Your wedding reception will be one of the most remembered events of your life – a commemoration of love and happiness to share with those most dear to you. It’s a time of celebration and crescendo of months of careful planning and anxious anticipation. Whether you are planning an elaborate event with many guests or an intimate dinner for only family and close friends, remember, this is your moment, your chance to create the day of your dreams.
After you set a wedding date, one of the most crucial decisions you must make is what type of reception you will have. Do you want a traditional wedding reception with many guests and a formal receiving line? Or would you prefer a more informal open house? You my decide that a small gathering for a formal dinner, in lieu of a traditional reception, is better suited to your tastes and style. Many brides have a reception in the bride’s hometown and an open house given by the parents of the groom one to three weeks later.
The location for your celebration will greatly influence the type of reception you choose to have. Some brides have their receptions in historic homes or churches; others opt for a quaint garden setting or a romantic gathering on a beach. Even a family backyard can be transformed into an elegant setting that reflects your individuality. Each of these sites lends itself to a different kind of wedding reception. As you determine the type of reception you’d like, consider how many people you want to invite, the number of people you want to include in the wedding party, the kind and amount of food you want to serve, what type of music you prefer, if there will be dancing, and so on.
Once you have decided on the type of reception you want and have reserved your location, it’s time to move on the style or theme of your event. Selecting a style or theme for your reception may seem as elusive as finding the perfect pair of shoes for your wedding gown. It is, however, an important part of creating a beautiful, cohesive reception. A number of things can serve as the starting point for determining your wedding theme, from the style of your gown to your favorite variety of flowers to the season in which you will marry. But it is of overriding importance once you have established a theme or style to keep the rest of your reception in harmony with this decision. The style or theme you select will help dictate other choices, such as which type of flowers you carry, how formal your announcements should be, what your bridesmaids will wear, and so on.
The style of your wedding should reflect your personality and preferences. And remember, even though some of these decisions will seem overwhelming or insignificant – and everyone from your own mother to your soon-to-be sister-in-law will have their own ideas – these are happy decisions. This is your opportunity to personalize your wedding and thus make it the event you always dreamed it would be.