SHOW FILTERS
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Reception Wedding Ideas

  • 1. The First Look 

    Photo  by: Gideon Photography

    You'll never want to forget the first time you see each other on your wedding day -- take some time before your ceremony to document this special moment. 

    2. The Classic Portrait 

    Photo by: Jillian Mitchell Photography

    Face-on, big smiles, slightly leaning in to each other. Predictable, but this photo will likely end up on your office desk (or displayed in your parent's home). 

    3. The First Kiss

    Photo by: Lindsey Gomes

    Whether it's long and passionate or a quick peck (we're not judging either way!), the first kiss after your vows is an important one. Make sure your photographer is set up for a clear view. 

    4. The Signature Location Shot

    Photo by: Gerber + Scarpelli

    Getting married in a city? Or what about your hometown? Wherever you say 'I Do', there's a bound to be a spot nearby that's especially telling of your location. Find it and strike a pose -- we guarantee you'll be grateful for the context later.

    5. A Quiet Moment

    Photo by: Ulmer Studios

    We know, we know -- the pressure's on to look perfect in your wedding pictures, and that can be hard if you tend to clam up in front of the cameras. If you're feeling nervous, take a tip from Heather and Tyler: close your eyes, take a deep breath, and lean in close to the person you love. You'll wind up with a gorgeous portrait you'll cherish for years to come! 

    6. A Laugh-Out-Loud Moment

    Photo by: Paper Antler

    The number one thing you'll (hopefully) remember about your wedding? How much fun you had. With any luck, your photographer will capture that sentiment in your smiles.

    7. The Prop Shot

    Photo by: Clary Photo

    Weddings these days are all about showcasing your personality as a couple, so why not do it with props? We've got a soft spot for oversize inititals, but holding up a large ampersand (&) works, too. 

    8. The First Dance 

    Photo by: Davis Photography

    Sure, you may not grace another dance floor this formally again in your life, but that doesn't make this more traditional moment any less sentimental. 

    9. The Cake Cutting 

    Photo by: Amelia Lyon Photography

    Be sure at least one picture exists of the moments before you stuff it into each other's mouths.

    10. The Faraway Shot

    Photo by: Max Wanger

    A Max Wanger signature, this long-distance portrait will remind you just how big the world is that you're about to take on together.

    11. The Send-Off Shot 

    Photo by: Annabella Charles Photography

    Sparklers, bubbles, confetti -- there's plenty of possibilities when it comes to spicing up a wedding exit! 

    8
  • By: Jeffra Trumpower

    Feeling lucky? How about this lovely shade of green for your wedding inspiration? We love this hue for a spring and summer wedding. A subtle color palette that looks beautiful against a vineyard, garden, or backyard setting. Ensure your reception and ceremony location doesn't have any other strong accent colors, as this light pastel will fade away quickly. Make sure to include other pretty pastels such as pinks, yellows, and oranges.  For this combination we decided to pair it with citrus hues, including lime, orange, and grapefruit, oh my!

    Shoes Photo by Oz Visuals | Save Photo

    Bridesmaids Photo by KT Merry | Save Photo

    Paper Lantern Decor Photo by Anushe Low | Save Photo

    Wreath Design by Beauty in the Making | Save Photo

    Bouquet Photo by Amy Arrington | Save Photo

     

    See more Mint Green Wedding Ideas »

    4
  • Start saving those bottles! 

    By: Sarah Zlotnick 

    1. As a table number

    This DIY table marker from Tara and Harris's Virginia Winery wedding is super easy to make—simply print out colorful numbers and glue them on! Photo by Aaron Watson Photography. 

    2. As a table number holder 

    We'd recreate this sweet idea from Christie and David's winery wedding by cutting table numbers out of foam board and painting them. From there you could use chicken wire or glue to attach them to the wine bottle. Photo by Michelle Warren. 

    3. Use corks as escort card holders 

    Stole this idea from Paige and Zach's Austin wedding—Cut a slit down the long side of a cork, slice a section off the bottom, and voila! The perfect escort card holder for a vineyard wedding costs almsot nothing to make. Photo by Q Weddings. 

    4. Let it be the backdrop 

    Who needs to build a fancy photo backdrop when your reception is at a winery? We love the way Jen and Loreal threaded a string light through wine barrels—the effect is simple yet stunning. Photo by Andrew Pielage Photography. 

    5. As whimsical centerpieces 

    All it takes is some paint and a sponge to create these whimsical flower vases. Photos by Danyelle Matthews. 

    6. Create a cork monogram! 

    In her DIY winery wedding, Tara's uncle used hudreds of corks gathered from friends, family, local wine bars, and even Whole Foods to create a commemorative "M", which stands for the couple's shared last name and now sits in their new home. Talk about wedding decor that will last a lifetime—we love it! Photo by Aaron Watson Photography. 

    7. As unique window decor 

    We love the way Rachel and Craig covered each of these empty wine bottles in a special design. The collection looks especially charming with the hot Texas sun streaming through. Photo by Taylor Lord Photography.

    8. As the wedding favor 

    Print custom wine labels that match your wedding decor and hand out the bottles as favors at the end of the night. Guests will remember the good times they had when they're drinking from them later on! 

     9. As Lighting 

    Fill empty wine bottles with bunched up string lights for a romantic effect. This Wit + Whistle DIY project teaches you how to do it safely. Photos by Amanda Wright. 

