now-fianc decided to spring the question on you. So how do you choose a centerpiece' And why does a centerpiece even matter?

Why you Need Centerpieces

It's simple: it makes the tables at your wedding look pretty. Honestly, that's all it comes down to. Plus it can also be a nice conversation piece for a table that is filled with people who do not know each other so well, and you can use the centerpieces as prizes at the end of the night (let's face it, do you really want to be carting home 10 of the very same flower arrangements that night?). Centerpieces help set the overall 'feel' of your wedding and add a bit of elegance and grace to the whole affair.

Yes, 'elegant' and 'grace' make brides often think 'expensive' and 'out of my budget', but this isn't always the case. You can, in fact, get some really good deals on centerpieces.

How Much do Wedding Centerpieces Cost?

The cost of your wedding centerpiece varies greatly. It is dependent upon what materials you are using to create your wedding centerpiece, as well as the quantity. The more guests you have, the more you will probably be paying.

If you are having some sort of a floral wedding centerpiece as most brides do, costs can be any where from $25 to $500 per centerpiece, with the most lingering around the $50 mark. Alternative centerpieces can be made for almost free, though it will take a bit of creativity and vision to put it all together.

How to Save Money on Centerpieces

The first thing that you absolutely must do is shop around. Don't settle on the first florist, or the second, or even the tenth. See what each has to offer and work on them to see what their bottom line is. Don't forget that these people do deserve to be paid for their time constructing these centerpieces, but trim the extra expenses as much as possible.

TIP: If you are really hard pressed to try and cut down costs, try adding more 'greenery' to your centerpieces than flowers. You can save tons of money!

Another way to save money on centerpieces: do them yourself. Better yet, don't even include any flowers and fresh greenery either! Simply choose a very alternative centerpiece and let that be that. Candles and mirrors are a classic way to go 'on the cheap' yet still have a very classy and sophisticated look, though you can also choose Chinese paper fans, paperback novels, collages, framed song lyrics ' the list goes on and on. Who says you need to have flowers anyway' Do what you want to do.

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The Head Table Dilemma: Who Sits Where? Mon, 06 Dec 2010 19:19:13 +0000 galleca The head table can cause a bride and a groom a whole lot of grief. There are some people who will expect to be sitting at your head table with you who you have no intention of having sat there, and there are others who may not even feel comfortable with the idea of sitting up front and center with you.

The tricky thing about the head table is that there are no 'set in stone' rules about who is going to sit with you. More traditional weddings involved having family members sit up at the head table with the bride and groom, but recently brides and grooms have been choosing to have their bridal party sitting up there with them. Or, the bride and groom can choose to have a sweetheart table where it is just them sitting at the front. If you absolutely cannot decide who to seat at your head table, this isn't a bad option. Should you choose to go this route, make sure that you do create special tables for your wedding party.

Where to Place the Table

The head table should be right at the very front of the entire reception. You are the stars of the day, after all, so you should be visible to everyone and be the center of attention! If you are having your reception in a larger hall, then you will probably want to have the head table placed at the front of the hall and facing all of the guests. Smaller weddings may choose to have the head table in the center of the hall so that they are actually sitting amongst their guests rather than in front of them.

What Style of Table should I Use?

Not all head tables need to come in a boring old rectangular shape. You can also choose to have a U-shaped table, which is a fantastic choice given that it allows for the couple to actually speak to the bridal party on either side of the table, and the bridal party can easily speak to one another as well. An L-shaped table has the same idea where the bride and groom share one side of the table and the wedding party shares the other.

Next choice is the round table. Though this does allow for everyone to speak amongst each other, the bride and the groom will become hidden amongst the bridal party, so they will not be visible to the guests.

Who Sits Where?

The arrangement of the head table is truly up to the bride and the groom. You may want your parents to sit next to you, or you may want your best man and maid of honor to sit upfront and center with you. No matter what, the bride and groom should always be in the center, and the groom should sit to the right of the bride. The most popular way to seat the head table these days is having the maid of honor sit next to the bride and the bridesmaids sit next to her, and the best man sits next to the groom with the groomsmen sitting beside him.

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Your First Dance and Performance Anxiety Sun, 05 Dec 2010 15:29:33 +0000 galleca No matter how poised and beautiful every bride and groom have seemingly appeared at each wedding you have gone to, most of those brides and grooms are sweating just a little under those lights during their first dance. Unless you are a professional performer, the first dance does put a whole lot of pressure upon a bride and groom to appear perfect and in unison as they perform some sort of pre-planned dance. To make both you and your groom more comfortable and to allay any anxiety on your special day, here are some ways you can help make your day more fun.

Dance how YOU Want To

All because someone told you that the waltz or the rumba was the only ways you can dance as a wedding doesn't mean you have to believe them. If you hate the waltz and you abhor the rumba, then by all means choose a different style of dance! You can tango, or you can even create your whole new dance that perhaps is a mockery of the typical first dances that you have seen at other weddings. Everyone will appreciate your fresh and funny outlook on the event.

It's All in the Song

If you don't enjoy the song you're choosing, then why the heck would you want to dance to it in the first place' There is no rule in the fictitious 'wedding rule book' that says you must dance only to classical music. Change it up and throw on your favorite rock tune or a hip hop track both you and the groom love. That will surely get your feet moving!

