Make your guests feel like they’re on the shores of sun-drenched Hawaii. How? Decorate your reception hall with tiki torches, orchids, and palm fronds. Play traditional Hawaiian music (with ukuleles). For food and beverages, serve pupu platters and mai tais. For party favors, give each guest a fragrant flower lei.
Start with a historic site. Pick from red, white and blue for your bridesmaids’ gowns and accessories, not to mention your table linens and other decor. Hire up some fifes and drums. For an old-fashioned feast, have a barbeque — then serve ice cream and cake with sparklers on top.
The Nautical Wedding
This relaxed yet classy event’s at home on a yacht, at a yacht club or even down on the shore. For decorations, draw on colorful signal flags. The bride could don a straw boater hat instead of a veil, and the men dress down in blue blazers and khaki pants. A clambake or lobster bake is perfect for your wedding feast. Use large conches or miniature lighthouses as centerpieces.
The Mardi Gras Wedding
Get your guests’ heels kicking with a jazz or Zydeco band. Serve up Cajun favorites such as gumbo, crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, and an oyster bar. For drinks, serve Hurricanes (what else?), and hand out Mardi Gras beads as wedding favors.
The Kentucky Derby Theme
How about a day at the races? Bride and bridesmaids alike should wear fabulous hats, and the music should be reminiscent of bluegrass. For drinks, serve Mint Juleps (hand out silver-plated julep cups as favors, or fancy paper fans). Arrive in a horse-drawn carriage.
The Medieval Wedding
Take your guests back with food, drink, dress and merry-making from times of yore. The bride, groom and attendants should all dress in period costumes (encourage your guests to join in the fun). For food, set up a carving board heaped with roasts, whole grain loaves and other hearty fare.
During the ceremony, draw on the medieval handfasting ritual, in which the couple faces each other, crosses arms and holds hands. The best man then binds their hands with a ribbon, forming the sign for “infinity” while the couple recites their vows.
Only your wedding could make this time of year even more magical. The bride might don a white velvet gown, red cape, and white fur muff, while the bridesmaids sweep down the aisle in red or white velvet. Heartstring-pulling Christmas hymns are a natural — get your guests in the holiday spirit by having the children pass out song sheets, and pausing for a Christmas carol sing-along.
For decor, use poinsettias, holly and pinecone centerpieces. A sparkling Christmas tree makes a fabulous focal point — you can even deck it with favors for the guests in the form of adorable ornaments. To continue the storyboook look, have the bride carry holly and gold-painted pomegranates, and the bridesmaids bypass the usual bouquets in favor of holly wreaths with tiny silver bells.
Decorate your reception hall in shades of cranberry and pumpkin, deep greens and sables. Use cornucopias as centerpieces, stuffed with gilded fruits and vegetables. Scatter pumpkins and gourds — left plain, touched with gold, carved with your monogram or hollowed and filled with flowers. The bride could carry ivy or leaves along with her autumn-friendly flowers. For the food, start with with the “comfort” offerings you’d see at a Thanksgiving buffet.