Behind the Curtain: The Ginger's Photobooth Proposal :  wedding philadelphia proposal 6334701

Now that you’ve said Yes, let’s start planning the big day! I say this with a bit of hesitation, but here goes – your guests didn’t come for the reception, they came for that 20 – 30 minutes where you’re looking into your beloved’s eyes, vowing to love for the rest of your life. Having said that when it comes to the reception, you really need to rock it. You need to keep folks busy with more than food or drink. It’s entertaing you guests in ways that don’t break the bank.

So if you’re looking to have a wedding like none other — at least like none other you’ve  ever attended? Don’t be afraid to try something new and something that’s  intrinsically you. The first step is to define who you are as a couple.  Investigate your likes and dislikes. Ask yourselves: What do we enjoy doing in  our spare time? Which is our favorite season? Favorite artists, movies, and  music? Favorite era? Once you’ve unveiled your personal style, you’re ready to  take the second step and start developing a wedding-day theme.

Your theme doesn’t have to be something so complex as a Hawaiian luau,  replete with a roast pig, leis, and grass skirts, but it should pinpoint an  element that can be used as a thread throughout your wedding day — a color, a  flower, or even a vintage brooch. You may be inspired by pink roses, a  pearl-studded purse, or snowflakes (because the two of you met on the ski  slopes). Or you may love sunsets so much that you host your ceremony at sundown,  have wedding programs designed in shades of the sunset (from burnt orange to  pale pink) and choose amber-color pin-lighting in your reception venue. Need  more ideas? Here are 15 ways to craft a one-of-a-kind celebration.

1. Find the right wedding venue.

Locating the right spot to host your  fun, formal affair is your greatest challenge. Having the wedding in a hotel  ballroom will lend a very different tone than having it in an old weathered barn  on your grandfather’s farm. Locate a distinctive venue — scout out old  nightclubs, movie theaters, city roof gardens, hip restaurants, art galleries,  or historic mansions. Get reception  ideasin your area! Or transform the space you choose into something  different by setting up screens to create different environments for dinner and  dancing. You can even change the mood from one area to the next with the  lighting: one room might feature white and ivory paper lanterns hanging from the  ceiling while the next may be outfitted with deep red beaded lampshades on every  table.

2. Develop a theme.

Finding a common chord to play through all the  elements of your wedding — from your paper products to your party — will help  you put on a production that’s truly unforgettable. Try a masquerade ball!  Infuse your theme from the reception venue (a fancy ballroom or an old theater)  to what to wear (have guests come in costumes, such as butterflies and angels)  to the favors (give guests handmade masks) to the honeymoon  (go to Venice during Carnevale).

3. Pick an unforgettable guest book idea.

Have a photo booth set up at  the site so that your friends and family can take their own pictures or group  shots. The results are a little like a home video without sound. Whether you  pose properly, make funny faces, or try your best Rockette kick line, you’ll be  caught on tape showing your true colors. Compiled into a visual wedding-day  guest book, these are photographs that will be treasured by brides and grooms  for years to come.

4. Pay attention to the decor.

The vibe of every wedding is dictated by  the decor. To achieve an event that reverberates with romance, adorn your space  with dozens of red roses and golden ornamentation. For casual elegance, try  candles set afloat in pools, flowers floating in fish bowls, and a string  quartet playing love ballads.

5. Go classic.

White-on-white is never out of style. As many people as  there are looking for hot, hip new colors and coordination there are those  craving the ultra-traditional. Talk to your florist about mixing shades of  whites for the bouquets; use all-white linens or linens that mix various shades  of white — ivory cloths with white overlays, for example; and have a white  wedding cake with white rolled fondant frosting and accented with ivory sugar  blossoms. Final touches: waiters dressed in tuxedos with white jackets (hello,  James Bond), and, of course, a white limousine.