    6
  • Once you have finally booked your venue, its time to pick your color scheme! You may think the colors are completely up to you; however, you should take into account the setting of your venue, the time of year your wedding is taking place and how formal or informal your ceremony and reception will be. Remember, not only do you want your color scheme to set the vibe for your wedding but also complement the venue. Here are our favorite color scheme combinations to inspire you: 

    Historic Home = Yellow + Gray

    Photo by Onelove Photography

    Garden = Mint + Blush

    Photo by Stacey Windsor Photography

    Ballroom = Ivory + White 

    Photo by Lane Dittoe 

    Beach = Navy Blue + Emerald 

    Photo by Katie Stoops Photography

    Barn = Purple + Orange 

    Photo by Dave Richards Photography

    Which color scheme did you choose? Let us know in the comments below! For more color scheme inspiration, browse our real wedding boards. 

    6
  • 1. Boutique Farm Experience 

    Photo by: Shelly Kroeger

    It doesn't get more idyllic than Northern California's organic Bear Flag Farm. Hosting a limited number of events each year, this hidden gem is known for its breathtaking vineyards, lavendar fields, orchards, and unique farm to table dining. It's extraordinary to find a property that offers so much, wrapped up in an exclusive, boutique farm and winery experience.

    2. Trendy Art Gallery

    Photo by: Abby Jiu

    Marrying admist the deconstructed walls, amazing lighting, and the beauty of modern art at the Long View Gallery in D.C. is surely a contemporary couple's dream. This list wouldn't be complete without a venue that's the epitome of urban culture. 

    3. Artisan Ballroom

    Photo by: Stella Alesi Photography

    Let us count the ways we love Barr Mansion. First - it's green green green (certified organic) which is a big bonus in our book. You can also find both a dreamy Southern mansion and a rustic artisan ballroom with floor to ceiling windows housed on this beautiful Austin property. 

    4. Creative Museum Space 

    Photo by: Photographs by Anjuli

    The New Children's Museum is a spot we adore for Southern California creatives who are looking for a venue that is everything they are: clever, trendy, playful and fun! The wide open space and contemporary decor make it smart without being a tiny but stuffy. 

    5. East Coast Escape 

    Photo by: Patricia Lyons

    A tranquil oasis of vineyard, farm, barn, and winery, all with gorgeous valley views, is nestled just outside of Charlottesville at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards. One look at the luxe, rustic setting, and we're swept away by the serenity and romance of this East Coast escape. 

    6. Rustic Urban Sanctuary

    Photo by: Braedon Photography

    Set right in the center of bustling L.A., Marvimon is an urban sanctuary with super-hip style, a fabulous layout, and sweet amenities. How fabulous would it be to marry in their vertical garden-embellished courtyard, then transition to the bistro and grand hall for cocktails and dinner?

    7. A Southern Plantation

    Photo by: Mint Photography

    For the couple whose hearts are rooted in the South, we recommend a ceremony and reception at a sprawling plantation. Kendall Plantation in Texas Hill Country is a winner for classic Antebellum-style architecture and old-fashioned Southern charm! 

    8. New York Night Club

    Photo by: Robert Sukrachand

    Who ever said you coudn't have a wedding at a night club! The Brooklyn-based Bell House is an old warehouse-turned concert venue, and a super unique place to plan a less-than-conventional city wedding in style.

    9. Tropical Ruins 

    Photo by: Anna Kim Photography

    If marrying admist the lush tropical overgrowth (and chandeliers)! of a transformed sugar mill in Maui hadn't crossed your mind, let us plant the seed. Hawaii's Haiku Mill is utterly breathtaking and completely unforgettable. 

    10. Sophisticated Cafe Seating 

    Photo by: Andrew Collings

    A summer wedding at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is made even more magical by the sophisticated and majestic setting at the zoo's Cafe Brauer. It's an architectural marvel! 

    1
  • 9 cute and creative ways to serve your cocktails -- Cheers! 

     

    Photo by: Michelle Warren

    Water infused with mint, cucumber, and lemon -- sounds delish! 

    Photo by: Love Life Images

    Rosemary lemonade and peach iced tea displayed in an antique white cabinet -- does an outdoor reception get any more chic than this?

    Photo by: M. Norwood Photogrpahy

    Does it get more refreshing than classic lemonade in the summer?

    Photo by: Anjuli

    Going for more of an indie, DIY vibe? Store your spirits in vintage crates.

    Photo by: Hudson Nichols Photography

    We love how Jessica and Matt repurposed an old cabinet to hold their beverage supplies.

    Photo by: Karen Wise 

    Serve big batch punches in wide mouth jars. Don't forget the ladles! 

    Photo by: Neuschafer Photography

    Don't think we'll ever get tired of mason jar mugs and striped straws.

    Photo by: Jordan Ferney 

    A rainbow display of old fashioned sodas instantly doubles as reception favors. 

    Photo by: Katelyn James Photography

    Mini chalkboards and log displays are the perfect finishing touches for a rustic beverage station. 

     

     

    16

  • Photo by This Modern Romance

     

    We've all been there. You're at an event, wedding or otherwise, and are just plain uncomfortable. Too hot (or cold), strange food, long line for the restroom. You always vowed you'd do things differently at your wedding - and now's your chance. Here's our guide to how to make sure your wedding is memorable for the right reasons.

