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The Wedding Reception

Reception ~ Table Linens
Research reveals that our ancestors first used the sides of table cloths as napkins! This is definitely not the most elegant sight. Napkins came into existence in the 17th century, when long tables were placed across the end of a “Great Room”. The host, his family and honored guests sat around those tables in chairs with arms. A long cloth was placed across the knees of the diners who shared this group napkin. By 1660, a separate napkin was furnished for each diner. Eventually, individual napkins were placed in special holders so that each person was assured of getting his/her own unlaundered napkin back at the next meal. Today’s napkin rings are available in many materials and are considered a fashion accessory for the well dressed table. Fortunately times have changed and fresh table linens are available for every price range and dining style. A collection of table linens and accessories will accent your china and complement your lifestyle choices for the table and entertaining. 

Theme Ideas for Receptions
We enjoy helping brides plan receptions. We especially like helping to plan Theme Receptions which are increasing in its popularity. A themed event is memorable for guests, a delight for the bride and her parents to plan and provides continuity for all events, food and decor. Here are some of the most popular themes we’ve seen done well.

For “A Making Memories Affair”, cover tables with family photos and memorabilia. Place disposable cameras on each table to encourage guests to take photos during the celebration. Place loose leaf pages with pens imprinted with the bride and groom’s names and wedding date in the center of the table along with requests that each guest write down a special memory they have of the couple or the bride or the groom along.

For “A Romantic Wedding”, include lots of candlelight, soft white miniature lights, tulle draping, mirrors as centerpieces, covered with crystal candlesticks in varying styles and shapes. Work with the hotel or club staffer who will be servicing your reception for other mood lighting alternatives. Make sure that the music played throughout the cocktail hour and dinner is soft and romantic. If your wedding is during spring, consider a “Botanical Celebration”. Use plants instead of cut flowers for centerpieces, or natural arrangements and potted plants throughout the room for a greenhouse “feel”. Encourage guests to take the plants home as gifts! You may also want to paint metal pails in your wedding colors and plant trees in them. Guests who take the trees home will have a living memento of your special wedding.

Consider a “Family Heritage” celebration to honor both families’ heritage. Use traditional ethnic colors and music. Celebrate with the customs and rituals from the cultures involved.

Tips For Your Reception
We understand the most important part of your wedding is the marriage itself. We also know that your reception is equally important, as it will be the first time you greet family and friends as a married couple. We suggest that you plan your reception from nine to twelve months in advance and book the location earlier if necessary.

Wherever you are considering, ask the facility personnel if you can observe another reception that is taking place, so that you can see the flow of traffic and get a rough idea on how the site is set up. Plan to serve appropriate food according to the time – no dinner food for a 4pm reception and serve more than hors d’oeuvres at a 6pm reception. Never have a cash bar. If your budget doesn’t cover an open bar, serve something within your budget.

Charging for drinks is like charging a guest for dinner at your home. You invite them. Hence, do not allow bartenders or musicians to put out tip jars. Gratuities will be handled through the final payment. Be sure that your musicians are clear about what music to play and let your MC know about when and what announcements or introductions are to be made. Have the band or DJ play a variety of music so guests of all ages can sing or dance along! Make arrangements for gifts to be placed in a secured room. Be sure your photo session does not last too long, too.

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