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Wedding Reception Styles

Although it has been done before, there is nothing quite like a bride in a very formal gown with a formal wedding bouquet who sent out formal invitations arriving at her informal potluck dinner reception at the local Senior Citizen Center.

There is nothing wrong with a formal or informal wedding. The trouble comes when you mix and match the formality throughout the day. Therefore, it is important for your reception to match the style of your entire wedding day.

Below you will find information regarding three styles of receptions:

Formal
  • Time: Noon or late in the day
  • Food: Several course meal
  • Tables: Formally set with complete service of silver, crystal, place cards, menu cards, and a centerpiece
  • Music: Chamber music or jazz as guests arrive; live band/orchestra for dancing
Semiformal
  • Time: Any time
  • Food: Catered; seated or buffet or a bit of both
  • Tables: Seat and a table assigned for every guest; centerpieces (but not necessarily flowers)
  • Music: Live music
Informal
  • Time: Any time
  • Food: Seated or buffet or a bit of both; does not have to be catered
  • Tables: Casual centerpieces; limited seating is appropriate
  • Music: Live, D.J., or pre-recorded music
  • Other: More intimate in nature and number