    Think About Your Venue When you’re venue hunting, make sure that you keep your wedding guests’ comfort in mind. Will there be enough room to give your guests breathing room? Is there accessibility for handicapped or elderly guests? What is the climate control and restroom situation? Instead of just picking a venue for its beauty, think about it as though you were a guest.

    Give Advance Notice Make sure to give your wedding guests plenty of notice when it comes to your wedding so they can plan accordingly. Save-the-dates should be sent a year in advance if you’re planning a destination wedding in a far-off locale. Six months in advance should suffice for a hometown or local wedding. And invitations should be sent out six to eight weeks in advance of your wedding. Also, make sure that you have a wedding website to provide additional updates.

    Make Travel and Accommodations Easy Speaking of your wedding website, use that platform as an easy-to-navigate home base for all of your travel and accommodation information (if there are older guests who aren’t internet savvy, call them yourself or have another relative do so to keep them informed). Reserve a block of rooms at a local hotel or two, so there’s no question about where out-of-towners should stay. Direct them to airlines, train stations, and public transportation routes that will assist them on their journey.

    Don’t Over-Ask Your guests want to come to your wedding to see you get married – so don’t make it difficult for them. There’s no need to ask them to wear something super-specific, bring a specific type of gift, or pay for their plate.  

    Welcome Them in Style Whether you’re hosting many out-of-town wedding guests or just a few, make sure they feel welcomed when they arrive to their lodging. Creating a welcome basket with ample drinks and snacks is great, but even just a kind and gracious handwritten note will suffice.

    Keep Them Comfortable If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding, provide shawls or blankets if it’s chilly out and give guests fans and cold drinks if it’s super hot. And if the weather is extremely hot, cold, or just plain inclement, move the ceremony indoors. While you might not have the outdoor ceremony you expected, your guests will thank you.

    Strategize Table Assignments Be sure to seat your guests at the tables where they’ll feel most comfortable. For example, put groups of people who know each other together whether they’re in couples or single. And while it’s okay to mix single people and couples, try to avoid seating one or two single person at a table full of couples. And think table placement as well – don’t seat elderly guests right next to the band or DJ.

    Feed Them Well Make sure there’s plenty of food and drink for all to enjoy – and consider your guests who may have dietary restrictions or concerns. Most caterers can handle vegetarian, gluten-free, or other requests, so try to honor those whenever possible.

    Get Everyone Home Safely You don’t have to provide transportation for your guests, but it’s sure a nice gesture. The goal here to avoid guests drinking and driving, so while having a shuttle bus or van bring guests to the wedding and back to their hotel is your best bet, even just providing a phone number for a taxi company in the welcome bags is appreciated.


    Photo by Nancy Aidee Photography

    9

  • Photo by Nadia D Photography

    Your littlest guests may be the ones to cause the most anxiety. If you decide to invite children to your wedding, it’s important to consider their needs when planning your day. If you follow these simple rules, your young guests can be adorable additions to your day.

    Decide Who You’re Inviting: Make a rule and stick to it. If you’re open to having all the children of all of your guests attend, do so – particularly if you’re having a super-casual celebration. You can allow only children over a certain age to attend your wedding. You may choose to only invite the children in your wedding party and that’s it. Or you may prefer to have a child-free wedding. Whatever you decide, don’t make any exceptions or risk causing hurt feelings and confusion.

    Pick Your Flower Girl and Ring Bearer Wisely: These roles are best suited for children of close relatives or friends, ages 3 to 7. Talk to your flower girl and ring bearer in advance about how important their role is and how much it means to you that they’ll be a part of your special day. Provide their parents with the music that will play when they walk down the aisle so they can practice. And if all else fails, bribery always work! Make sure you get your flower girls and ring bearers small gifts to reward them for a successful walk down the aisle.

    Let Them Feel Grown-Up: If you are inviting children who are not in the wedding party, feel free to give them small tasks so they feel like they have a role in your day. They can hand out ceremony programs, give out favors, hold your bouquet while you’re getting a makeup touch-up – even the smallest of tasks will help little ones feel important.

    Lay Some Ground Rules: This should be common knowledge for most parents, but before the wedding, tell your guests with kids that if a child starts to become loud or distracting at the ceremony, they should be immediately removed from the premises.  

    Smile! If you’re concerned about children smiling for portraits, have a parent or grandparent of the child stand behind the camera with a puppet or singing a favorite song. And be sure to make your photo sessions with kids very short (like, a minute or two) – little ones will not stand still for very long, so take a few shots and then set them free!

    Offer Activities: Ask the invited children’s parents if their little ones would prefer sitting at a table with other children or staying close to their parents. Whether you create a kids’ table or allow children to sit with their parents, be sure that you offer lots of entertainment for them – games, coloring books, and small toys (that don’t make noise!) are all good ideas.   

    Kid-Friendly Food: Sure, you may be offering gourmet cuisine at your wedding, but for kids, chicken fingers and grilled cheese is their dinner of choice. Be sure to have kid-friendly meal options for your smallest guest – and be sure to ask parents in advance of any allergies or preferences.

    Offer Babysitting: It’s not necessary, but having babysitting at your reception site is a very kind gesture for your guests with children. If your reception will run until late in the night, ask your littlest guests to bring sleeping bags and create a fun slumber party environment.  

    Don’t Sweat It: No matter how much you prepare, children will misbehave and act out. If a child behaves poorly at an inopportune moment, just laugh it off – the unexpected moments are often the most endearing of the day.

