Editor's Note: For more on receptions, check Miss SOS Archives.
A Holiday Affair To Remember (December, 2006)
Sarah knew that she wasnt like most brides. Most brides she knew wanted to be married in June when spring buds had given way to young green leaves. Beautiful as that was, that wasnt for Sarah. Sarah loved the deepness of the winter, when fir trees crackled with the weight of frozen snow, and Christmas was still a few weeks away. To her, it was a special time of year. A time for rejoicing and being with family and friends.
Thats why Sarah wanted her wedding to take place in December. What better time for loved ones to gather and celebrate? The only thing Sarah wasnt too sure about was how to combine wedding reception décor with Christmas decorations. Thats when Sarah contacted PrescottWeddings.com. Could we give her any creative ideas for a bride on a limited budget? We put our heads together and came up with a number of suggestions.
Since Sarah wanted to have her wedding reception at her parents Victorian home, we first had to consider room space limitations and traffic flow. It was quickly determined that food stations would work best. Each station would be exclusive, i.e. one station would only offer a variety of salads, another station would only serve pastas, and of course we had to have a sweets table, etc.
Though there was enough space for four or five 60 round dining tables, this reception would have to have a number of high cabaret tables to accommodate the expected crowd. Much of the parlor and dining room furniture had to be removed and put in temporary storage. This created the space we needed to place food stations, tables and chairs about. It was now time to pull the entire look together.
Sarah had to take a few trips scouring through fabric stores but finally fell in love with a bolt of discounted cloth consisting of Christmas red, green and gold stripes. She measured the length and width of the tables and cut the fabric to fit. Not the slightest bit a seamstress, she took a shortcut by duct-taping the hems. She found inexpensive dark green tablecloths that worked perfectly as the underlay. She placed the striped cloth as an overlay, creating a festive look of elegance by using large safety pins underneath to drape the material. Because the cabaret tables were only 48 in width, large centerpieces were never an option. Instead, placed on small mirror disks, votive candles were set around bowls filled with cashews or peppermint candy.
A Christmas wreath greeted guests at the main door, poinsettias were placed throughout the rooms, slender white tapers ensconced in silver candelabras added a warm glow, and fir garlands adorned with red ribbon graced the main fireplace mantel. Strategically located in the corner of the parlor was the Christmas tree, gaily decorated with red bows, candle-shaped lights, and hand-made ornaments. (Sarah cheated on the ornaments; she said she bought them at an arts and crafts fair shortly after Thanksgiving.)
When guests arrived bearing wedding gifts, they placed their present under the Christmas tree. The bartenders, standing close by, asked their preference of holiday cheer before joining the others to mingle or to enjoy a delicacy from one of the food stations.
After an evening of celebration, departing guests were given one of the hand-made ornaments to hang on their own Christmas tree, a commemorative token of love and friendship from Sarah and her husband. For Sarah, it was the perfect Christmas-time Wedding.
Be Creative! Be Daring! Go for it! (April, 2006)
Your wedding reception should reflect who you are. Whether you want your reception to be traditional or playful, you dont have to have the same reception your parents did. Want your theme to be unique? Be creative! Want a psychedelic color scheme? Be daring! Want a chocolate wedding cake? Go for it!
However you envision your wedding reception, its totally yours! Here are some of PrescottWeddings.com hottest wedding reception ideas. Borrow from one or from all.
Choose soft colors. A pale yellow and sage green plaid tablecloth evokes the feel of a warm, summery garden. Carry out the theme with white-on-white china. Small potted herbs, with the guests name tucked among the plant, can be cleverly used as place cards that double as favors. Instead of marking tables with numbers, use illustrated seed packets.
Bring the garden indoors. Showcase the wedding cake atop an antique, wrought-iron garden cart. Set large ceramic urns overflowing with flowers and green ferns around the room. Stir the senses with sweet-smelling centerpieces of lily of the valley and sweet peas. Add fragrant herbs like rosemary, thyme and mint. Set apart the Bride and Grooms chairs with fragrant garlands of ivy and rosemary, tied with sage silk ribbon.
Serving a Signature Drink (a special libation) is a fun and stylish way to personalize your wedding. Choose a longtime nonalcoholic favorite of yours or a cocktail that reflects your reception theme. Because theres nothing more refreshing than sipping a tall glass of iced tea in a shaded garden, add your own special twist by having highballs filled with chilled herbal teas with sprigs of fresh mint. For maximum impact, have them served on a round wicker tray.
Make your reception a country orchard. Pin guests place cards on miniature pears or gourds. Display on top of a bale of hay. For party favors, consider Mason jars, adorned with your monogram sticker, filled with your favorite jam or preserve.
Have your centerpieces an eclectic mix of blooms and wild berries for that fresh-from-the meadow feel. Accent with small pumpkins and apples.
Rather than serving coffee with the wedding cake, give your guests hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks. But why stop at the cake? Todays Brides and Grooms are presenting additional confections at their receptions with an elaborate Dessert Table laden with decadent sweets. In keeping with a country theme, display caramel or candied apples on an antique wooden tray. For a lasting impression, have cellophane bags available to wrap the apples as an edible favor.
Sea or Ocean
Use stark white linens tablecloths with turquoise napkins folded to look like hanging beach towel. White wooden chairs are perfect in capturing the look of beach chairs. Choose plates in nautical blues.
Fill the vases with orange and yellow orchids, reminiscent of a warm sunny day. Or, overturn small galvanized silver buckets partially filled with sand, and add seashells and sand dollars for an interesting look. Rather than menu cards, use a small slate chalkboard to mark the fresh-catch of the day.
Create a Sweetheart Table, an intimate setting for just for the two of you. You may not spend much time sitting, but for quick rests between dancing and mingling, why not feel like royalty? Decorate by draping white, gauzy fabric from the ceiling and trim with ocean inspired accents such as opalescent shells or starfish.
Editors Note: Do you have any reception ideas of your own? Write to us and well post it on PrescottWeddings.com.