Get Help

Dance lessons are open to everyone. A lot of dance instructors actually cater just to brides and grooms who may need a bit of a 'boost' when it comes to throwing down the move on the floor. You can usually sign up for any number of lessons that you choose, and you can choose individual or group settings. If you are completely at a loss about which style of dance to use, your dance instructor will be able to make educated suggestions.

Yes, You Gotta Practice

There's no way that you and your groom will become a dancing sensation overnight. As much as you may hate to hear this, it's absolutely true: practice, Practice, PRACTICE! If you don't practice, even if you are taking dance lessons, then there is a good chance you will be very nervous during your first dance and there is a much higher risk of you messing it up. Now that's nerve racking!

Remember to Breathe

Most importantly, you have to breathe. Take slow, deep calculated breaths before you even step onto the dance floor. As you move with your new spouse, continue to breathe slowly and think about your steps and your pacing. Listen for the beat of the music. Taking the time to breathe properly will help center your focus while also relaxing your body, so it does a 'double duty' for you.

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Receptions for Small Weddings Mon, 29 Nov 2010 20:06:23 +0000 galleca Not everyone has the desire (or the budget) to have a gigantic wedding reception that includes family, friends, co-workers, managers, neighbors, the pool guy, etc. etc. If you are looking to have a small wedding reception that aren't sure where to start, here are some ideas that will kick start your planning process.

Wedding Suppers

Why do you need to rent out a giant venue for one night' You can try contacting some local restaurants that you enjoy and ask them if you can have a wedding supper there. You can usually keep these meals as lavish or as simple as you would like. A lot of restaurants love to host private events at their restaurant and will even tailor a menu to the needs of both you and your guests. Make sure that you check with the restaurant to see what their capacity is and whether all of your guess (and always plan on an extra guest or two showing up) will be able to be accommodated.

Backyard Receptions

Backyard receptions are absolutely lovely in a spring or summer sunset. You don't have to use your own backyard; if you know someone who has a nice backyard and they are willing to open it up to you, then by all means take full advantage! You can also check in with farmers or historic homes in your area and see what they would charge for you to hold a reception there. Chances are it will be a whole lot less than if you were to pay for a fancy reception venue.

TIP: When ever planning any sort of outdoor event, make sure that you include tents in your budget and make sure they are on hand ' JUST in case the rain decides to fall.

What's Free in your Community?

Believe it or not, but there are a lot of spots in your community that offer free spaces for you to have a beautiful reception. You can also check with your local Parks and Recreation board to see what fee they will charge for you to rent you a portion of a park or beach (in a lot of cities, beaches are free as long as you keep the number of guests to a minimum). Your local Parks and Recreation board will charge you a whole lot less to use their park than a private establishment, so look around and see if there is a park that tickles your fancy.

Additional Budget Cutting Tips

Borrowing equipment is a number one priority for anyone who is looking for a small reception. Why spend a ton of money renting a projector when Uncle Jim has one just sitting in his basement' Take full advantage of how you can utilize things that you already have in your home, such as an mp3 player and your laptop computer to create slide shows, create play lists for your wedding, and other neat things that can save you hundreds of dollars. You'll be glad that you did!

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How to Find the Perfect Reception Site Mon, 29 Nov 2010 18:03:57 +0000 galleca After you have that beautiful, shining ring slid onto your finger, the next thing that almost every bride thinks about is just where she's going to throw this fabulous wedding party! The reception is almost as important as any aspect of your wedding. It sets the tone, it sets the mood, and it should also be an expression of you and your soon-to-be groom's personalities. Finding that perfect reception site can be a bit tricky, especially if you are new on the wedding scene or haven't been to a lot of weddings recently. If you're feeling lost and bewildered, then this article is for you. Here is how you can find some of the very best wedding reception sites out in your area today:

Talk to Friends and Family

Start talking to friends and family about weddings that they've been to recently. What wedding receptions have they really enjoyed' Did they like the location and could they see you having your reception there' Your friends and family will be the most honest critics about a reception site, so this is definitely a good place to start. Once you have gathered a list of even a couple of places they liked, find the phone numbers for these reception sites and start making visits. The most popular reception sites are booked well in advance, so don't be surprised if there's a 1 year (or more) waiting list.

Talk to your Parks and Recreation Board

Many people don't think of speaking to the parks and recreation board in town, but if you are planning on having a wedding in town then it may be a good place to start. They will be able to suggest parks, beaches, historical homes and museums, and a number of other great locations that you can go check out for your wedding reception. The best part is, these venues are often less expensive than others, especially if these locations are maintained by the county or the city that they are in.

Check out Message Boards Online

Message boards online are another great place to go. There is a message board out there about wedding ceremony sites and reception sites that will relate to almost any area of the world. The message board members will be extremely honest about what worked, what didn't, and how they would do it better next time. Stick around and try to find some great tips about vendors to use, too!

Check out Venues Online

The Internet is a great way to kick start your search, though don't feel too overwhelmed by the vast majority of sites that will come up that are devoted to wedding reception sites. Take your time and start off small. View reception sites in one particular town, city, or area at a time. Once you have exhausted those options, move along to the next one. If you click on every link and take notes on every reception site that will be listed online, you may have a headache before the night is through.

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