    2

  • Photo by Rylee Hitchner

    Of course, your guests are super-excited to share in your joy, participate in your romantic ceremony, and celebrate with you all night long. But there’s one important part of your wedding that they’re almost just as psyched for – the food! So it’s important to make sure that your food is both delicious and plentiful. And why not put a creative spin on the standard wedding cuisine? Here are a few of our favorite wedding food trends for you to consider for your own menu :

    Food Trucks These mobile eateries are a huge trend around the country, so why not hire one – or several – for your wedding day celebration? Surprise your guests with a food truck as they’re exiting the ceremony, or create a mini food court of several food trucks during cocktail hour!

    Brunch! Morning weddings can be a foodie’s paradise. Think classic favorites like omelets, crepes, and mimosas.

    You Name It! Add a personal touch to your menu items by naming dishes after yourself, your partner, and your family and wedding party members. If there’s a specific drink or menu item that someone close to you loves, share it. Some examples: Grandma Molly’s mint juleps, Melissa’s Favorite Macaroni and Cheese, etc.

    Family Style Fare Serving dinner family style (meaning: a large platter of food is served to each table, and everyone passes the dish around to share), is a great way to get your guests to mix and mingle – and it can also be a good money-saving serving style.

    Mason Jars Clearly, mason jars are a popular décor item, but they’re also a great vessel for drinks and food! Serve signature cocktails, desserts, even salads in mason jars for a unique treat!  

    Unique Desserts We recommend having a wedding cake for tradition’s sake, but it’s always fun to add other desserts to the spread. Of course, cupcakes are perennials favorites, but what about cookies, pies, French macarons, whoopee pies, cake pops, or creative popsicles? Yum!

    Interactive Food Stations If you’re the DIY type, why not extend that style to your menu? Have your caterer set up food stations where guests can create their own foods – think make-your-own tacos, stir fry, sundaes, and more!

    Tasting Menus If yours will be a wedding full of foodies, offer your guests a tasting menu full of delicious small bites. You’ll need to make this a multi-course affair full of small but satisfying favorites, but your guests will enjoy sampling lots of delicious items.

    Seasonal Favorites Think about the season when it comes to creating your menu. For fall, offer your guests hot cider and apple doughnuts. In the winter, serve peppermint hot chocolate in to-go cups to keep everyone warm and cozy. Edible flowers can be used to highlight springtime fare, and in the summer, we love lots of fresh seafood and cold lemonade!

    Late Night Snacks Your guests will work up an appetite after a night full of dancing. Pass savory or sweet easy to eat favorites to your hungry partiers – think sliders, tacos, French fries, root beer floats – even a s’mores station!

    2

  • Photo by Kurt Boomer Photo

    Ready to start planning your wedding? First things first, it’s time to lay out your budget. It’s not the most fun task, but it’s necessary to figure out how much you can spend on your wedding day before you choose a venue, meet with vendors, and buy your dress. If you’re looking for ways to save money, check out a few of our favorite ideas.

    Be Flexible on Date, Time and Season: A Saturday night in September or May is probably the most expensive wedding date you can choose. Vendors will sometimes charge less to couples who get married in the off-season or on off-days. So consider getting married on a Friday, Sunday, and even Saturday morning or early afternoon in January, February or March.  

    Be Honest: Be upfront with potential vendors. Tell them the amount that you’ve budgeted for his or her services and see if he or she can work with that, instead of asking for a proposal and trying to bring the cost down. Vendors will appreciate your honesty, and in many cases, try their best to accommodate you if there’s any wiggle room.  

    Cut the Guest List: Many venues and caterers charge on a per-person basis, so the fewer guests you invite, the less you pay.

    Get a Planner: This may sound confusing – how can hiring an additional vendor help you save money? Well, wedding planners often have great connections with other vendors and can help you get the best deals.  

    DIY Wisely: Yes, creating items for your wedding yourself can help you save money. However, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by trying to do too much. Instead, pick one area of your wedding that you can DIY – whether it be your favors, ceremony programs, escort cards, or something else – and focus on doing a great job on that project. Check out our DIY Editor for lots of great ideas!

    Enlist Friends: Got talented friends and/or family members? Enlist them to help where they can – but only if they’re truly skilled in that area. Friends and family can also donate their time in helping you with DIY projects, or even with set up on the big day. You can even have a friend or family member officiate your ceremony!

    Turn Bouquets into Centerpieces: Floral arrangements can be quite expensive, but if you use them wisely, you can save a bundle. See if any of your ceremony flowers (bouquets, altar arrangements, etc.) can be used as centerpieces at the reception. This can help you avoid paying for floral décor that you don’t need.  

    Shop Sample Sales: When shopping for your wedding dress, check out sample sales at area salons. However, don’t purchase a dress that completely doesn’t fit, thinking that altering the dress will be inexpensive. If a dress needs a complete overhaul, the alterations can more than double the original cost of the gown!

    Think Drinks: Alcohol can be a huge budget buster. Some venues allow you to purchase your alcohol yourself, which can help you save some cash. Also, you can simply serve wine and beer, along with a signature drink or two instead of offering a fully-stocked top-shelf bar.

    Something Borrowed: Instead of purchasing lots of expensive jewelry and accessories to add some sparkle to your wedding day look, look to family members and friends to help accessorize. Your grandmother’s veil, your mom’s earrings, your great aunt’s necklace, your sister’s shoes – it’s so special to wear a family heirloom on your wedding day. 

