Wedding receptions are one of the places that couples planning a wedding have the most freedom to really express themselves. Many times limits are placed on creativity during the actual ceremony because certain things have to be done and many religions and faiths place guidelines on the ceremonies. Some things such as local traditions and family traditions and beliefs may also restrict receptions but usually to a much lesser degree. In 2012 look for some of these trends at wedding receptions and consider them for your own wedding.
Do it yourself photo booths- A lot of couples love the idea of photo booths and the memories they can create but not the price tag. Many venues will allow a sheet or linen to be hung as a backdrop for a do it yourself version. Props can be bought around holidays at huge discounts and from party sites fairly cheaply. Disposable cameras or letting people use their own cameras works just fine. Provide a drop site for disposable cameras or a website for people to upload the photo booth pictures from their own camera.
Ditch the assigned seating- Any bride knows trying to figure out where everyone will sit and who will be seated with them can be a pretty big task. Not to mention all of the time and money that goes into creating the escort cards. Many brides are opting to ditch assigned seating for a more lounge style reception. Assorted tables of different sizes can be placed around the venue so no one feels tied to one table or group of people.
After parties- Many couples are now hosting after parties at a favorite bar, a local hotel or anywhere really. Weddings get people together who do not often have the time or the reason to travel to the same place. After parties are a great way to fit a little more time into these get-togethers.
A second gown- Many brides are opting for a second, more casual party dress for during the reception. It makes it easier to dance and have fun without worrying about staining the wedding dress or tearing out the bustle.
Return to DJs- Using a DJ is outpacing the use of bands and piano players once again. The variety a DJ has to offer just can’t be beat, not to mention their ability to appeal to all ages and social groups.
Brunch before the wedding, cake and coffee after- Another newer trend is a bit unconventional but a real cost saver. Having a wedding brunch before the wedding to feed guests followed by an early afternoon wedding will save on food, the need for entertainment and some other costs. Cake and coffee or tea, and any other desserts can be offered after the ceremony. An after party for those who wish to keep celebrating can also be offered.
Buffets and stations are big- Pre-made plates are long gone. Traditional buffets as well as “stations” have taken their place. Taco stations, ice cream stations, build a burger stations and many other types of food stations make for food that guests will enjoy and very little leftovers.
The current wedding reception and menu trends are all about enjoying the day rather than getting caught in traditions and etiquette.