Thinking of Hosting Your Wedding with an At Home Feel?
I’m happy to report that I’ve overcome last week’s epic technological fail, and today I’m thrilled to finally share the second wedding Wednesday post with all of the details on our reception!
If you and your future hubby are on the same page, save money and stress by planning a casual wedding reception. No, casual does not have to mean cheap or cheap-looking! According to Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg, informal means finding that near-perfect balance between subtle elegance and down-home charm from designing programs, creating flower bouquet arrangements, and more.
The dinner rehearsal marks the start of your wedding festivities. You’ve taken the time to find the perfect wedding dress, and now the pressure is on to figure out what you’ll be wearing to your first official wedding activity. Finding the right dress for your dinner rehearsal will be a lot harder than the search for your wedding dress.
If you’re searching for unique and unexpected wedding venues, it’s time to put an Airbnb wedding on your list! Rental properties offer so many benefits that most traditional wedding venues only can’t, including a cozy atmosphere, total flexibility when it comes to vendors, and a place to sleep when the party is over.
In case you missed the first post, you can read up on all the details of our wedding ceremony, the flowers, my dress, the bridesmaid’s dresses, the groom’s tux and all of the groomsmen tuxes here! But now, it’s party time
No matter what your decor for a casual wedding reception looks like, remember that it is all about your day and what your décor for a classy DIY idea for an informal wedding reception involves. To give you some casual reception ideas, let’s look at a few ideas and places to start for casual wedding decor.
Your dinner rehearsal look can’t outshine the wedding dress but also needs to set the tone for the looks you have prepared for your wedding weekend. Here are some tips to keep in mind when looking for the right dress for you.
An Airbnb wedding is an excellent option for couples who want an at-home feel without having to host their wedding at their own home. So, without further ado, here are ten tips to help make your Airbnb wedding unforgettable!
We focus on real weddings and stylized wedding shoots. We like to feature wedding reception ideas specifically. The more details you can provide, the better. Our goal is to give brides the best possible resource for purposes when planning their reception.
Our reception was held just two blocks away from the ceremony at the historic Pfister Hotel’s Imperial Ballroom. The Victorian hotel has a storied past which includes Teddy Roosevelt being shot here!
Creating your wedding ceremony programs is as easy as a click of the mouse on your laptop or desktop computer. They are an easy and inexpensive touch to add to your wedding day.
First and foremost, the number one thing to keep in mind is the dress code for the dinner rehearsal. Is it black tie or did you opt for semi-formal attire? Are you following the theme of your wedding? Considering these questions will quickly narrow your down your choices, so you don’t have to be overwhelmed with all the dress choices you have at hand.
Find an Airbnb that allows weddings.
Before getting your heart set on a location, you need to find rental properties that explicitly state they are available for weddings.
For real wedding features, we look for receptions that showcase a mix of both candid shots and detail shots. We want to see your dessert table, centrepieces, first dance, lighting, cake cutting, and any other little details that made your night unique.
Kind of gives you that lovin’ feeling, no? The Pfister has the most beautiful Victorian art collection and interior architecture and was the ideal site for the classic, old-world wedding we wanted. We lucked out that the elegant Imperial ballroom with gilded ceilings and dramatic antique chandeliers perfectly accommodated our 200 guests while maintaining an intimate, cozy atmosphere.
Many online wedding program templates can be customized to fit any design you can imagine. Regardless of your wedding day theme, you will be able to find a model online to match. You can send and print through an online store, or buy the template and print yourself.
If you choose formal attire for your rehearsal dinner, opt for a long dress that follows your natural silhouette—going for a semi-formal dress code? A midi-dress with an off-shoulder detail can also add that touch of elegance.
Not all properties are! Even if you’re having an elopement-style wedding with just a handful of people, you must ensure that the owner is okay with an event being hosted in their home. If there’s nothing in the description that says weddings or events are allowed, check the house Policies page. If it’s still unclear, contact the host directly to ask if marriage is permitted.
As you may have guessed from my previous indication that the off-the-shoulder embroidered lace portion of my Oscar de la Renta gown was a Caraco or “topper,” I did indeed remove it upon arrival to our reception venue for dinner and dancing.
Creating your programs allows couples to make last-minute changes without costing you lots of money. Quality paper for your applications is available at many online and brick-n-mortar stores. Printing your programs is a budget-saving part of your wedding reception décor idea.
