Archive for March, 2012
There is a language of flowers―whether you or anyone at your wedding is fluent in this language is another question. One idea: Give each bridesmaid a bouquet featuring a signature flower whose meaning suits her personality. Attach a note to the bouquet explaining why you picked that bloom for her. Here are some of the hidden meanings.
Amaranthus: Constancy and fidelity
Amaryllis: Pride, pastoral beauty
Anemone: Abandonment, forsakenness, sincerity, fragility
Chrysanthemum: Happiness and long life
Chrysanthemum (White): Truth
Chrysanthemum (Yellow): Secret admirer
Chrysanthemum (Red): Love
Daffodil (a.k.a. Narcissus): Respect, good fortune, chivalry, unrequited love
Daisy: Innocence, loyal love, purity
Forget-Me-Not: Faithful love and memory, true love
Iris: Faith and wisdom, inspiration
Ivy: Fidelity, wedded love, affection
Lilac: First love
Lily: Purity and sweetness
Lily of the Valley: Renewed happiness and humility
Orchid: Love and beauty
Peony: Happiness and prosperity
Rose (Red): Love and desire
Rose (White): Purity and innocence
Sweet Pea: Departure
Tulip: True love
Zinnia: Thoughts of friends, thoughts of absent friends
Who should choose it: Couples celebrating at a catering facility, club, or ballroom, as well as oenophiles who want to pair each course with wine.
Who should avoid it: Party animals. Dinners take time―spent eating, not dancing or clinking glasses with anyone beyond your table.
What to ask: The real price difference between seated dinners and buffets. You may assume plated dinners are pricier, but often they are not, because the caterer knows exactly how much food to order and prepare, whereas buffets have to accommodate multiple trippers.
Who should choose it: Those who want to offer several entrées. Planning a day wedding? Brunch dishes like muffins and fruit platters look lovely on a buffet, and omelets can be made to order.
Who should avoid it: Couples with a 100-plus guest list (lines will form).
What to ask: How long the food will sit out. Typically, buffets have a shelf life of about 2 to 2½ hours―for both taste and health reasons. Also ask how the waitstaff will direct buffet traffic (it’s best to invite tables to head to the buffet one at a time) and clear dirty plates.
Who should choose it: Duos on a budget. You can offer hors d’oeuvres for less money than a sit-down meal. (Just be sure to keep the party under three hours. If you go longer, the cost difference between the two parties is negligible.) This may also appeal to couples with a 300-plus guest list and second-time-arounders.
Who should avoid it: Brides seeking the spotlight. Cocktail parties tend to skip introductions of the couple, first dances, and dances with parents.
What to ask: The best time to schedule it. An 8 p.m. reception clues in guests to grab a bite before, whereas a 5 p.m. start time signals supper
Who should choose it: Couples with close-knit friends and families who would enjoy the informality of a backyard, a barn, or a park wedding.
Who should avoid it: Control freaks. If your friends are firing up the park grill themselves, burgers may be burned, food may go cold, and wayward Frisbees might come your way. You could hire a caterer, but staff may be trampling through your kitchen if you host the barbecue at your home.
What to ask: Will the caterer have to bring in a cook tent? Even if you have access to a great gourmet kitchen, it might not be up to catering standards
After a long journey, guests may be itching for some comforts of home as they check into their hotels. Here, a few ideas.
- A handsome tin of tea in an inexpensive teacup and saucer and a handwritten note are thoughtful during the chilly months.
- Gift certificates to a local theater or a movie cineplex if there are no wedding-related events planned for the evening. Go to fandango.com, movietickets.com, regalcinemas.com, or amctheatres.com to order gift cards or download certificates you can print out.
- A paperback book written by a local author and a bottle of sunscreen arranged in a straw hat for sitting by the pool.
- A small gift bag filled with items that represent highlights of the couple’s courtship. For example, one New York City bride marrying a Brit tucked an apple, Wrigleys gum, water, and nuts into a bag with a key describing what each item represented: A body of water had separated them for decades, until they met in the Big Apple and realized they were nuts about each other. They wed in Chicago, home of Wrigley Field.
- Record a humorous welcome video and burn it on discs for each guest.