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6/5/2012




Wedding Planning Tips and Ideas



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Unique Beach Wedding Receptions

by: Cindy English

The most unique beach wedding reception ideas are sparked by imagination not tradition. Never mind etiquette, tradition and timelines. That information is outdated and stuffy. Do what will make you and your guests happy. It is a time for fun and celebration, not pomp and ceremony!

Long gone are the days of "assigned" seating arrangements and cookie cutter reception programs. Everyone waiting to be told what to do next. Yawn! Today, you can "have it your way". No, I am not suggesting that "Burger King" host your reception. But, you could, IF you wanted to! That's the message.

To plan for your reception, you need first to know:

  • What is your theme?
  • What time of day you will be having your wedding ceremony?
  • What type of atmosphere do you wish to create?
  • Answer those three questions and great beach wedding reception ideas will follow.
Perhaps you will marry in a romantic sunrise ceremony followed by a breakfast reception. How about an early afternoon wedding followed by a beach barbeque? Plan fun activities such as a sand castle building contest or a volleyball game. Marry at sunset. Follow the ceremony with a wine and cheese reception and dancing.

The size of your guest list and your budget will also help to determine which path you take.
Buffet or food station receptions lend themselves very well to informal beach weddings and are the most fun. They are also cheaper! You can easily coordinate this type of reception yourself and eliminate the added expense of a caterer. Those special women in your family who love to cook would be honored to assist with this project I'll bet. Heck, knowing "Aunt Jo" and "Grandma", they will probably take over and you won't have to worry about a thing!

Formal afternoon weddings will of course lead to the usual "sit down" planned menus. Caterers will be necessary. The advantage being that the whole affair will be tended to without you lifting a finger...for a price. In order to cut costs here, you will have to limit the menu and the guests.

So, if you have a large guest list and a limited budget, avoid marrying late in the afternoon. Guests will be hungry and expect the dinner reception. Instead, stick with a breakfast, brunch or cocktail reception.

The wedding industry dictates that a reception should be from three to five hours in length. Rubbish! A reception should be as long as it takes for you and your guests to enjoy each others company and have fun. It can last a couple of hours or all day if you like.

Don't feel obligated to stretch the event out. Often, your older guests tire easily and would like to leave before the designated departure time anyway. If you are having a beach side bash, consider a "come and go" atmosphere. Let people know what time your departure will be so they can be there to send you off.

As far as beach wedding reception ideas go, the rule of thumb is - there is no rule of thumb! Break the mold. Do something different, something fun, something memorable.

Whatever you and your guests will enjoy most, IS the perfect beach wedding reception!

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