1. Pre-ceremony signature beverages
Your guests probably aren’t expecting cocktails until after the ceremony and during the reception, so surprise them with a welcome beverage when they first arrive at the venue & start making their way into the ceremony space. A good tip is to serve something on the lighter and fruitier side- opt for fresh lemonades, cucumber water, peach bellinis, mimosas or light refreshing mojitos. Play around with displays; we love the clear slabs of glass holding the flutes of fruity cocktails and the fresh peaches as base of the tray.
Before the processional, have ushers and waiters clear empty glasses from the reception space. You don’t want empty glasses making their way into your professional wedding photos!
2. A decked out reception entry display
Event designer to the stars Preston Bailey says that “a blank entrance is a missed design opportunity. Creating a statement at the entrance not only pleases the eyes, but it sets the tone; guests get a taste of what awaits while being given a strong indication that the party has, in fact, started. ” (quote found here). Wow your guests as soon as they enter the reception space with a standout wedding presentation and display. Present your guest book and place cards in unexpected ways and provide innovative means for your guests to interact and become involved in a sometimes monotonous process.
Searching in a sea of name tags can be a bother for some. Instead, include name cards on material objects such as small bottles of champagne or small gifts (homemade soap or preserves). Want to keep it simple? Include a sumptuous floral arrangement and lots of white candles to create a sultry table scape.
3. A Luxe Reception Lounge
One of the most important things at your wedding is to make sure your guests feel comfortable. Ensuring ample seating is vital, so why not kick it up a notch with a chic ‘living room’ inside the reception itself? Rental companies offer a multitude of furniture options in different designs that cater to all wedding styles including sofas and sectionals, ottomans, coffee tables and chairs. Accessorize your space with luxe lighting, pillows, floral arrangements and candles. Our guess is that people won’t want to leave!
4. Glamorous black & white photo booth
Nothing says old-fashioned glamour like black and white photographs. Allow your guests to done their best Marilyn or Audrey and have them pose for their own one-on-one photo shoot with The Collective You- a Vancouver based company that “[brings] you the timeless luxury of black & white portraiture and a new standard in event entertainment” (via their Facebook page here). These photos will be a wonderful memento for your guests to take home and cherish. Have them take doubles, and insert them in a wedding scrapbook for the bride & groom to open during their honeymoon.
5. Stand-out lighting
There are few ways to make a reception stand out in the way lighting can. Having the ability to transform any room into a lit-from within ethereal space, lighting is the most effective method of making your guests speechless! Candles, chandeliers, pendants, string and uplighting are just a few of the many options to choose from for achieving that perfect ambience at your wedding. Our favourite options are candle-lined aisles interspersed with rose petals, string lighting canopied on the interior ceilings of reception tents and gobos (an illuminated monogram or stenciled design projected on flooring or walls). Stuck on how to choose the best lighting for your wedding? Thoroughly tour your wedding venue- including the ceremony and reception spaces. Assess the architecture of the venue, natural lighting, the ceiling arrangement and visualize the space with furniture and a dance floor. Establish a vision based on what you want to accentuate in the space. As a rule of thumb, upon entrance, you should want your guests eyes to focus on the tables (and floral arrangements) and the dance floor. Your wedding coordinator will arrange a lighting designer to evaluate power outlets and capability based on your final decisions and designs! Don’t know where to start? That’s why we’re here!
Featured image © Geoff Wilkings Photography