Your wedding dinner is an event that you’ll want to remember all of your life, and hopefully for the right reasons!
The key to making sure that everything goes smoothly is to plan ahead, but also to relax as the big day approaches. Managing everyone’s expectations can be extremely stressful. Trying to please not only yourself and your partner, but also both your families and all of your friends is impossible.
Arrange the wedding that you want to have, not the one your parents or future in-laws think you should have. Prepare well, delegate responsibilities and most important, remember to have fun.
First of all you need to decide on the location for your wedding dinner. Hiring out a function room or a community centre is the most obvious choice, but more unusual venues have their own advantages. Having your wedding dinner in a quirky historical building means that décor more or less takes care of itself, and you just need to add a few unique finishing touches.
Who to invite
Of course your venue also needs to be big enough to accommodate all of your guests. Don’t be tempted to invite too many people just because you think you should. Intimate dinners with close family and real friends are best and so much less hassle. Also, generally, the fewer people you have to cater for the better the food will be.
Consider your seating arrangements and who should sit next to whom. Getting the balance right is an art form in itself. You don’t want to put people together who won’t get on or who have nothing in common. Equally, it’s good to mix things up a bit and not leave everyone in their habitual social groupings.
Consider going for a unique look that says something about your own tastes. If you’re both big readers for instance, why not have an antique book as a centrepiece, and bookmarked manuscript pages for place settings?
Flowers are essential at a wedding, and it can be less expensive and more original to arrange your own. All it takes is a good eye and some attractive crystal vases to place them in. The vases can also be engraved with names or appropriate designs.
Of course the most important part of your wedding dinner is the food. If you’re using an outside caterer, check whether they do full service: providing waiting staff, running a bar and cleaning up afterwards. Also bear in mind any special dietary needs of your guests and whether you need to have vegetarian, vegan, gluten free or ethnic options.
Don’t go overboard on the alcohol. A choice of red or white wine, a standard lager and maybe a local craft ale should be sufficient, along with champagne, cava or prosecco. Spirits are expensive, unnecessary and can quickly lead to things getting messy.
Your wedding dinner should feel comfortable and stylish and should be as stress-free as possible. Planning ahead and thinking outside of the box should provide you with a fun, memorable occasion that everyone present will be glad to be a part of.