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    Wedding receptions are not just sit down dinners anymore. There are so many TYPES OF RECEPTIONS to choose from such as the appetizer only, afternoon tea reception or food stations with interesting ethnic dishes prepared right in front of your eyes.

  1. EXTEND the wedding celebration.  Many couples are planning weekend weddings that start on Friday and go for the entire weekend. This is a great option when you've got family or relatives that live out-of-town that you don't have the opportunity to see often.

  2. REHEARSAL DINNERS are getting more casual and many are incorporating a theme, such as a Texas barbecue, Mexican Fiesta or a beach party!

  3. Many brides are choosing more NATURAL LOOKING FLOWERS& bouquets that have a "just picked" looked rather than a formal bouquet in a holder.

  4. ON-LINE GIFT REGISTRIES.  They save you time, energy (no more trips to the mall) and they give you so many more choices than a typical department store registry.

  5. Brides are taking time to add more SENTIMENTAL and PERSONAL TOUCHES to their wedding, such as writing their own wedding vows and personalized wedding favors that reflect the couples individual tastes and hobbies.  (HINT: your name and wedding date can be printed on just about anything, such as pens, coffee mugs or etched in wine glasses). 

  6. Many Brides are forgoing the traditional GUEST BOOK and instead are preparing a mat and having guests sign the mat which then can be framed and displayed in their home after the wedding. 

  7. FORGET THE BIRDSEED& (actually, many locations do not allow birdseed to be thrown).  Here are some great altarnatives:  Rose Petals, Paper Streamers, Blow Bubbles, Ring Bells.

  8. Instead of a long HEAD TABLE, many couples are choosing altarnatives, such as:

    * Round Table (Better for socializing with the wedding party)

    * Sweetheart Table ( A romantic table for just the bride and groom).  This is a good option when you have a very large wedding party and cant fit everyone at one table.

  9. NEXT DAY BRUNCH or barbecue& many couples are delaying the start of their honeymoon for a day or two after the wedding so they can attend a brunch or barbecue the next day.

  10. Many brides are choosing HISTORIC MANSIONS for their wedding versus a large hotel with numerous banquet rooms.  Brides want to feel special on their wedding day and don't want to be one of four weddings going on at a hotel or banquet facility.

  11. BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES are becoming more fashionable -- you just might be able to wear that dress again. Many brides are selecting very simple, A-line dresses that can be worn again long or cut into a shorter dress.  For the wedding day, these simple dresses can be dressed up with gloves, accessories and a colorful flower bouquet. Brides are even selecting short dresses (above the knee) for their Bridesmaids purchased right off the rack of a department store.This saves money and definitely increases the chances that the dress can be worn again.

  12. More photos are being taken BEFORE the ceremony.  This gives the bride and groom more time to enjoy the party.

  13. PHOTOJOURNALISTIC style of wedding photography is increasing in popularity. Less posed pictures and more candid pictures with the photographer capturing the moment, not creating it.  Be sure to talk with your photographer about their style!

  14. There are now many variations on the tradition of the father escorting the bride DOWN THE AISLE.  Including& the bride being escorted by both father and stepfather (one on each arm) or the  bride escorted by her mother, mother and father together, or grandmother.  Brides really using this to honor someone who has played an important role in their life.

  15. SPECIALTY DRINKS are popular. Be creative - instead of offering your guests the typical run of beers, try to include some of the newer micro-brewed beers. You can still offer the old stand-bys for those guests who are committed to "their" brands, but you'll be pleasantly surprised by the feed back you'll receive on being somewhat adventuresome!

    Consider an international coffee bar during the dessert hour. If  you do, you'll want to be sure to serve Kahlua, Bailey's, Tia Maria, Grand Marnier and other cordials that your guests will enjoy with coffee. 

  16. GROOMS CAKE is becoming a popular dessert at either the rehearsal dinner or as an altarnative dessert for the wedding reception. The groom's cake is usually a deep, dark chocolate cake& but it can be any flavor that is a favorite of the groom from cheesecake to apple pie!

  17. If you're inviting small children to the reception, then is a great idea.  It's a separate table set up where the kids can color, draw or play games. Some brides prepare little goodie bags for each child and even hire a babysitter to watch the children and direct their activities.  It's a great way to keep the kids occupied and let the adults enjoy the reception.   

  18. FANCY PLACECARDS are in! Placecards with the names of guests elegantly written in calligraphy with gold ink or embellished with organza ribbon.  Elegant gold or silver frames look beautiful on the tables and make wonderful favors for the guests to take home. 

  19. Personalized WEDDING PROGRAMS are very popular.  They don't  have to cost a lot and can be made right at your computer.  Wedding programs not only set the agenda for the ceremony but also are used as a personal expression of the bride and groom and usually include special poems, passages or dedications. 

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