Archive for the ‘Reception’ Category

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In this Inspiration Board: 

Martha Stewart Weddings

Sylvia Weinstock Cakes

Amy Atlas Events

The Bride Shop – At Zazzle





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Budget Tips: Reception   Leave a comment

My last blog entry centered around Budget Tips for Invitations.  Let’s take a look at Budget Tips for the Reception.  By all means, this is not exhaustive!  There are money saving tips all over the place!  Just take a look at some of your favorite Wedding Sites!

Beware of hidden costs!  They can sneak around the corner and get you!  So your Reception site vendor says that you can have chairs decorated with Tulle and a ribbon of your color.  The cost? $$$.  Do you need chair covers?  How about going with just a sash of your color?  Don’t be lulled into multiple menu/meat choices.  You don’t have to have multiple menu/meat choices.  Just have one meat.  If you feel that you would like your guests to have multiple choices, consider a Finger Food dinner, or work with your vendor to supply smaller portions of two different choices.  Don’t ever forget, Vendors will negotiate.  The worst they can say is “no”.  Skip the dessert course, you already have cake!

While we are on the topic of vendors.  Look for a one-stop venue to save $$
(your Wedding Ceremony and Reception will be held in one location).  Also, look for a location that will let you bring your own caterers, alcohol, food, etc., without penalty.  This will take some organizing, but will save you lots of your hard-budgeted dollars.  Consider having your Wedding and Reception on an off-day.  Even Friday nights are cheaper than Saturday.  Sundays are cheaper, too.  When you call to get estimates and quotes, don’t tell them that you are getting married, tell them that you are holding a dinner for X amount of people.  You will find that the estimate is a lot different!  Take a step back and take a look at your family and friends.  Maybe someone has a beautiful home or property (even a barn!) that would be willing to host your Ceremony and Reception.  If you have your Ceremony outside, you have the natural decor, which means less flowers, less ribbon, less cost!  You could even have a backyard BBQ!  Most of the time, outdoor locations = free Venues!

When it comes to your Wedding Cake, you definitely have alternatives.  Lots of them!  You could have a Candy Bar, Pie Bar or a Cupcake Bar.  Use Butter cream Icing instead of Fondant, or consider using fruits, flowers and/or ribbon.  Also consider a smaller cake along with a sheet cake, or even a Fake Cake.  Yes, I said a Fake Cake. At Cake Rental, you can design your own, or use one of their pre-designed cakes.  Some locations and/or bakeries will make you a cake that is part real and part fake!


CrownGownSmall Alladins_PillowS PrincessS2 RedCarnationsSmall


Or take a look at Fake The Cake.

blackwhitecake-Fakethecake  brochurecakelily-FaketheCake


Or check out Ultimate Fake Cakes.

IMG_0592-UltimateFakeCakes IMG_1196-UltimateFakeCakes


For your Reception decorations, use your Ceremony flowers at the reception.  Delegate a family member to help transport.  For your centerpieces, consider fruit or vegetable centerpieces, intertwined with fresh cut flowers or greenery.  Remember the greenery is less expensive than blooms.

Don’t get caught up in favor overload.  Skip the favor or have something small, such as a candy bar in a small cellophane gift bag.  Make sure that favors can be re-used (or edible) and the packaging can be re-used.

For alcoholic beverages, check to see if your venue will let you bring your own (this is a much cheaper option, sometimes).  Check out an alcohol superstore such as Lukas Liquor.  Make sure that they will allow you to bring back unopened bottles.

Okay.  I think that’s it for now.


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Guestbook Alternatives   Leave a comment

Okay, so don’t just go the norm.  Have something a little different!  Do something a little different!


1.  In your Wedding Invitation, insert a slip of paper that requests everyone bring a photo of themselves to include in your “guestbook”.  When guests arrive, they can adhere the picture to the guestbook, along with their names, a short comment, anything!  As an additional item.  Make it into a Scrapbooking Guest Book!  Go to Michael’s, or any craft store, and purchase scrapbooking paper, even a Wedding Theme!  You can even include little “dumafliggies” (you know, all those little stickers and add-ons that you buy for scrapbooking).  Cut the paper into squares and leave lots of colored pencils and/or markers.


2.  Instead of a Guest Book, how about a photo booth?  Very cool!  Your guests will have so much fun!  They can then insert them into a scrapbook using easy adhesive.  Or!  Find a Polaroid Camera and some film!  Set up an area where your guests can snap a photo using goofy props.  Then, again, they can use adhesive (easy to use adhesive) that they can attach the photos with.  In the space provided at the bottom of the snapshot, they can write a little message.


3.  Wishing Trees are becoming quite popular.  Use an artificial palm tree (or a REAL one!) and decorate it.  Provide a table with cut up pieces of heavy cardstock and pens so that your guests can write you a wish.  The paper should not be folded, so take care not to make the pieces too big.  Punch holes in the top of the cardstock piece so that it can be hung, using an ornament hook, onto the tree.  Make sure to leave some directions so that your guests aren’t scared away by not knowing what to do.



4.  Question and Answer Session.  Print out thought provoking questions on heavy cardstock paper (again, smaller pieces).  Place them in a neat stack on a table.  Ask guests to choose a question and answer it on the back of the card.  When they are finished answering the question, they put the cards into a large glass bowl.  These can then be left in the bowl for your new home, or mount the questions and answers into an album/scrapbook.  Ask questions like “What is the secret to a great marriage?” or “What is your best memory of the bride/groom?”  The more interesting the question, the better the answer!




