Things to Consider
One of those Big Picture items.
- The style of the reception should conform, at least roughly, to the style of the ceremony. Properly, of course, the style ought to be exactly the same ~ but we can't always be perfectly proper, can we? Still, drastic differences are to be discouraged!
An informal reception . . .
- May be shorter
- May have only light refreshments, but could also feature a brunch or luncheon, or simple buffet.
- Does not have assigned seating
- May have very little seating.
- Could take place in a restaurant, home, fellowship hall, garden, etc.
- Has simple decorations, if any.
A semi-formal reception . . .
- Will be longer than an informal reception
- May have anything from a light refreshment buffet to a simple dinner (buffet style).
- May have assigned seating, but doesn't necessarily have to.
A formal reception . . .
- Will be at least several hours long.
- Will feature either a sit-down dinner or a buffet (that is more elaborate and substantial than for a less formal wedding)
- Will take place in a very nice location and may have elaborate decorations.
- Will have assigned seating (or, at least, assigned tables)
- The bride and groom have a special, reserved place to sit.
- Other seating may be arranged, open, or in between. Attendants are usually assigned seating even at a reception with open seating. Guests may also be simply assigned a table, but not a specific seat.
The MC, or Master of Ceremonies
- The most important thing to consider is that this person will have a microphone and can say anything he wants to and everyone will hear it. Choose wisely!
The catering and service
- You can either hire someone to do it ~ more expensive (probably), easier, less time-consuming, less stressful (probably), the food may or may not be good (but it won't be familiar), and everybody will get to enjoy the wedding and the reception.
- Or do it yourself (meaning family and friends do it, not the bride by herself!) ~ potentially much cheaper, a lot of hard work, potentially more fun, more stressful (maybe),the food will be better (assuming the cooks can cook), more time-consuming, and relatives or church ladies may skip the wedding to prepare the reception hall or spend the reception serving food.
- Check out the kitchen facilities at your reception location to make sure they are adequate. Even if a caterer is bringing all the food, she'll need some space.
- If you are doing it "yourself" you may need to borrow or rent equipment and serving dishes.
- They're optional, but usually expected.
- They can cost you a ridiculous amount of money if you're not careful!
- They're optional.
- They don't require alcohol. That is, you can have toasts without alcoholic drinks.
- They're optional ~ but usually expected.
- Buy or make a special tossing bouquet, instead of throwing yours.
- I, personally, have problems with the garter toss, so I can't help you there (I wouldn't want my husband to remove a piece of my underwear in public and toss it to a bunch of men). I haven't thought of an alternative yet, either.
- There's the good old-fashioned rice (it doesn't kill birds).
- Then there's birdseed. Sure to be appreciated by our feathered friends.
- Bubbles are popular now. They look good in pictures. Plus, they don't make sidewalks dangerous, they don't make a mess on the ground, and they can't get inside your clothing.
- Want something different? These certainly aren't the only options!