We've found 25 wow-them ways to share the love at your dream reception.
By: Kristen Finello
Hold your festivities at the site where your husband-to-be proposed.
One couple held their wedding at the majestic Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, where the groom had proposed a year earlier. Since he'd popped the question in a horse-drawn carriage, they treated guests to their own romantic rides.
Engaged at the Eiffel Tower? Incorporate a Parisian theme into everything from your save-the-date cards to the napkins at your cocktail hour. (And consider a gorgeous French-style croquembouche cake, a wonderful cream-puff pastry covered with caramel.)
For a fairy-tale romance effect, try a color scheme of pinks, whites, and silvers. Or use shades of red, from the palest pink to luscious watermelon to a deep rose. If you prefer a more sensual, romantic ambience, choose a palette of strong, passionate reds.
Choose a vineyard, a botanical garden, a lush backyard with beautiful plantings or an old mansion with chandeliers, ornate mantelpieces and a landscaped garden for guests to roam in. With naturally gorgeous backdrops like these, you just can’t go wrong!
Have a lighting specialist create a special glow for your first dance.You might project your married monogram or a simple, swirling design onto the dance floor. It never fails to get guests out there to kick up their heels.
Consider a white linen tablecloth covered with a pink overlay. Tuck a tiny, perfect rosebud into each guest’s pale pink napkin. A centerpiece might include varieties of pink blooms, such as roses, orchids and tulips.
Float them in glass bowls or cluster some in various heights on tables. At an outdoor wedding, you can achieve a magical effect by suspending dozens of tiny electric candles in small glass globes from tree branches. And don’t forget to consider nestling pretty Japanese lanterns among the branches — utterly enchanting!
Have romantic facts about the two of you printed on cards, and place one on each reception table.
Put the cards in holders so guests can pass them around and enjoy them. For inspiration, think about the most romantic thing you’ve done for each other, how the groom proposed or your favorite thing to do as a couple. You could also include a line from a movie, song or poem that is special to you.
Another way for the groom to show his romantic side:
One groom conspired with the florist to add a blanket of rose petals down the aisle that ended in two circles of petals at the altar where he and his bride would stand.
Photo Credit: Alison Duke Photography / Created by: Colin Cowie
Create a sentimental surprise.
Many couples write their own vows, but you could carry this a bit further. Read aloud a few words from a note or love letter that he sent to you early in your relationship. Such a gesture will delight him — plus, the fact that you kept the note rates a ten on the romance meter!
After thanking their parents and the friends who had introduced them, a groom serenaded his bride with “Something Else Again” by Chris de Burgh. The combination of her tears and laughter, his nerves and the knowledge of what had just come to fruition was magical.
Many couples choose to sit at their own table during the reception. Not only do they get to enjoy each other as newlyweds, but the bridal party gets to sit with their significant others as well. No one wants to be separated from their sweetie at a wedding!
One bride and groom decided to splurge on a vintage Bentley to bring the two of them to their reception. That car ride turned out to be one of the only pockets of time that they had alone together on their wedding day. They relaxed for a few minutes, sipped champagne and marveled at the fact that they were actually married!
Some newlyweds are choosing to go solo — sans even a hired driver. Grooms are whisking their brides away in a friend’s vintage automobile or the groom’s dream car, rented for the occasion. One groom we know decided to take the reins of an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage!
Try a confection of strawberry mousse or one filled with raspberry, iced with buttercream and topped with fresh, deeppink roses and pink orchids. For chocolate lovers: pink fondant icing and a cascade of sugar-paste pink and lavender roses that conceal layers of chocolate within!
One bride and groom served beer from the brewery/restaurant where they first met, as well as specialty cocktails with monikers like “First Date.” With dessert, they offered the “Happily Ever After,” a tasty liqueur in a chocolate shot glass.
(The pink tint comes from a splash of pinot noir in the blend.) If you’re offering pink-hued foods, like lamb or salmon, you can even serve the bubbly with the meal.
Photo Credit: Kristyn Hogan
Your first dance as husband and wife should be magical and memorable.
One bride wanted an a cappella group of a dozen vocalists to sing her favorite ballad as she and her new husband took a turn around the dance floor. Maybe the two of you will want to show off your salsa moves with a hot number you’ve rehearsed. Choose your style!
Make your last dance of the evening as sweet as your first.
Invite your guests to surround you on the dance floor. Have someone pass around a basket of rose petals so your guests can shower you and your new hubby with the petals. Everyone will remember this final, loving moment.