You have chosen your date, your venue, the size of your wedding and its style – now what?
Some of you might have known for a long time how exactly they want this celebration to be (like Emma and Olivia in the Bride Wars who from their kindergarten days had been planning to get married at the Plaza Hotel in New York). Most of you will have rather more vague ideas.
It starts with the pre-wedding parties – bridal shower, bachelor party, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, bridesmaids breakfast or luncheon. Do you want any of these?
Then – what happens after the ceremony? Most couples opt for a champagne reception where all guests can toast the happy couple. It’s up to you whether you want to follow this with a dinner, maybe only to include closest friends and family, or whether you’d rather throw the two together in a bigger reception with more than only champagne served (white wine, red wine, light beer, non-alcoholic beverages – you might even consider a full bar) and with food more substantial than only tray-passed hors d’oeuvres, e.g. a buffet. You would then cut your cake at this reception and serve it as dessert.
Another option some couples choose (with an eye on overall budget) is a morning wedding followed by a brunch – rather informal, and lighter on the wallet since alcohol consumption tends to be less and food served is rather lighter fare than later at night. A wedding brunch normally does not include dancing, so weigh your options. If you want to have dancing, a brunch is difficult.
Lastly, if you really want to pamper your guests, consider a multiple-day affair… but more of that later!