    13
  • 1. The First Look 

    Photo  by: Gideon Photography

    You'll never want to forget the first time you see each other on your wedding day -- take some time before your ceremony to document this special moment. 

    2. The Classic Portrait 

    Photo by: Jillian Mitchell Photography

    Face-on, big smiles, slightly leaning in to each other. Predictable, but this photo will likely end up on your office desk (or displayed in your parent's home). 

    3. The First Kiss

    Photo by: Lindsey Gomes

    Whether it's long and passionate or a quick peck (we're not judging either way!), the first kiss after your vows is an important one. Make sure your photographer is set up for a clear view. 

    4. The Signature Location Shot

    Photo by: Gerber + Scarpelli

    Getting married in a city? Or what about your hometown? Wherever you say 'I Do', there's a bound to be a spot nearby that's especially telling of your location. Find it and strike a pose -- we guarantee you'll be grateful for the context later.

    5. A Quiet Moment

    Photo by: Ulmer Studios

    We know, we know -- the pressure's on to look perfect in your wedding pictures, and that can be hard if you tend to clam up in front of the cameras. If you're feeling nervous, take a tip from Heather and Tyler: close your eyes, take a deep breath, and lean in close to the person you love. You'll wind up with a gorgeous portrait you'll cherish for years to come! 

    6. A Laugh-Out-Loud Moment

    Photo by: Paper Antler

    The number one thing you'll (hopefully) remember about your wedding? How much fun you had. With any luck, your photographer will capture that sentiment in your smiles.

    7. The Prop Shot

    Photo by: Clary Photo

    Weddings these days are all about showcasing your personality as a couple, so why not do it with props? We've got a soft spot for oversize inititals, but holding up a large ampersand (&) works, too. 

    8. The First Dance 

    Photo by: Davis Photography

    Sure, you may not grace another dance floor this formally again in your life, but that doesn't make this more traditional moment any less sentimental. 

    9. The Cake Cutting 

    Photo by: Amelia Lyon Photography

    Be sure at least one picture exists of the moments before you stuff it into each other's mouths.

    10. The Faraway Shot

    Photo by: Max Wanger

    A Max Wanger signature, this long-distance portrait will remind you just how big the world is that you're about to take on together.

    11. The Send-Off Shot 

    Photo by: Annabella Charles Photography

    Sparklers, bubbles, confetti -- there's plenty of possibilities when it comes to spicing up a wedding exit! 

    8
  • By: Jeffra Trumpower

    Feeling lucky? How about this lovely shade of green for your wedding inspiration? We love this hue for a spring and summer wedding. A subtle color palette that looks beautiful against a vineyard, garden, or backyard setting. Ensure your reception and ceremony location doesn't have any other strong accent colors, as this light pastel will fade away quickly. Make sure to include other pretty pastels such as pinks, yellows, and oranges.  For this combination we decided to pair it with citrus hues, including lime, orange, and grapefruit, oh my!

    Shoes Photo by Oz Visuals | Save Photo

    Bridesmaids Photo by KT Merry | Save Photo

    Paper Lantern Decor Photo by Anushe Low | Save Photo

    Wreath Design by Beauty in the Making | Save Photo

    Bouquet Photo by Amy Arrington | Save Photo

     

    See more Mint Green Wedding Ideas »

    4
  • Start saving those bottles! 

    By: Sarah Zlotnick 

    1. As a table number

    This DIY table marker from Tara and Harris's Virginia Winery wedding is super easy to make—simply print out colorful numbers and glue them on! Photo by Aaron Watson Photography. 

    2. As a table number holder 

    We'd recreate this sweet idea from Christie and David's winery wedding by cutting table numbers out of foam board and painting them. From there you could use chicken wire or glue to attach them to the wine bottle. Photo by Michelle Warren. 

    3. Use corks as escort card holders 

    Stole this idea from Paige and Zach's Austin wedding—Cut a slit down the long side of a cork, slice a section off the bottom, and voila! The perfect escort card holder for a vineyard wedding costs almsot nothing to make. Photo by Q Weddings. 

    4. Let it be the backdrop 

    Who needs to build a fancy photo backdrop when your reception is at a winery? We love the way Jen and Loreal threaded a string light through wine barrels—the effect is simple yet stunning. Photo by Andrew Pielage Photography. 

    5. As whimsical centerpieces 

    All it takes is some paint and a sponge to create these whimsical flower vases. Photos by Danyelle Matthews. 

    6. Create a cork monogram! 

    In her DIY winery wedding, Tara's uncle used hudreds of corks gathered from friends, family, local wine bars, and even Whole Foods to create a commemorative "M", which stands for the couple's shared last name and now sits in their new home. Talk about wedding decor that will last a lifetime—we love it! Photo by Aaron Watson Photography. 

    7. As unique window decor 

    We love the way Rachel and Craig covered each of these empty wine bottles in a special design. The collection looks especially charming with the hot Texas sun streaming through. Photo by Taylor Lord Photography.

    8. As the wedding favor 

    Print custom wine labels that match your wedding decor and hand out the bottles as favors at the end of the night. Guests will remember the good times they had when they're drinking from them later on! 

     9. As Lighting 

    Fill empty wine bottles with bunched up string lights for a romantic effect. This Wit + Whistle DIY project teaches you how to do it safely. Photos by Amanda Wright. 

