Rating Reception Ideas

Wedding Channel just posted some fun, fresh ideas for livening up the mundane details of your reception. For all the ideas, click here. Having seen hundreds of weddings, we had some immediate “great idea!”, “hmmm…that’s different”, and “best not try it…” thoughts based on actual things we’ve seen attempted.

Great idea!

Among our favorite ideas from the article – and one that we’ve also seen employed – are personal table markers. Some of the cutest table markers I’ve seen were pictures of the couple’s vacations, accompanied by a short written memory of it, and pictures of the couple’s respective grandparents and other family weddings, also accompanied by a short story. (And trust me – if it was memorable to us, given how many weddings we see each season – it was extra special to the guests.)

The stories were an extra special touch…beyond being used simply as a way-finder for guests to locate their table, when dinner was over guests wandered from table to table to read the thoughts and stories on all the cards.

Hmmm…That’s different.

This one almost made it into my “best not try it” category, but I’ll cut it some slack for creativity. I see stringing table cards to a tree/plant/flower arrangement like I do chair covers. When initially assembled, it’s beautiful. You stand back with your hands on your hips admiring the effect. But in the case of chair covers, soon after that basking moment, you open the doors for dinner, men throw their jackets on the backs of chairs, purses and camera bags get slung over them, and the (rather expensive) effect is ruined.

I had a similar moment playing a little video in my head involving this plant/card holder…

The girlfriend-of-the-groomsman assigned to assemble the tree while her beau is off taking pictures with the wedding party stands back and smiles at cute little tree after spending an hour in back-breaking positions and ruining her mani while lovingly tying on each little card. Nails aside, she smiles to herself, happy to have fulfilled her task and contributed to making the bride’s day perfect.

Guests begin flooding the foyer, and in a rush to see who they’re sitting with / eat / get their wife to stop nagging at them to get the card, swarm the little tree. A crowd larger than the bar line quickly amasses as guests flip over card after card in search of their name. Like a game of “Memory” gone bad, guests become frustrated, but also experience a bonding moment after three people just start ripping off the cards and shouting out names to help disperse the crowd.

Probably not what the creator of said little tree envisioned. Again, kudos for creativity, but unless your party is fewer than 50 guests, it may have to join the likes of my collection of peep-toe stilettos: Fun, can’t be deemed in any way functional.

Best not try it…

Chinese lanterns.

Before explaning why this decorating idea landed in the “best not try it…” category, I have to say I love the picture, I love how they incorporated all the various colors and sizes of lanterns, and I think it looks fantastic against the white backdrop of the tent.

I’ve seen Chinese lanterns in action, though. And unless you do them as they’ve done here – and by that I mean go overboard with the clusters and colors and hang 150% more lanterns than you think you need to create the effect – it’ll fall flat and end up looking more like a Christmas tree that ran low on decorations half-way down the tree than a happy ball of color. (It’s kind of like skiing bumps…when you think you’re bending your knees enough, bend more.)

If you choose to go this route, make it the focal point of your decor…don’t add white lights, elaborate centerpieces and other items into the mix. It’ll just end up looking like a messy hodge podge in the photos. Trust us.

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