Just like your wedding dress, make sure that your rehearsal dinner dress is a reflection of your style. This isn’t the time to experiment with your look; you might regret it later on when you look back at your wedding. If you have a simple and minimalistic style, try sticking to a dress that has those qualities as well.
Expand your search to include nearby properties.
One of the best things about using rental property for your wedding is that you have the opportunity to rent not just a house, but a little community. Lots of Airbnb listings that are approved for events have properties that either share outdoor spaces or are close enough so your family and wedding party can stay nearby.
Each submission must include a complete list of participating vendors. Please also remember to include written details about your wedding reception with your presentation, including the bride and groom’s names, locations, and some of your favourite highlights from the night.
I didn’t want two completely different wedding dresses. Still, I loved the idea of having a more formal, conservative look at our traditional wedding ceremony that quickly converted into a party-friendly strapless look for the reception.
A flower bouquet is the perfect bride’s accessory. It is an ancient tradition that symbolizes many things to a bride. It should hold her favourite flowers for luck and happiness. Procuring your flowers can be accomplished the night before the wedding, or if our marriage is in the afternoon, you can make arrangements with your local florist, grocery store, or street vendor to pick them up the morning of your nuptials.
A long off-white silk dress that drapes over your body may feel more comfortable than a dress with extravagant detailing. If you like to experiment and have fun with your looks, a neutral velvet dress is trendy but also classy and won’t take away shine from the looks you have ahead of you.
If you’re planning an elopement, for example, you could find a property with two houses that share a courtyard and rent both: one for you and one for your photographer/planner/any other vendor you might need on-hand. If you’re planning a larger wedding, you could find a villa with surrounding bungalows or small homes and rent them all, like a hotel block.
Embrace the vibe of the home for your overall design.
When you’re searching for an Airbnb to host your wedding, don’t forget to take into account the décor and the vibe of the home to make sure it matches your style — or the style you want to create.
We focus on wedding reception ideas (the more details, the better)
– A short blurb from the night including names, locations, and favourite moments
Images can be emailed in a .zip file directly to us for consideration or sent through a file-sharing site like Two Bright Lights, Dropbox, or through a link to an online gallery.
At the reception, I also ditched the opera length gloves, and after removing my veil, a small bunch of ivory roses were placed in my hair, just to the side of my chignon.
If you are going through a local florist, ask them to incorporate a lot of greenery to keep costs low, or focus on one single bloom for the same impact without the high price tag.
If you crave a more classic look, then white, crème and other blush tones would be perfect. These tones are timeless and classic, an ideal choice for those who aren’t keen on experimenting with colour.
Then lean in and wholly embrace it for your big day! You’ll save so much time and money by using what’s already there. If you love the idea of a formal dinner party, try to find a home with a grand dining room to which you can add an elegant tablescape design.
My bridesmaids also altered their look by dropping the sash that they previously wore over their shoulder during the ceremony and wearing the pale periwinkle blue dress with simple spaghetti straps instead.
Consider using a unity candle as decor for a casual wedding reception ceremony. The future bride and groom lit a unity candle as a symbol of two families, enjoining as one. Believe it or not, your local Dollar store will have style glasses and candles that you can use.
For those who are comfortable with different styles, a beautiful floral pattern or a cotton lace fabric is an excellent choice. A floral design of your choosing, no matter what it is, will look fun and flirty, which is perfect for semi-formal attire. A cotton-lace fabric is ideal for those summer rehearsal dinners that effortlessly follow the aesthetic of the warm, sunny days.
If you’re more of an outdoorsy couple, take the party outside and use the natural landscape as your backdrop.
Despite the old-world, classic formality of our black-tie wedding, the evening was anything but stuffy. In addition to a room full of characters and dancing maniacs, we were determined to infuse the evening with lots of personalities. I think the biggest hit was our personalized cocktail napkins which we had printed with little quips about the bride and groom in gold foil.
It’s easy to DIY a unity candle with videos to give you details on how to glue candles inside of the glasses, how to monogram them, and how to elegantly decorate the glass and candles with your personalization that will impress everyone.
Colour coordinating with your partner is not cheesy! This is a great time to incorporate a subtle hint of partnership into your wedding festivities. It’s an effortless way to embrace the idea of commitment between you and your partner in front of your close friends and family.
Make it your own with a captivating installation.
Even if you decide to use the existing decor in the house, we highly recommend that you add your flair with an eye-catching installation.
