One thing I’ve learned over the years is that both brides and grooms to-be are very visual! Check out some wedding cakes below for some inspiration with your cake design:
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Archive for the ‘Reception’ Category
You should budget around 45%-50% of your overall wedding budget on catering. No matter what type of wedding you have or what time of day it’s held at, guests will expect food and beverages. Most couples opt for a 3-course sit down meal but I’ve also seen buffets, stand up cocktail receptions, and more informal versions of the sit down meal. Most couples are now offering canapes, a main meal, and an evening buffet so this can really blow the budget if you’re trying to spend wisely. Catering is not cheap so see 10 tips on saving catering fees below.
1. Save your meat for the main dish and serve vegetarian canapes and starters. Try risotto served in shot glasses, vegetarian rice rolls, or a trio of asparagus
2. Cut out the starter course by offering more canapes during the drinks reception and this will save on crockery, cutlery, equipment, and staff.
3. Unless you and your guests are champagne connoisseurs, opt for cava, prosecco, or English sparkling wine to add a bit of luxury without the price tag. Most guests won’t know the difference. I personally prefer cava over the other two (when champagne isn’t offered, of course!).
4. Replace the first course with a selection of breads and dipping oils
5. Serve wedding cake as your dessert. You will save so much money doing this, and guests will actually eat your cake! If you serve a dessert and then offer wedding cake, you will have a lot of leftovers.
6. Serve your food “family style” meaning 3-4 dishes come out for the starter in which guests serve themselves, then you see the same for the main course. This allows for a formal seated dinner with an informal service and cheaper price tag.
7. If you’re having an evening buffet, you don’t need to cater to all your guests as only a small percentage will eat at that time. I normally see less than half of guests touch the evening buffet.
8. Serve the expensive drinks (bubbly, specialty cocktails) early in the day so guests can remember them and enjoy the taste. Towards the end of the evening I always see half full glasses being left around the room which always go to waste. Guests leave their glass on a table then forget which one is theirs, or they set it down to use the loo then a waiter picks it up before they return. To avoid waste on expensive items, serve these early on.
9. Add a bit of luxury to your presentation by dropping raspberries into your bubbly, or adding small slices of cucumber and orange into each water glass. Presentation is everything and a small touch makes a major impact.
10. Serve cold canapes and a cold starter. Hot dishes require more equipment which means more cost. Also, if you’re running behind on time, you don’t need to worry about food coming out cold. Win/win!
It’s a good idea to have a seating plan at your wedding- especially if your guest list is over 15. Many couples stress about the seating plan as they’re afraid they might upset family and friends. As long as everyone gets a seat, no real disasters are likely to occur. The seating plan should be finalised when you submit final numbers to your caterer however, the reality is that seating plans will not be completely finalised until the actual wedding day. Guests fall ill, unexpected guests show and Uncle Joe insists on sitting at table 8.
You may have heard or seen the words “Escort Cards” thrown around but what exactly are these and what’s the difference between Escort Cards and Table Plans? The escort card is a more modern approach to assigning a table to your guests, the trend starting in American weddings. These are generally handed out at the cocktail reception and assign guests to a specific table for the meal. Once they find their table they will have a place card and seat waiting for them. Escort cards are a great ice breaker as guests tend to walk around with a card in hand asking other guests what table they’re sitting at! They make beautiful decorations as well- see below.
Event lighting is the true mood setter for any event. A well thought out lighting plan can re-create the room and change the entire ambiance. You have many lighting choices when it comes to lighting your venue so it’s best to work with a lighting professional as they’ll have the expertise and technical know-how. Event lighting can take you back into time, it can take you into the future, it can create any type of atmosphere you may wish to achieve. It’s a very important element to a big celebration and one that shouldn’t be overlooked.. You may wish to have your guests enter the venue through a tunnel of fairy lights leading to the grand ballroom or you may wish to have amber lit walls for a magical evening. Your dance floor can have a customised stencil with your monogram lit in the centre, also known as a gobo. Lighting options are endless, so speak to the experts!