    6
  • Once you have finally booked your venue, its time to pick your color scheme! You may think the colors are completely up to you; however, you should take into account the setting of your venue, the time of year your wedding is taking place and how formal or informal your ceremony and reception will be. Remember, not only do you want your color scheme to set the vibe for your wedding but also complement the venue. Here are our favorite color scheme combinations to inspire you: 

    Historic Home = Yellow + Gray

    Photo by Onelove Photography

    Garden = Mint + Blush

    Photo by Stacey Windsor Photography

    Ballroom = Ivory + White 

    Photo by Lane Dittoe 

    Beach = Navy Blue + Emerald 

    Photo by Katie Stoops Photography

    Barn = Purple + Orange 

    Photo by Dave Richards Photography

    Which color scheme did you choose? Let us know in the comments below! For more color scheme inspiration, browse our real wedding boards. 

    6
  • 1. Boutique Farm Experience 

    Photo by: Shelly Kroeger

    It doesn't get more idyllic than Northern California's organic Bear Flag Farm. Hosting a limited number of events each year, this hidden gem is known for its breathtaking vineyards, lavendar fields, orchards, and unique farm to table dining. It's extraordinary to find a property that offers so much, wrapped up in an exclusive, boutique farm and winery experience.

    2. Trendy Art Gallery

    Photo by: Abby Jiu

    Marrying admist the deconstructed walls, amazing lighting, and the beauty of modern art at the Long View Gallery in D.C. is surely a contemporary couple's dream. This list wouldn't be complete without a venue that's the epitome of urban culture. 

    3. Artisan Ballroom

    Photo by: Stella Alesi Photography

    Let us count the ways we love Barr Mansion. First - it's green green green (certified organic) which is a big bonus in our book. You can also find both a dreamy Southern mansion and a rustic artisan ballroom with floor to ceiling windows housed on this beautiful Austin property. 

    4. Creative Museum Space 

    Photo by: Photographs by Anjuli

    The New Children's Museum is a spot we adore for Southern California creatives who are looking for a venue that is everything they are: clever, trendy, playful and fun! The wide open space and contemporary decor make it smart without being a tiny but stuffy. 

    5. East Coast Escape 

    Photo by: Patricia Lyons

    A tranquil oasis of vineyard, farm, barn, and winery, all with gorgeous valley views, is nestled just outside of Charlottesville at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards. One look at the luxe, rustic setting, and we're swept away by the serenity and romance of this East Coast escape. 

    6. Rustic Urban Sanctuary

    Photo by: Braedon Photography

    Set right in the center of bustling L.A., Marvimon is an urban sanctuary with super-hip style, a fabulous layout, and sweet amenities. How fabulous would it be to marry in their vertical garden-embellished courtyard, then transition to the bistro and grand hall for cocktails and dinner?

    7. A Southern Plantation

    Photo by: Mint Photography

    For the couple whose hearts are rooted in the South, we recommend a ceremony and reception at a sprawling plantation. Kendall Plantation in Texas Hill Country is a winner for classic Antebellum-style architecture and old-fashioned Southern charm! 

    8. New York Night Club

    Photo by: Robert Sukrachand

    Who ever said you coudn't have a wedding at a night club! The Brooklyn-based Bell House is an old warehouse-turned concert venue, and a super unique place to plan a less-than-conventional city wedding in style.

    9. Tropical Ruins 

    Photo by: Anna Kim Photography

    If marrying admist the lush tropical overgrowth (and chandeliers)! of a transformed sugar mill in Maui hadn't crossed your mind, let us plant the seed. Hawaii's Haiku Mill is utterly breathtaking and completely unforgettable. 

    10. Sophisticated Cafe Seating 

    Photo by: Andrew Collings

    A summer wedding at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is made even more magical by the sophisticated and majestic setting at the zoo's Cafe Brauer. It's an architectural marvel! 

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  • 9 cute and creative ways to serve your cocktails -- Cheers! 

     

    Photo by: Michelle Warren

    Water infused with mint, cucumber, and lemon -- sounds delish! 

    Photo by: Love Life Images

    Rosemary lemonade and peach iced tea displayed in an antique white cabinet -- does an outdoor reception get any more chic than this?

    Photo by: M. Norwood Photogrpahy

    Does it get more refreshing than classic lemonade in the summer?

    Photo by: Anjuli

    Going for more of an indie, DIY vibe? Store your spirits in vintage crates.

    Photo by: Hudson Nichols Photography

    We love how Jessica and Matt repurposed an old cabinet to hold their beverage supplies.

    Photo by: Karen Wise 

    Serve big batch punches in wide mouth jars. Don't forget the ladles! 

    Photo by: Neuschafer Photography

    Don't think we'll ever get tired of mason jar mugs and striped straws.

    Photo by: Jordan Ferney 

    A rainbow display of old fashioned sodas instantly doubles as reception favors. 

    Photo by: Katelyn James Photography

    Mini chalkboards and log displays are the perfect finishing touches for a rustic beverage station. 

     

     

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  • Photo by This Modern Romance

     

    We've all been there. You're at an event, wedding or otherwise, and are just plain uncomfortable. Too hot (or cold), strange food, long line for the restroom. You always vowed you'd do things differently at your wedding - and now's your chance. Here's our guide to how to make sure your wedding is memorable for the right reasons.

