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Wedding Cocktail Reception vs Wedding Dinner


Every year newly engaged wedding couples try to come up with some really creative cost cutting ideas for their wedding reception.  The most common is to host a cocktail reception instead of a full dinner.

Here are a few things wedding couples need to keep in mind.

Timing – The time of day is very important and advising the guests that there will not be a full meal is imperative.  

Notify - You can notify guests that there will be no meal by simply wording your invitations like this: "Please join us for a cocktail reception following our wedding ceremony."  

Large Guest List  - If you plan to host a large cocktail reception with over 100 guests , you'll also want to be sure that there is enough room for everyone to mingle and to sit and talk comfortably, and that there's enough food to go around.

wedding cocktail ideas

Food - You will likely spend less on food, but you'll want to increase the volume and/or variety of the food you do serve. Keep in mind that your guests will eat more hors d'oeuvres than they would during a cocktail hour followed by a meal, especially if the cocktails are following.

Bar - Wedding Guests may consume more drinks than they would if they were sitting down to eat, so your liquor costs may go up.

At the end of the day, you may have been better off with a full dinner reception.  

Wedding Guest Favors - Per Couple or per Person


Many wedding couples want to know if they have to give out a wedding favor to every guest attending the wedding or can it be per couple.  

It's absolutely fine to give wedding favors per couple (and it certainly cuts down some of your wedding costs - substantially by doing it per couple), however the only problem may be with guests who are coming to the wedding as singles - clearly you should give them their own wedding favor so that they don't feel left out.

wedding guest favors

If you're placing them on the wedding reception tables, that can be a little difficult. A good solution might be to use wedding guest place cards. Most couples just use table cards, which are great to direct guests to specific tables, but it does allow them to sit in any seat they want at their specific table.

With place cards, you put their name in an exact spot at a specific table. When locating the wedding favors at the specific table, place each favor halfway linking the two place cards of a couple, so they'll be able to see it's for both of them. When dealing with singles, put them directly above or on top of the service plate.

Another great way to alleviate these problems is to have one of the bridesmaid’s hand them out at the wedding receiving line or at the wedding signing book – often located at the front entrance of the wedding reception.  This will be an easier way for couples to receive they favors and the same goes for the singles. And this way no one will get missed!

Office Wedding Bridal Showers – What’s the Protocol?


When you’ve worked at a company for sometime and have some close friends and a great boss, occasionally they like to throw birthday parties, baby and wedding showers.  Often brides will ask us if they have to invite all the coworkers and boss to their wedding - the answer is no!

office bridal shower

Remember office  bridal showers are just that – “office shower”. It's like any office birthday party - your coworkers don't expect to be invited to your "official" birthday party. Always be sure to thank those who planned the wedding shower with a note of gratitude or a small thank-you gift, but don't feel compelled to invite everyone to the wedding. Just put the close friends you're already planning to invite on your guest list and try not to feel guilty about not inviting everyone from the office. 

Should my children take part in my second wedding?


Nowadays 50% of the marriages taking place are second weddings, or what we call in the wedding industry an “encore” wedding.  A lot of couples have children from their previous relationship and often we are asked if it’s tacky to include them in the wedding.

First off it's never in bad taste to include your kids in your wedding, no matter how traditional an affair it is! Any of your children could stand up in the wedding as junior attendants; some couples have the children read a poem or prayer during the ceremony. Many will escort their mom down the aisle or stand up with their dad as a junior Best man, symbolically giving you and your groom their blessing.

encore weddings
You may want to consider doing a special vow exchange or family prayer/reading right after you exchange marriage vows, in which your new husband or wife will promise to love and care for them, and you all strengthen your new family ties together.  I also advise giving the children a special gift each from you both - something they will keep forever.

How To Make Wedding Invitations Unique


Your wedding invitations should be a personal expression of you as a couple. If you feel that intricate, engraved invitations aren't precisely "you," feel free to test with different types of paper, fonts, colors and designs. Of course, if you've been dreaming of a white wedding ever since you were a small child, you may want to go with a more conventional design. If money is no object, you may prefer the most gorgeous, custom designed and professionally printed wedding invitations available to communicate the significance of your big day.

unique wedding invitations
Another vital point to mull over when choosing wedding invitations is price. Invitations can be a big expense, but they don't have to be. Think of it this way:  As beautiful and personalized your wedding invitations are, they will most likely be ultimately discarded by many of the wedding guests. Why invest an excessive amount of money when you may be able to find discount wedding invitations that suits your desires just as well? It all comes down to personal taste and funds.
You have a number of options for printing your wedding invitations. The most expensive, formal and elegant option is to select an engraved invitation, in which the wording is etched onto a steel plate, and then transferred onto cotton paper, leaving the lettering somewhat raised. A less expensive option is Thermography, which uses special ink to create a similar, raised quality in the lettering. Another trendy option is lithography, a less expensive and faster printing option. If you are on a tight budget, it may make sense to reproduce your own wedding invitations on home or store laser printer.

Who pays for the wedding expenses?


Custom may hold that the bride's parents pay the majority of the costs for the wedding and reception, but these days anything goes. If the wedding couple is established and good money earners, you may be expected to take on most to all of the costs associated with the wedding plans yourselves. Even the most unpretentious wedding can get very expensive, so it's sensible to follow these words of advice:
- Set your wedding budget and stick to it: It's easy to think the myth that the perfect wedding has to cost tens of thousands of dollars. Do your research and get creative when choosing wedding locations, your menus, decorations, flowers and wedding party gifts. And cut back on expenses where you can  - so that you have more money to dedicate to your wedding budget.
- Apply for a joint credit card: This makes it easier to split the wedding costs evenly, and will teach you both about what’s it is like to share each other's assets, and has the added benefit of giving you more security when making deposits for big wedding ticket items and services like the wedding meal, dress and photographer. Of course, if one of you has considerably better credit than the other, it makes sense to get a credit card in that name only and then split the monthly bill. You can also earn frequent flyer miles toward your honeymoon trip with those types of credit cards.  .
wedding expenses

- Consider taking out a small loan: Okay, so maybe you do want to indulge on a lavish wedding, after all. If that is the case, you may want to consider applying for a low-interest personal loan from your local bank.  

- Invite your nearest and dearest only:  The more people that attend the wedding the more costly the affair will be. Every head counts when it comes to a wedding. I always recommend only inviting those close to you…this is after all a very private and itimate event not a public showcase.

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