Weddings are expensive. But believe it or not there are actually great ways to add big impact to your wedding and reception that will cost you absolutely nothing. Try these ideas, from our book, Weddings with Style:
1. Everyone has greeters (usually ushers or close friends) at the ceremony to escort people to their seats, but why not also have them at the reception. They can welcome guests, take their wedding gift, encourage them to sign the guest book, and even escort them to their table. Your guests will be impressed by such a simple gesture.
2. When it is time for your wedding party to walk down the aisle, add a dramatic flair, and have each groomsman meet a bridesmaid at the beginning of the aisle, present her with her bouquet and then walk her down the aisle. The bride’s father could also be waiting for her at the beginning of the aisle, present her with her bouquet, and then proceed to walk her down the aisle.
3. Try placing the gift table directly behind the head table. Not only will this allow your guests to easily find your gift table, it will make for an attractive backdrop behind you.
4. If your reception hall is using glass tabletops over the tablecloths at the reception, place photographs you already have underneath the glass of you and whichever guests are sitting at that table. Place the photos strategically so guests can see them even when there are plates on the table.
5. See if the management of your reception venue would allow you to bring items from other areas into the room. For example, instead of a traditional dance floor, see if they will lay out a large decorative rug. Have them put several armchairs around the perimeter of the rug to create a lounge area so guests do not always have to retreat back to their tables.
6. Use your wedding party bouquets to decorate the head table by simply laying them down and spacing them evenly along the front of the table.
7. Arrange to have the head table curve inwards in the form of a semi-circle for a more intimate feel and attractive presentation. It will also allow the wedding party members sitting at the ends to not feel so disconnected.
8. Beforehand, write each guest a quick personal note saying how happy you are they came to your wedding and leave it on their plate.
9. Liven up wedding party introductions by having each of your wedding party members enter the reception hall from different sides/doors of the room as they are introduced, to a song that suits their personality.
10. A great way to get everyone up dancing is to have a dance contest. See who dances the most consecutive songs, who does the greatest waltz or tango, or whoever is just the most original.
11. When people clink their glasses for the bride and groom to kiss, instead of the two of you kissing, select certain guests who are celebrating a special time – recently engaged, expecting a baby, celebrating a 25th wedding anniversary, your parents – and have them kiss.
12. When your guests do signal for you to kiss, make your kisses interesting. Do something different every time. Have the groom dip you and kiss, next time have a real long kiss, maybe try a-pick-the-bride-up-and-spin-her kiss, and so forth. This will entice your guests to ask for more.
13. For your first dance as husband and wife, if you have small children in attendance, have them hold hands and slowly walk around you in a circle as you dance.
14. In your wedding invitations, ask your guests to do something specific for the wedding. Maybe you want them all to wear white, or all the women to wear hats, or, for an evening wedding, maybe you want everyone to bring a candle to hold during the service (check fire codes at your venue).
15. Rather than identifying your guest tables as 1, 2, 3 and so forth, be a little more creative when assigning them. Consider the following for table signs:
• Words of prosperity – Love, Hope, Faith, Peace…
• The word “love” in different languages – Amour, Amare, El Amor, Liebe, etc.
• The names of flowers – Rose, Tulip, Lily, Sunflower, Daisy, Carnation, etc. (you could also coordinate the flowers in the centerpieces accordingly)
• The names of various colors; i.e. you are sitting at the Blue table (you could even match the color of the table cloths and centerpieces to their table name).
Have a wonderful wedding!
- For more information on our book, visit www.dcpublishing.com.