    Think About Your Venue When you’re venue hunting, make sure that you keep your wedding guests’ comfort in mind. Will there be enough room to give your guests breathing room? Is there accessibility for handicapped or elderly guests? What is the climate control and restroom situation? Instead of just picking a venue for its beauty, think about it as though you were a guest.

    Give Advance Notice Make sure to give your wedding guests plenty of notice when it comes to your wedding so they can plan accordingly. Save-the-dates should be sent a year in advance if you’re planning a destination wedding in a far-off locale. Six months in advance should suffice for a hometown or local wedding. And invitations should be sent out six to eight weeks in advance of your wedding. Also, make sure that you have a wedding website to provide additional updates.

    Make Travel and Accommodations Easy Speaking of your wedding website, use that platform as an easy-to-navigate home base for all of your travel and accommodation information (if there are older guests who aren’t internet savvy, call them yourself or have another relative do so to keep them informed). Reserve a block of rooms at a local hotel or two, so there’s no question about where out-of-towners should stay. Direct them to airlines, train stations, and public transportation routes that will assist them on their journey.

    Don’t Over-Ask Your guests want to come to your wedding to see you get married – so don’t make it difficult for them. There’s no need to ask them to wear something super-specific, bring a specific type of gift, or pay for their plate.  

    Welcome Them in Style Whether you’re hosting many out-of-town wedding guests or just a few, make sure they feel welcomed when they arrive to their lodging. Creating a welcome basket with ample drinks and snacks is great, but even just a kind and gracious handwritten note will suffice.

    Keep Them Comfortable If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding, provide shawls or blankets if it’s chilly out and give guests fans and cold drinks if it’s super hot. And if the weather is extremely hot, cold, or just plain inclement, move the ceremony indoors. While you might not have the outdoor ceremony you expected, your guests will thank you.

    Strategize Table Assignments Be sure to seat your guests at the tables where they’ll feel most comfortable. For example, put groups of people who know each other together whether they’re in couples or single. And while it’s okay to mix single people and couples, try to avoid seating one or two single person at a table full of couples. And think table placement as well – don’t seat elderly guests right next to the band or DJ.

    Feed Them Well Make sure there’s plenty of food and drink for all to enjoy – and consider your guests who may have dietary restrictions or concerns. Most caterers can handle vegetarian, gluten-free, or other requests, so try to honor those whenever possible.

    Get Everyone Home Safely You don’t have to provide transportation for your guests, but it’s sure a nice gesture. The goal here to avoid guests drinking and driving, so while having a shuttle bus or van bring guests to the wedding and back to their hotel is your best bet, even just providing a phone number for a taxi company in the welcome bags is appreciated.


    Photo by Nancy Aidee Photography

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  • Photo by Nadia D Photography

    Your littlest guests may be the ones to cause the most anxiety. If you decide to invite children to your wedding, it’s important to consider their needs when planning your day. If you follow these simple rules, your young guests can be adorable additions to your day.

    Decide Who You’re Inviting: Make a rule and stick to it. If you’re open to having all the children of all of your guests attend, do so – particularly if you’re having a super-casual celebration. You can allow only children over a certain age to attend your wedding. You may choose to only invite the children in your wedding party and that’s it. Or you may prefer to have a child-free wedding. Whatever you decide, don’t make any exceptions or risk causing hurt feelings and confusion.

    Pick Your Flower Girl and Ring Bearer Wisely: These roles are best suited for children of close relatives or friends, ages 3 to 7. Talk to your flower girl and ring bearer in advance about how important their role is and how much it means to you that they’ll be a part of your special day. Provide their parents with the music that will play when they walk down the aisle so they can practice. And if all else fails, bribery always work! Make sure you get your flower girls and ring bearers small gifts to reward them for a successful walk down the aisle.

    Let Them Feel Grown-Up: If you are inviting children who are not in the wedding party, feel free to give them small tasks so they feel like they have a role in your day. They can hand out ceremony programs, give out favors, hold your bouquet while you’re getting a makeup touch-up – even the smallest of tasks will help little ones feel important.

    Lay Some Ground Rules: This should be common knowledge for most parents, but before the wedding, tell your guests with kids that if a child starts to become loud or distracting at the ceremony, they should be immediately removed from the premises.  

    Smile! If you’re concerned about children smiling for portraits, have a parent or grandparent of the child stand behind the camera with a puppet or singing a favorite song. And be sure to make your photo sessions with kids very short (like, a minute or two) – little ones will not stand still for very long, so take a few shots and then set them free!

    Offer Activities: Ask the invited children’s parents if their little ones would prefer sitting at a table with other children or staying close to their parents. Whether you create a kids’ table or allow children to sit with their parents, be sure that you offer lots of entertainment for them – games, coloring books, and small toys (that don’t make noise!) are all good ideas.   

    Kid-Friendly Food: Sure, you may be offering gourmet cuisine at your wedding, but for kids, chicken fingers and grilled cheese is their dinner of choice. Be sure to have kid-friendly meal options for your smallest guest – and be sure to ask parents in advance of any allergies or preferences.

    Offer Babysitting: It’s not necessary, but having babysitting at your reception site is a very kind gesture for your guests with children. If your reception will run until late in the night, ask your littlest guests to bring sleeping bags and create a fun slumber party environment.  

    Don’t Sweat It: No matter how much you prepare, children will misbehave and act out. If a child behaves poorly at an inopportune moment, just laugh it off – the unexpected moments are often the most endearing of the day.