Although all eight of Rich and my grandparents are deceased, we had pictures of them displayed on a side table with flowers and candles.
Consider getting plain candles online or at a local store and attached lace motifs for a rustic feel. Or use plain taper candles and pick out a particular unity candle to light together.
If your soon-to-be husband is wearing a navy-blue tie with navy blue slacks and a white dress shirt, why not go for a long navy-blue gown to match. Not only will it look beautiful in photos, but you’ll also find yourself reminiscing about the flawless colour coordination. You and your partner are hours away from officiating your commitment to one another; why not look like a team together the night before?
Some examples are a beautiful ceremony arch, a floral installation. Or even a light installation over the reception table(s). It doesn’t need to be extravagant; you just want to add something memorable to reflect your style and to make space feel more like “you”.
Nearby, guests were encouraged to take selfies with polaroid cameras that printed out a self-adhesive image to be placed on a page in our guest book.
A cocktail hour does not have to cost a lot of money on your end. Consider buying your champagne and wine by the bulk; this will save you lots of money for your casual wedding reception.
Most importantly, do not overthink your look for your rehearsal dinner. You will know which is the right dress when you find it, the same way you find a wedding a dress.
Use the entire property for the ceremony and reception.
One way to make the most of your Airbnb rental is to use all the indoor and outdoor space you can. For example, you could set up the ceremony in the backyard and have the reception in the dining room.
While our guests were still enjoying cocktails in the Kings Row rooms at the Pfister and the bridal party was relaxing together post-pictures in the bridal suite awaiting the conclusion of cocktails and the Grand March, Rich and I stole into the empty ballroom to spend a few moments alone before the insanity continued. It was so fun to look out on the sea of lights, flowers and decor in our beautiful ballroom together, eagerly anticipating all the fun that ensued.
Wedding planners will tell you that the most significant percentage of any wedding costs is food and drink. Yes, even a casual wedding reception requires time and energy to plan. The accessorized paper product décor for an informal wedding reception can save you money by ordering them wholesale.
You simply just know that it is the right one. Looking for the dress to set the tone of your wedding weekend looks may not be easy but surely isn’t worth losing sleep.
Or, you could reverse it and set up the ceremony in a cozy living area and party alfresco style. Don’t be afraid to get creative and use as much space as possible, so guests feel like they have room to move. And don’t forget to make sure there are plenty of beautiful backgrounds for your couple portraits — indoor or outdoor.
After cocktails, antique keys took the place of traditional escort cards that informed guests where to find their seat.
Napkins and plastic cups are necessities that don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Planning a casual wedding reception is about staying on budget and spending money on supplies can quickly add up.
Remember to wear something you’re comfortable in, a dress that will make you feel beautiful at one of the most magical occasions of your life. Don’t allow others to influence your decision too much because this time is for you and your partner, so always make decisions that feel right with you!
Ask if the host has a list of recommended vendors.
Some rentals properties, especially large ones that host a lot of events, have a list of vendors they’ve worked within the past. It’s a great idea to ask the host if they have vendors they trust and who specialize in rental property weddings.
Once each guest found their table, they found their name written on candy boxes—our wedding favours that doubled as place cards. Above each place setting, I came up with the idea to have gold boxes wrapped with ivory ribbon with each guest’s name written in script on a strip of parchment and sealed with a wax seal featuring our monogram.
Companies offering bulk paper products can easily customize your cups and napkins in the colour and design and will feel more personal thank bulk everyday paper goods.
Hire a mobile bar.
One trend we’re totally in love with and is ideal for home weddings is a mobile bar. It’s compact, convenient, and cute, and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser! A portable bar takes up very little space and allows you to hire everything you need for the bar all with one company.
The colour of the wax was not just decorative—I designed it to signal the wait staff as to which of the three entrees guests chose. Blue wax was beef, pink wax was salmon, and ivory wax was vegetarian. Inside the gold boxes, we had our names and wedding date embossed above two chocolates that were made by family friends who just happen to be gourmet candy makers. Talk about good friends, huh?
Saying “I do” at Cosmopolitan events is an elegant and luxurious affair.
The head table centrepiece is as its name applies, the centre of it all. The design of table centrepieces depends first on the kind of tables that you use. Long banquet-style tables with a fabric runner are often popularly favoured.
For larger weddings, consider extra facilities to keep everyone comfortable.
When researching properties, one essential thing to consider that most people forget is the facilities. Are there enough restrooms to accommodate your guest list? If not, you should consider supplementing with rentals.
