If you are having a traditional or classic style wedding, chances are you will be wanting to complement your ceremony setting with an elegant wedding reception. When you make the decision to go traditional, it is helpful to have a wedding planner or to consult with the manager of the wedding reception hall or venue where you will be having your reception. Classic wedding reception menus, lighting, decor and entertainment will all need to be considered, purchased, rented and hired to ensure that everything goes off as planned.
What is considered elegant? For most brides, the idea of a classic wedding reception and ceremony starts with a formal, traditional wedding gown. Bridesmaids in classic attire, such as simple floor length dresses in various shades of the chosen wedding colors, simple accessories and very few embellishments. The groom and his groomsmen should be dressed in classic attire as well, standard tuxedos, including cummerbunds, boutonnieres, vests and bow ties in a simple black-and-white or with colored accents that match the bridesmaids dresses. Simple, yet classic attire for the flower girl and ring bearer, as well as any other children that will participate in the ceremony should either be a reflection of the bridal gown and groom’s tuxedo or match the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Choosing a Venue
Beyond the wedding ceremony, when it comes time to create an elegant wedding reception, the venue must be considered first. Choose a classic wedding reception hall, such as The Crystal Room in Milford, Massachusetts, which features all of the space, traditional decor and amenities you will need in order to incorporate all of your wedding reception decor, entertainment and featured events. There must be room for all your guests, parking for those guests, space to do the cutting of the cake, throw the bouquet, enjoy your first dance, stage your reception line and seat all your guests for dinner.
Select a location that is within a reasonable radius of your ceremony and your home town to ensure that guests will be able to make it to your reception. The decor of the venue and the rooms that you will be renting should reflect the theme of your wedding reception decor. Before securing the date with the reception hall manager, make sure to ask questions about deposits, restrictions, catering, availability, costs for extending the rental time, accommodations for a band and anything else that is important to your event.
The Table Settings
In order to pull of an elegant wedding reception, you need to make sure that every aspect of your wedding reception decor is in accordance with your theme. Go for a traditional setting that includes a special charger plate for an extra touch of class that will remain on the table throughout the entire meal. You can either use the standard hall china, rent dishes or even bring in your own china to use during service. Check with your caterer as well for additional table setting options.
Wedding Reception Menu
The food that you serve should also be traditional in style. Tell the caterer your goals and your wedding reception theme, in order to convey the look and feel that you are going for with your menu. Give guests options within the invitations that you send out to choose from steak, chicken, seafood or vegetarian selections. Another option is to post an elegant custom menu at each plate and allow the guests to order food directly from the servers. While it is still a planned meal, your guests will feel as though they are receiving made-to-order meals. The servers should serve the food to the guests, dressed in formal attire with white gloves.
There are a lot of ways to go with the wedding reception decor for an elegant wedding reception. Speak with your wedding planner or do research online, and you will find a lot of great ideas. Choose from vintage eras, such as the 30s or 40s, an Old Hollywood glamor style, a classic black-and-white theme, as if you’d stepped out of a late night movie – or anything else that is elegant and tasteful. Make sure to match the menu and wedding reception decor choices with your theme.
When it comes to creating a classic wedding reception, it is important to choose to use live entertainment over canned music from a DJ. Even if you can’t afford to hire a 20-piece orchestra or Big Band group to come in and play, a small quartet that plays classical music makes for a nice touch. If you have specific songs that you want played, make sure they can accommodate your needs. Oftentimes, live bands can play a classical version of modern day songs to incorporate the bride and groom’s special song into their repertoire.
In the end, it is your special day and it’s up to you and your groom to choose all the special touches and little extras that your guests will enjoy throughout your elegant wedding reception. Let your guests arrive in style, providing free valet service, a coat check room and a beautiful red carpet for them to walk in on as they enter the reception hall. Favors, special gifts for wedding party members, parents and other honored guests, and other take-home mementos from your wedding should be chosen carefully from start to finish.
Whether hiring a wedding planner is in your budget or not, creating an elegant wedding reception that is reminiscent of days gone by is not all that difficult. You just have to be willing to invest the time, and sometimes the money, into making sure that you stick to your theme and genre for everything from the wedding reception decor to the band, the cake and the dinner menu, to ensure that nothing clashes and it all comes together.