Cocktail lounge reception
"We recently did an all cocktail hour wedding mixed with a short ceremony. We did the ceremony and then right into a wonderful cocktail style party with mixed seating such as lounge furniture and different table configurations with heavily passed foods and some stationary food stations.
We also brought in a photographer that took photos of the guests while they were partying and we projected the photos on a big white wall at the same time...people love to watch themselves have a great time!!" - Event designer, author (Party Like a Rockstar) and party planner extraordinaire, Jes Gordon
"Rather than just displaying old photos, I love using old family wedding photos for place card décor or even better, incorporating them into cute table numbers that are totally personal. It even gives guests a reason to move from table to table checking them all out — thus creating a sort of 'mixer' for people that don't know one another. It also saves money on having to pay for additional décor or print goods for these items." - Lori Stephenson, LOLA Event Productions
A second dress
"The bride changing into the second dress of the evening — a stunning white mini-gown. After the ceremony and the grand entrance, the bride changes into a short party dress — white, lacy, beaded and high-end so that she still looks very much like the star. Marchesa is known for these short dresses, paired with Christian Louboutin shoes." - Nancy Aucone of The Wedding Salon of Manhasset
"Rolling table side desserts (old school) like banannas flambe or Baked Alaska. These gueridons can be rolled around the room. Also desserts that are JUMBO. Like jumbo Ring Dings, jumbo Twinkies, etc." - Andrea Correale, president and founder of Elegant Affairs
Olive oil favors
"Olive oil wedding favors! The grandparents of the couple produced the oil in Italy. The bottles had special labels on them. We also served it at the guest tables instead of butter. It was elegant and personal." - Jacklyn McBeth, Senior Event Planner at One Atlantic
"Table numbers that are also a small booklet where guests at each table can write a note to the bride and groom. A collection of all the booklets makes for a great keepsake." - JOWY Productions
"I was recently at a wedding of a bride and groom that loved sports and whose first date was at a baseball game. They incorporated little things such as ticket stubs as their escort cards, signature drinks for different teams, and for an 'after party' touch. They passed out roasted peanuts and Coney hot dogs from a restaurant they love in the Detroit area. Very simple, very sweet and very them — and that is what makes the wedding unique." - Jennifer Krut of Jennifer Krut Weddings in Birmingham, Michigan
"One of our brides had an uncle who is an interior designer. He had a brilliant idea of creating a chandelier out of an old (but working) traditional brass chandelier that he draped in a vintage wedding dress. It was stunning and spectacular! It just goes to show with a few tag sale finds and some creativity, you can create something totally original and unexpected!" - Candice Coppola, Owner and Creative Director of Jubilee Events
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