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Fun Reception, Guaranteed

Sure, you want a wedding that’s breathtaking and memorable, but don’t you also want it to be a fun party? Ensure a fun-filled night at your wedding reception, for both you and your guests, by following one (or all) of these tips:

Change into something more comfortable with a reception-specific gown that’s comfy and chic. (This can apply to the gents too; let your groom trade in his tux for something more casual to dance the night away.)

Create an upbeat playlist with strut-worthy hits guaranteed to keep your dance floor packed.

Ditch traditional wedding fare and opt for a fun, eclectic, or unique meal instead that will please palates and impress guests.

Take a dance class (or ten!) and plan to wow watchers of your first dance with a choreographed number.

Food stations or food trucks are a great way to surprise guests with interesting and fun fare that will make your event memorable and keep revelers fueled late into the night.

Give some thought to your seating arrangement by pairing up people who are old buddies or never-met guests who are sure to be fast friends.

Ensure hilarity and poignancy by carefully selecting the ladies and gents who will be offering up the wedding night toasts and giving them guidelines.

Offer activities and entertainment for pint-sized attendees by providing kids with personalized gift bags loaded with age-appropriate goodies or offering a separate kids station where tykes can watch movies, color, or play games.

Give guests plenty of places to hang out by setting up unique seating areas at your reception site, such as an intimate lounge for chatting or patio seating for getting fresh air.

Rent a photo booth, loaded with props and backdrops, that’s ideal for capturing candid snapshots of your wedding guests. As an added bonus, photo strips make a great favor for party-goers to remember your big night.

Surprise guests with some sort of special presentation, whether it’s a late-night fireworks display or a performance by belly dancers.

Hand out fun favors that can be used immediately, such as wacky props, silly string, glow sticks, or confetti launchers.

2012 Wedding Trends

2011 was the year of the photo booth, candy bar, and rustic décor in the world of weddings, so what will 2012 hold? We have predictions on the hottest trends that will be cropping up in the new year…

 

Royal Influence: As millions watched everywoman Kate Middleton marry her Prince Charming, all eyes were on the wedding details. Expect to see royal influences in 2012, particularly when it comes to gowns. Lace accents, cowl necks, and cap sleeves will be all the rage as brides channel their inner princess.

 

 

Food Trucks: 2011 saw the emergence of unique and eclectic food stations at wedding. In 2012, wedding guests should expect to find food trucks parked outside wedding receptions and after-parties. As food trucks are gaining popularity across the nation, brides are taking notice and booking them to provide guests with fun and original fare.

Mix & Match: As couples continue to seek ways to put their own unique mark on the wedding day, dresses and décor will become more eclectic and less uniform. Instead of matching bridesmaid dresses, many brides are opting to showcase their attendants in individual gowns and shoes that are cohesive without being identical. This trend will influence centerpieces, as well, with tabletops boasting several smaller assorted items lumped together, instead of towering centerpieces that look the same.

Photo Backdrops: Say goodbye to photo booths and hello to funky photo shoots. Wedding photographers are recognizing the desire to capture fun and quirky posed portraits of wedding guests, in lieu of strictly candids, so they’re showing up equipped with backdrops and props. Guests can pose individually or alongside friends in a variety of hilarious and posh getups that make for awesome photos that create a great wedding memento.

Nontraditional Wedding Gowns: If New York Bridal Fashion week is any indication, 2012 will be the year of the not-so-white wedding gown. Brides are moving away from traditional ideals of wedding gowns and colors by selecting dresses in various hues or with a punch of color. Blush is growing in popularity as the color of choice, while many women are opting for patterned gowns or dresses with an accented pop of color.

Two Dresses: One wedding dress simply isn’t enough anymore. For years, celebrity starlets have strutted their stuff on their wedding day in multiple gowns and blushing brides are beginning to follow suit. Don’t be surprised to see a lavish gown for the wedding ceremony be traded in for a more comfortable design for the reception.

Smaller Guest Lists: With an emphasis on intimacy and informality, many couples are slashing their guest lists and opting for smaller affairs. Giant, over-the-top events might become a thing of the past as couples choose to say ‘I do’ amidst a close circle of family and friends.

Nature Calls: Rustic and vintage themes will continue to prevail throughout 2012, with brides drawing inspiration from nature. Expect to see muted palettes, heavy on creams, greens, and browns, and an array of natural elements permeating the wedding décor.

Should You Buy a Reception Dress?

After you spend all that money on wedding dress you have to wear it all night, right? Not necessarily. Some brides choose to change into a reception dress once the party gets started. A reception dress is typically a shorter, usually just above the knee, white dress. However, you could choose to wear a different color if you wished. It depends on how you want to look on your wedding day.

Is a reception dress right for you?

Reception dresses aren’t for everyone. Before shelling out another $100 to $600 plus on another white dress, consider these questions.

Do I love my wedding dress so much that I want to wear it all night?

Will I get uncomfortable in the wedding dress? (Consider length, heaviness, and restrictions.)

Do I want to change into a dress that will be more comfortable to dance in?

What do I want to be wearing in my wedding photos? (Consider the garter toss, cake cutting, and dancing photos.)

Is there money in my wedding budget for a reception dress?

Where to Find a Reception Dress

Where you purchase a reception dress depends on your style and budget. Reception dresses can be simple, white cocktail dresses or extravagant gowns with bedding and lace. They are also available in a wide range of prices. Here are just a few stores to consider.

Department Stores – Most department stores have a dress section. You may be able to find a white cocktail dress or be able to order a dress in white.

Bridal Stores – Many bridal stores carry reception dresses. They also carry cocktail dresses or short bridesmaids’ dresses. Sometimes these are available in white.

Online – There are tons of online stores that offer reception dresses or dresses available in white. Be sure to check reviews and return policies before ordering. Check out BHLDN.

Whatever you decide to wear, make sure you feel beautiful. You don’t want to spend the night uncomfortable and self-conscious, and don’t be afraid to bend the rules. Just because you are bride doesn’t mean you have to spend the night in a long, white gown.