6. Embrace color.

Develop a visually stunning scene using monochromatic  color, whether blue, violet, or kiwi green. See our favorite wedding  color ideas.Consider setting up different sizes and shapes of tables  (circular, square, rectangular) and use different textures or designs for the  fabrics (pin-stripe fabrics on round tables and tiny polka-dot covers on square  ones). Although your color palette will remain the same, each tabletop will  render a distinct personality.

7. Set your tables apart.

Who says the tables must sport uniform  arrangements? Think of your spread of tables as a garden, each row or corner  with its own identity. Place some of your chosen blooms in tall opaque vases,  float other flowers in short bowls, use others in clear vases filled with rocks  and water. Accent the shorter centerpieces with tall taper candles and the  taller ones with shorter votives or tea lights. Get more wedding  reception table ideas.

8. Make it intimate.

If you’ve chosen a huge reception space to  accommodate your massive family, make it more intimate by adding lounge  furniture. If you can’t bring in couches and plush chairs to create a sitting  area, try seating only four people to a table instead of eight to ten, or drape  the walls and ceilings with rich velvety fabrics to close in the space.

9. Go for good lighting.

Lighting is a key (and usually forgotten)  element. Okay, so there’s always candlelight or chandeliers or strung twinkle  lights. But before you take an easy way out, ask if your venue has another form  of lighting and use it! Find out if your venue can provide cool effects like  gobo lighting to create shapes with light. Yes, it could border on cheesy if you  overuse it, but initialing the white walls with your new monogram during your  first dance can add an unexpected element to the occasion.

10. Give your guests a taste of the town.

Serve something regional. We  know a bride who had a popular East Coast seafood soup poured at each place  setting, as guests arrived in the tent. Another bride we know served sour-cream  cornbread with mayhaw jelly, a local southern favorite. If you’re marrying in a  city that brews its own beer, be sure to stock the bar with it or with another  signature drink from your hometown.

11. Drink it up.

Espresso bars are hot and a good accessory to dessert  — especially if you serve your espresso with cordials. These bars also provide  a good jolt toward end of the night as the party winds down and the yawns start  pouring in; plus, lattes and cappuccinos served on dainty china can be very sexy  drinks.

12. Have a dessert buffet.

Bring in 20 different sweets like  chocolate-covered strawberries, banana fosters, and creme brulee. Talk to your  caterer for clever ways to decorate tables and present mini desserts. Your  family can join in the fun — ask your best friend’s mother to make her famous  brownies or your aunt to make those pecan delights. A dessert buffet encourages  mingling and ensures getting people off their seats and closer to the dance  floor. If you still can’t pass on the multitiered confection, box the individual  cake slices and distribute as favors.

13. Go pro.

Book professional entertainers. An a cappella group or  singing waiters during cocktail hour will turn on the charm. Hire a group of  dancers — choose from belly dancers to Irish jig or salsa dancers — who’ll  perform during courses. Bring in some different music for an hour or so, perhaps  a steel drum band, a barbershop quartet, or a mariachi band.

14. Add a cigar roller to your reception.

A master cigar roller who  demonstrates the art of cigar rolling will prove to be a big hit. You might ask  him to display and hand out an array of rare or limited-edition cigars for  guests to enjoy after dinner — do this in conjunction with a lounging area or  around a martini or vodka bar for an added chic factor. Or, have him entertain  guests during the cocktail hour while you two are busy taking pictures.

15. Invest in a watercolor artist.

There are wedding watercolor artists  who will draw in pastels, or paint in watercolors, the reception as it unfolds.  This can be a great gift for the bride and groom, but it’s also some quiet  entertainment for guests and especially good for weddings set in great scenery  — creating a collage of events like guests dancing outdoors on the sand and the  best man’s toast by the water at a beachside bash.

creative getaways

Give guests a lasting impression with a fabulous send-off. Have a fireworks  display over a nearby lake; be the last to leave and thank each guest personally  as you hand out favors; or have one final dance song with everyone on the  floor!