Tips for Planning a Traditional New England Wedding

Planning any kind of theme wedding can be a challenge. Your theme should be subtle. Your wedding should be classic and elegant. Avoid anything that is over the top or immature. Example: just because you love Hello Kitty doesn’t mean you should have a Hello Kitty wedding reception. Chances are your groom wouldn’t stand for it, but if he does, your guests will likely be laughing and wondering what in the world you thought you were doing.

New England brides have a lot of natural surroundings and resources to work with when it comes to incorporating traditional wedding ideas with a local theme. From the coastal beaches and waters to the beautiful lush woods and hills, there’s a lot to love about the northeastern states. Make sure to have fun planning your wedding reception ideas and don’t be afraid to incorporate some of your local favorites into your plans. Your out-of-town guests will appreciate the opportunity to be immersed in the culture of the region and the locals will enjoy the respectful nod.

The Decor

There are a lot of ways to go when planning a traditional New England wedding. You can choose a rustic countryside theme or choose to embrace a more seaside style. Outdoor weddings are extremely popular in the northeast, particularly in the gloriously beautiful summer and fall seasons when the flowers and trees are all in bloom.

Work with your wedding planner and the manager of your wedding reception venue to incorporate your theme into the decor. Light up the reception hall with tiny white lights, candles (if they are allowed by the building code), hanging baskets of flowers, garland and wisps of white linen hanging from the ceiling. Create a light and airy mood that will help stir up some romance on the dance floor, inviting everyone to embrace the season.

A seaside theme can be a lot of fun, using netting, seashells, sand and other natural elements in centerpieces, bouquets, bridesmaids dresses and more. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and find new ways to bring unique wedding reception ideas into your classic wedding reception.

The Flowers

Choosing to have your New England wedding during the summer or fall months also means having access to a wide variety of local blooms. Contact your local florist to find out about specialty bouquets made with flowers from the area that can be mixed in with traditional wedding favorites. Wildflowers are a great summer choice and can also be used in floral centerpieces and with other wedding reception ideas for decor.

The Menu

Most people would assume that a traditional New England wedding reception would serve lobster or some other type of seafood for the meal. Don’t disappoint your guests – give them what they want. Consider hosting a classic lobster clambake and provide your guests with lots of little tastes of the region. Steamers, tons of rich appetizers, fresh salads and a beautiful sorbet to finish it off will definitely hit the spot.

Your wedding cake can be a classic white on white confection or you can choose to bring in elements of the decor into your design. Again, the seaside theme would naturally enhance any wedding cake, however a rustic countryside approach would be elegant as well. Choose from a multi-tier classic cake or cut a small cake with your groom and serve your guests a variety of desserts or cut sheet cake in different flavors and styles.

Serve drinks in jelly jars or other unique glassware for an unforgetable touch at your country chic theme New England wedding. Include refreshing cocktails, mocktails, iced tea, coffee and other popular beverages to keep your guests hydrated throughout the evening.

The Entertainment

Musical entertainment can also vary depending on the underlying theme of your traditional New England wedding. Choose from local DJs and bands or hire professional classical musicians to set the mood and get your guests dancing.

Include all of the traditional wedding ideas and activities, such as the bouquet toss, the cutting of the cake, the retrieving of the garter belt, the first dance and any other cultural or religious activities that you and your family hold dear. Incorporate any new wedding reception ideas for activities in with your traditional favorites to create a unique experience for all.