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From Proposal to Wedding Day: Reception Décor

In this season of wedding planning, look here for answers on how to go from “I will” to “I do” without the stress and mishaps. This week: decorating your reception space.

There are a few other things that, although not required, are rather expected in the décor and set up of your wedding reception.

CAKE TOPPER- as the name says it, it goes on top of your cake, and it’s a great way to inject some individual taste into your wedding. A lot of times, this is also a less “serious” component and you can have some fun with it. There are many different cake toppers, from crystal studded initials of the Bride and Groom, to theme toppers (e.i. masquerade mask), your sports team’s topper, etc. One of our recent brides used a porcelain figurine of a Cherub that served as a lucky charm at the many past weddings.

Possibilities are endless. If you don’t know where to start, check out the ever so popular artisan website www.etsy.com for some unique and very affordable options. You can also use fresh flowers or a ribbon to decorate the cake.

CAKE TABLE DÉCOR-make sure that the cake table is covered in a nice tablecloth, or even better, something glamorous and different (think ruffles, sparkly overlays etc.). It will be the center of attention and you want it to be presented properly. Also, some fresh flowers and some votive candles will be a nice touch. Just make sure to use battery-operated candles, you don’t want anything to be catching on fire while you are smothering the cake all over each other’s faces.

SIGN IN BOOK, WISHING TREE, GUEST BOOK ALTERNATIVES. These have great décor appeal and give the guests something to do while they are waiting for things to get started. I personally like wishing trees the best. They are rather large, serve the role of a welcoming centerpiece and can look quite exquisite. You can dress them in crystals, flowers, hanging votives or any other pieces that enhance your wedding décor.  You can also use them to display your baby and couple’s photos arranged in small frames.

The guest books of nowadays are more elaborate, with photo collages of the engagement session and such. Make sure you supply ample number of pens for the guest to use and  test the pens to make sure that they work and don’t smudge.

There are many other guest book options like signing couples’ portrait, signing a glass vase with a special etching pen, having a typewriter set up for a vintage feel, letting guests use their fingerprints to “create” a wedding day artwork. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you have enough room for the crowd to gather without blocking pathways to the other parts of your reception. You want the location to be noticeable, but not too close to the ceremony or reception’s entry, so not to create long lines and hold everything up.

CARD BOX, BIRD CAGE, GIFT TABLE. With the popularity of a wedding registry and ease of purchasing and shipping on line, very few guests still bring the actual gifts to the reception. Having said that, you’ll still need an assigned gift table with an ornamental bird cage, card box or other form of box that will hold the cards from your guests and serve as a visual anchor for all of those that bring wrapped gifts as well.

TOASTING FLUTES. Many couples choose to purchase (or are gifted by a family member) these special toasting flutes. Yes, you will probably only use them once or twice, but if chosen wisely, they can be a start to your own family heirloom collection.

CAKE CUTTING KNIFE AND SERVER. More often than not, couples use whatever cake utensils are provided by the venue. If you want to save some money, this would be a good place to do so.

BRIDE AND GROOM’S CHAIR SASHES. These could be quite beautiful and special  when executed right. I prefer these over the obvious “Bride” and “Groom” signs hanging on the back of the chairs. For an upcoming Filipino wedding, we will be creating special chair sashes made out of a traditional Filipino piña cloth. It will make the seats stand out and will incorporate the couple’s tradition and heritage.

In my next blog we’ll talk about other stationery elements, including save the dates, invitations, place cards, etc. In the meantime – happy wedding planning!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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