5.  Have a picture frame with a mat.  Ask guests to sign it for a memento to hang up in your (new) home.



Have Fun!


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Unique Wedding Venues   Leave a comment

Here are some ideas for Wedding Venues that are a little different than the traditional locations.  Some are very unique and some are more budget-friendly than others.  Enjoy!

Have your Wedding at a State or City Park.  Out in the open or under the trees.  The Bride and Groom, as well as the guests, will have a beautiful, natural setting.  Very little decorating is needed. Take a look at The Conservatory or The Lalumondiere Mill.

The Conservatory

The Conservatory

the Lalumondiere Mill & Rivergardens

The Lalumondiere Mill

How about a Barn?  Yes.  A Barn.  Picture it: lights, rustic, romance.  You could even go with having the Ceremony outside, by a spring, pond or meadow.  Then everyone can move into the barn for the Reception.  Or.  have “historical” and “barn”.  Take a look at Historical Hawken House Barn.  They have some good reviews at Project Wedding.

The Hawken House

Have your Ceremony and/or Reception at a local Theatre.  I’m talking where plays, musicals and operas occur.  What beautiful decor! Try The Fox Theatre or The Sheldon Concert Hall.

The Sheldon Concert Hall


Fox Lobby

The Fabulous Fox

How about a Museum?  Or an Art Gallery?  Many Museums have various areas that can be used for events like a Wedding.  Have your Ceremony in one area and your Reception in another.  Or, just have your Ceremony here and head to a Riverboat or Barge for your Reception. Take a look at The Randall Gallery.  Again, great reviews at Project Wedding.


What more could you ask for in a beautiful setting.  Have your Ceremony and/or Reception at a Vineyard.  In the Washington, Missouri area, you have Vineyards that advertise romantic settings, such as these, specifically for your Wedding. Here’s a link: Riverbend Chapel.

Riverbend Chapel at Caroline’s Vinyard

How about having your special day at a Botanical Garden?  Talk about decor’!  And you couldn’t get much more natural than this!  Here is a link to Missouri Botanical Garden. Missouri Botanical Garden.

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Missouri Botanical Gardens



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Inspiration: Wedding Favors   Leave a comment

Here are some great ideas for Wedding Favors for your guests!  Some are a little less expensive than others….some can be DIY and some have to be bought.  If you like one of them, use your imagination to make it work for you!



Serve your own Brew!  Or serve your own wine!  You can buy these or you can make them.  You can do this with decorative labels!  These can also serve double-duty as a Seating Card. Try




If you’re having a dessert bar, how about serving up some extra take-home love with these Smores Gifts?   Mmmmm….chocolate.




Scrabble Magnets.  There is a complete “how-to-do” posted at Project Wedding:




Fortune Cookies.  This can work even if you don’t have a Asian Theme for your Wedding.  Try personalized Fortune Cookies too! or




Bamboo Wedding Favors.  This can be a DIY project.  You can buy the Bamboo and compile them, or, buy them 100% complete.  Check out or or


Personalized "Love Blossoms" Wedding Favor Card w/Two Seeded Paper Blossoms - Set of 12"Flowers in Bloom" Seed Packets with Flower Pot Card


Plantable Wedding Favors.  Go green with plantable seeds!  Try or .


Galvanized Bucket Favors


Give a plant!  Maybe a signature flower that is part of your Wedding Theme or Ceremony.  This can be a DIY project, also.  Or, try




Posted May 19, 2010 by Michelle in DIY, Favors, Reception, Wedding DiY

finger food reception   Leave a comment

This topic is quickly making it’s way around Wedding DIY sites.  However, this isn’t a new discussion.  Typically, the best thing about a finger food reception is the cost.  Your food budget can almost be cut in half!  You can include quite a few different choices and even create an ethnic or themed finger food reception.


There are a couple of tidbits of information that we should discuss.  First of all, remember that, typically, Wedding Reception have a full meal.  You will want to make sure that your guests are aware that you will be having hors d’oeuvres, so that they aren’t expecting a meal.  Also, the time of the day that you have the reception will be an indication to your guests.


So, on with the pictures! Let’s take a look at the board below.  These Brides and Grooms chose to go with Fruits, Cheeses, Crackers, Breads and Veggies.  Choose any, or all.  The decorations and presentation for the food tables can add greatly to the decor of the Reception. I love the presentation of the Cheese Tray that also includes tags telling the name of the cheese.


Finger Food


Let’s take a look at the following pictures.  Here you have traditional and not-so-traditional foods.  Bruschetta, Pinwheels, Cordon Bleu, Dumplings, Shrimp Cocktail, Salmon and Skewers.  Use your imagination for what to include INSIDE them.

Finger Food2


Sandwiches or Tea Sandwiches.  The term “sandwich” can be used lightly.  Use crackers, and all kinds of toppings can be used.  Look up Tea Sandwich Recipes on the internet and you’ll find gobs!

Finger Food3


A couple of tidbits to remember when you are doing a food bar.  Remember ALL of your guests.  Different tastes and different preferences.  Just be sure to have a good selection.  As to have it catered or not?  That just depends on your budget.  You can have it fully catered, partially catered (+plus you and your family) or not catered at all and do the creating yourself.


Have fun!