Can We Just Get Along…At the Dinner Party?

Planning to host a dinner party following a wedding ceremony can feel a bit overwhelming, to say the least. You may even be hesitant to put pencil to paper for fear of getting lost in the middle of it. But don’t fear, there are some tricks that can rescue the reception and have everyone on their best behavior as well.

The size of the room is very important. If the room is too small, the guests will most likely feel hot and crowded. If the room is too big, the guests will feel abandoned and like they’re not being tended too. But when in doubt, err on the side of larger being better. Set up round tables with plenty of room in between for moms with little tikes in tow to get through. Use a long rectangular table for the wedding party so that they can see all of their smiling guests faces and vice versa.

Have fun with the decorations, pretend there are no rules of etiquette that apply to you. It’s your party, and you can do whatever makes you happy. Try covering each table with a different color of the soft cotton fabric but make sure to keep them on the same level on the color wheel. If you choose red as a primary color, then compliment it with bold black and white as well. If you lean more toward pastels, you could play with a variety of patterns.

Just a few options would be a lavender plaid, pink and white polka dots, and a solid soft version of pink, purple, and yellow. Keep the chargers, plates and silverware simple with an elegant off – white color with little to no embellishments. Use clear champagne glasses and offer color coordinated pink punch. It will add yet another dimension of appeal.

Place a single short square glass vase in the middle of the tables. Fill them with matching colors of flowers as the centerpiece for each one. Use old window panes under the vase to display the couple’s engagement pictures. Try to use about four different shots or poses for added interest.   Drape long strands of pearls over the frame haphazardly and put a faux female and male wedding ring on all four sides. Plastic ones would work just fine.

The head table, where the wedding party is seated, should be posher than the others. A solid color, like pink, would be a timeless complimentary contrast to the bride’s white dress. Add a sharper accent color, like silver, for an elegant addition. A shiny silver table runner could be placed on the opposite side of the seats. Above head, place a trellis with real flowers surrounding it. It’s a great opportunity for very memorable pictures for the family and guests.

Don’t be afraid to play with style. Collect fabric swatches to look at in the actual room that will be used. It will allow you to see if you like the colors and patterns in the lighting. Colors can look very different in altered amounts of light. It will also help