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  • Photo by Rylee Hitchner

    Of course, your guests are super-excited to share in your joy, participate in your romantic ceremony, and celebrate with you all night long. But there’s one important part of your wedding that they’re almost just as psyched for – the food! So it’s important to make sure that your food is both delicious and plentiful. And why not put a creative spin on the standard wedding cuisine? Here are a few of our favorite wedding food trends for you to consider for your own menu :

    Food Trucks These mobile eateries are a huge trend around the country, so why not hire one – or several – for your wedding day celebration? Surprise your guests with a food truck as they’re exiting the ceremony, or create a mini food court of several food trucks during cocktail hour!

    Brunch! Morning weddings can be a foodie’s paradise. Think classic favorites like omelets, crepes, and mimosas.

    You Name It! Add a personal touch to your menu items by naming dishes after yourself, your partner, and your family and wedding party members. If there’s a specific drink or menu item that someone close to you loves, share it. Some examples: Grandma Molly’s mint juleps, Melissa’s Favorite Macaroni and Cheese, etc.

    Family Style Fare Serving dinner family style (meaning: a large platter of food is served to each table, and everyone passes the dish around to share), is a great way to get your guests to mix and mingle – and it can also be a good money-saving serving style.

    Mason Jars Clearly, mason jars are a popular décor item, but they’re also a great vessel for drinks and food! Serve signature cocktails, desserts, even salads in mason jars for a unique treat!  

    Unique Desserts We recommend having a wedding cake for tradition’s sake, but it’s always fun to add other desserts to the spread. Of course, cupcakes are perennials favorites, but what about cookies, pies, French macarons, whoopee pies, cake pops, or creative popsicles? Yum!

    Interactive Food Stations If you’re the DIY type, why not extend that style to your menu? Have your caterer set up food stations where guests can create their own foods – think make-your-own tacos, stir fry, sundaes, and more!

    Tasting Menus If yours will be a wedding full of foodies, offer your guests a tasting menu full of delicious small bites. You’ll need to make this a multi-course affair full of small but satisfying favorites, but your guests will enjoy sampling lots of delicious items.

    Seasonal Favorites Think about the season when it comes to creating your menu. For fall, offer your guests hot cider and apple doughnuts. In the winter, serve peppermint hot chocolate in to-go cups to keep everyone warm and cozy. Edible flowers can be used to highlight springtime fare, and in the summer, we love lots of fresh seafood and cold lemonade!

    Late Night Snacks Your guests will work up an appetite after a night full of dancing. Pass savory or sweet easy to eat favorites to your hungry partiers – think sliders, tacos, French fries, root beer floats – even a s’mores station!

    2

  • Photo by Kurt Boomer Photo

    Ready to start planning your wedding? First things first, it’s time to lay out your budget. It’s not the most fun task, but it’s necessary to figure out how much you can spend on your wedding day before you choose a venue, meet with vendors, and buy your dress. If you’re looking for ways to save money, check out a few of our favorite ideas.

    Be Flexible on Date, Time and Season: A Saturday night in September or May is probably the most expensive wedding date you can choose. Vendors will sometimes charge less to couples who get married in the off-season or on off-days. So consider getting married on a Friday, Sunday, and even Saturday morning or early afternoon in January, February or March.  

    Be Honest: Be upfront with potential vendors. Tell them the amount that you’ve budgeted for his or her services and see if he or she can work with that, instead of asking for a proposal and trying to bring the cost down. Vendors will appreciate your honesty, and in many cases, try their best to accommodate you if there’s any wiggle room.  

    Cut the Guest List: Many venues and caterers charge on a per-person basis, so the fewer guests you invite, the less you pay.

    Get a Planner: This may sound confusing – how can hiring an additional vendor help you save money? Well, wedding planners often have great connections with other vendors and can help you get the best deals.  

    DIY Wisely: Yes, creating items for your wedding yourself can help you save money. However, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by trying to do too much. Instead, pick one area of your wedding that you can DIY – whether it be your favors, ceremony programs, escort cards, or something else – and focus on doing a great job on that project. Check out our DIY Editor for lots of great ideas!

    Enlist Friends: Got talented friends and/or family members? Enlist them to help where they can – but only if they’re truly skilled in that area. Friends and family can also donate their time in helping you with DIY projects, or even with set up on the big day. You can even have a friend or family member officiate your ceremony!

    Turn Bouquets into Centerpieces: Floral arrangements can be quite expensive, but if you use them wisely, you can save a bundle. See if any of your ceremony flowers (bouquets, altar arrangements, etc.) can be used as centerpieces at the reception. This can help you avoid paying for floral décor that you don’t need.  

    Shop Sample Sales: When shopping for your wedding dress, check out sample sales at area salons. However, don’t purchase a dress that completely doesn’t fit, thinking that altering the dress will be inexpensive. If a dress needs a complete overhaul, the alterations can more than double the original cost of the gown!

    Think Drinks: Alcohol can be a huge budget buster. Some venues allow you to purchase your alcohol yourself, which can help you save some cash. Also, you can simply serve wine and beer, along with a signature drink or two instead of offering a fully-stocked top-shelf bar.

    Something Borrowed: Instead of purchasing lots of expensive jewelry and accessories to add some sparkle to your wedding day look, look to family members and friends to help accessorize. Your grandmother’s veil, your mom’s earrings, your great aunt’s necklace, your sister’s shoes – it’s so special to wear a family heirloom on your wedding day. 

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