Dinner napkins on the tables were folded to create a pocket into which our custom menu cards were placed. The black and gold-printed menus detailed each of the five courses and had our monogram, names and wedding date at the top.
Remember that your centrepiece should not be dwarfed if your table is very long. However, if your casual wedding décor is an intimate affair, then your centrepiece will balance the meal.
There are so many options for upscale portable toilet trailers that provide a comfortable experience, including lighting, mirrors, sinks, and — most importantly — a more space than traditional port-o-potties!
On guest tables, loose greens, votive candles and gold table numbers surrounded lush centrepieces of ivory roses, hydrangeas, and blush accents, in line with the ballroom’s victorian decor.
Quality folding chairs are most comfortable to work with at any table seating. Decorating the chairs is a simple and cost-effective option, to include garland or ribbons hanging down or you can drape a fabric that is the colour theme from your wedding across the back.
You can even add a personal, homey touch by adding a small amenities kit to each bathroom with breath fresheners, Band-Aids, hand sanitizer, cotton balls, and safety pins. Trust us; this will save a lot of headaches on the day-of (and some potential fees after checkout)!
Like every bride, I was concerned about weather holding up on our special day. As we got closer to the date, (of course!) the weather report indicated that the ten days before our wedding day were blue sky and sunny and the ten days after our day was blue sky and bright, but our wedding day was predicted to have rain and thunderstorms.
Greenery garlands are an inexpensive (but expensive-looking) way to distinguish your chairs from the rest of the reception. Purchase your own Mr. and Mrs. sign or DIY one yourself with wood for a rustic wedding.
Ask friends and family to stay with you.
Especially if you have an intimate wedding, one way to make it feel extra special — and take advantage of the unique rental property venue — is to ask your closest friends and family to stay with you the night before the wedding. This would be an excellent opportunity for one last girl or guys night, or to spend some quality time with a group of family you might not get to see all the time.
The wedding and reception were both insides, but we, of course, we’re planning on taking pictures outside, so I had my fingers double and triple crossed despite the 80% chance of rain. Miraculously, the Milwaukee skies were cloudless through our wedding ceremony, and clouds just started forming gradually while we took pictures.
Creating your centrepieces couldn’t be easier! If you’re looking to incorporate greenery for your centrepiece, choose a long eucalyptus garland as your base. This is less expensive than doing vases of flowers but still adds a romantic and rustic touch. You can sprinkle in a couple of blooms or keep the garland plain.
Don’t be afraid to go big or to keep it small.
When people think of Airbnb weddings, they usually think of intimate celebrations. However, there are so many vast properties for rent these days!
Once we were all safely inside and literally as the grand march of the bridal party into the ballroom began, we heard vast crashes of thunder and had a bonafide light show through the huge windows behind the head table for the rest of the evening. The storm was so intense; the lakefront music festival was evacuated along with the PGA Championship which was taking place nearby as well. We could not have had luckier timing!
For a secure, romantic centrepiece layer didn’t levels of candles down the table. Incorporating different heights of taper and pillar candles is an inexpensive way to set the sentimental mood of the reception while keeping the vibe more casual. You can use tea lights, votives, floating candles, in a mixed environment of glowing beauty.
So, whether you want an elopement-style wedding day with just you and your witnesses or you want a massive affair with all your family and friends, you can indeed find a rental property to accommodate your vision.
The long head table had large, tall arrangements on each end with a garland that ran the length in between at the front edge of the table. Smaller arrangements and tea lights were placed throughout.
You can also use different shaped bud vases along the length of the candle. They can be small and bright with a couple of colourful blooms in your palette, or choose coloured bud vases in your wedding colours. This helps fill the space with inexpensive vessels and is the perfect look for a casual wedding reception.
The ballroom had large bay windows around the perimeter, so we also placed tall floating candle vases with floral arrangements matching the centrepieces around each.
To further memorialize your special day, create a DIY photo booth. The photo booth can be a simple decorative sheet hung on a wall, where guests can stand in front of it and create photo opportunities. Better still, the camera technology in our smartphones are high, have guests take pictures and send them to you.
Following dinner and speeches, Rich and I cut the wedding cake, which was probably the most delicious cake I’ve ever had! And for real, this girl likes her cake, so that’s saying something. Our cake was filled with alternating layers of raspberry preserves and lemon curd, all topped with cream cheese white chocolate buttercream. Sheesh, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.