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Bridal Club Magazine

Pick The Reception Style That Is Right For You

Choose the time of day for your reception to suit your mood and to say something about you as a couple.

There is something a little bit romantic about a breakfast ceremony and reception. I see guests and wedding party staying at the same location, awakening and sharing vows over a rising sun then supping on a sumptuous champagne breakfast or brunch around 10 or 11am. Ideally the sun is shining and it's warm. The food would consist of fruit platters, exotic breads and other breakfast foods. Advantages are that it could be relatively inexpensive depending on the location and accommodation arrangements. You can also leave for your honeymoon the same day, if in deed you are not already there. The downside is that there is less time to get ready and for long distance guests to arrive. Not great for early risers either. But with a little bit of imagination, just think of the possibilities!

A Luncheon to follow a late-morning ceremony also has advantages in the economics department. Sandwiches, salads, pasta and fruits are some of the ideas for the menu -whether it is a more formal sit-down meal from a buffet, or a casual help-yourself and lounge-around affair. Ideal for inside or outside if the weather or season permits. It also allows for guests arriving from a distance, and for the bride to get ready without too much time to get nervous. Disadvantages are that if you have a band at your dance, your guests may be too inhibited in the light of day to get down and 'boogie'.

An Afternoon Tea Reception held between 2 and 5pm is the least expensive, but does not mean it has to be the least sophisticated. Think exotic teas, coffees, finger foods, nuts, chocolate and cake. This is great if you have a large guest list and a small budget. A downside is that the guests are not offered a full meal. Consider alternatives with your host responsibility when it comes to the availability of alcohol for driving guests.


Less expensive than a dinner reception, a Cocktail Party or 'Appetiser Only' Reception is held between 4 and 7pm. The hot and cold food/appetisers are passed around on trays or presented on buffet tables. These can still be held formally or informally in the evening. Guests could be disappointed that they haven't had a full meal at dinnertime and there is the alcohol and driving issues still at hand.

The most costly is the good old formal Dinner Reception - Food is served as a sit-down meal, a buffet or in food stations. Meals vary, but usually several dishes are offered and a cocktail hour precedes the formal reception. These receptions begin anywhere from 6 to 9pm. Guests are always in party mode and ready to dance the night away.

It all comes down to your budget. Don't be made to feel cheap if you can't afford to go all out. Think of extra little ways to make the day special and uniquely yours if you are feeling the money pinch.

Whatever way, give it all you've got and have a wedding bash that your guests will never forget!

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