Friday Five: Five most-affordable ways to upgrade your wedding

We’re always looking for ways to step up the experience for you and your guests at a wedding. But budget it always a consideration, isn’t it? I’ve compiled a quick list of what I think are the five most affordable ways to add a little “sumthin-sumthin'” to your day.

– add uplighting

Wedding-uplighting

The photo in the picture above shows a dancefloor illuminated with two (count ’em, TWO) standard uplights with red gels to provide the color. Do a couple by yourself for about $50, or, if you want more than just a couple, have a pro do the installation for under $1,000.

– add a signature cocktail

Even if the budget doesn’t allow for a full or even partial bar, you can still serve alcohol at the wedding and keep it festive. Sometimes it’s more about the presentation than the actual drink itself.

– add a passed hors d’oevure or a passed dessert bite

– garnish everything

– do something at the venue entrance

Why a receiving line is a good idea

Wedding-planning-receiving-line

Photo: Jessica Spengler

Receiving lines. Do they bring to mind stuffy, overly-formal, laced up affairs from 1987?  Actually, a receiving line is a very good idea for several reasons.  Here's why: it's imperative that you personally greet each and every guest that comes to your wedding. They have taken off work, scheduled babysitters, and traveled from far and near to witness your big day. Don't leave your guests hanging and yourself in a tizzy, wondering if you got to this group or that group.

In addition, leaving the guest-greeting to a casual time, such as the interval between dinner and dancing, means that you will inevitably have to cut your meal short in order to go table-to-table. Let's think about that. Most of you have spent so much time planning the menu! Most of you say, "The reception – food, drink, dancing – is the most important part." Shouldn't you enjoy your first meal as husband and wife as well, instead of hurrying from group to group?

There are lots of different places you can fit a receiving line in your wedding timeline. Immediately after the ceremony; as guests move from cocktail hour into the dining room; or even a reverse receiving line where the bride and groom greet each pew in the church as they leave. Check with your planner to see which scenario is best for you. But by all means, make sure you greet each of your guests personally!