Wedding Venues

The (Un)Wedding: A 12-Step Plan

Continued (page 2 of 2)

7. Think About the Seating: Even if you’re having a cocktail party, be sure there’s a place to sit, like chairs or couches (especially important if you expect elderly guests). Serving food more elaborate than cocktail nibbles requires tables on which guests can rest plates or glasses; bistro tables look cool and take up minimal space.

8. Don’t Forget About the Music: A string quartet might seem too traditional (and an orchestra would just be wrong), but it won’t feel like a party without music. Find out if your restaurant has a high-quality audio system you can use; if not, rent speakers you can hook up to an iPod or laptop loaded with music appropriate to the ambience and venue.

9. Word it Right: Guests receiving a formally worded and engraved invitation will assume that they’re going to a formal wedding. So choose a typeface that’s stylish but not overly ornate, and use language that’s more colloquial than traditional. Wording like “Please help us celebrate as we exchange vows at 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 8, at City Bistro” tells guests to expect a more casual event.

10. Wear it Well: Since an unwedding’s lack of traditional rules may leave some guests clueless about the dress code, give them a heads-up by printing “cocktail attire” on the invite. As for the two of you, plan on wearing a spectacular dress (white is always right, but you might skip the veil and train), and ask him to wear a suit that he’ll be excited to put on again. The goal is to look like your best selves, not that plastic cake-topper couple.

11. Pick the Right Photographer: The old-school shooter who insists on at least an hour for posed photos with every member of your families probably isn’t the best fit for your boutique bash. Instead, hire a photographer who’s more flexible to shoot the ceremony and a few important family shots; then ask a couple of friends with cameras to take the party pictures.

12. Go Sweet and Low (Key): Even if you’re nontraditional, you’ll probably want a wedding cake, but one with your own spin. The classic tower of tiers suddenly looks funky and fun iced in lime green. Or slice into something unusual, like a torte or cheesecake. An engraved cake knife is nice but unnecessary: This day marks the beginning of a beautiful new phase in your life, and that’s about as special as it gets.

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