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Semiformal Wedding Etiquette – Decorations, Food, Beverages and Music

Guest Author - Victoria

Wondering what are the appropriate semiformal wedding decorations? Not sure what food and beverages to serve at your wedding? Can’t figure out what music to play at the reception? Here is some semiformal wedding etiquette.

Wedding Ceremony Decorations
When planning a semiformal wedding, the ceremony decorations can be flowers, aisle runners, pew ribbons and rose petals. We chose to have an aisle runner to meet me and my father at the foot of the steps we walked down. Fresh rose petals were scattered on the aisle runner and throughout the wedding ceremony site. We also had tulle and satin (in the wedding colors) wrap the pillars at the entrance of the wedding ceremony site.

Wedding Reception Decorations
When planning a semiformal wedding, the reception decorations can be left to the site coordinator and you can add personal touches to what they offer as decorations. At our reception, we had large vases of the same color of gerbera daisies at each table and a small vase of multi-colored gerbera daisies at our sweetheart table. We had candy filled seating cards to direct the guests to their tables. At each table setting we had personalized handmade wedding cake candles and champagne flutes with champagne marbles wrapped in tulle and satin ribbon. And when it was time for dessert, we had more childhood favorite candies decorating the wedding cake, fresh fruit and small pastries display. Wondering what the significance is of all the candy? My grandfather died before I was able to marry my husband but I wanted him to still have a presence at the ceremony. We took a moment to explain this significance in our wedding program.

Reception Food Preparation
When planning a semiformal wedding, the food can be prepared by a caterer at the site of the reception or can be brought to the reception by an off-site caterer.

Wedding Reception Food
When planning a semiformal wedding, the food served at the reception can be sandwiches, cold cuts, snacks, cocktail foods, buffet style dishes and wedding cake. We tried to make all our guests happy by serving different types of foods. This is also an area of wedding planning where you can show your (and your partner’s) preferences. We had an omelet and carving station but also had a variety of our favorite hot and cold foods served buffet style. My husband and I were served at our sweetheart’s table while the guests and members of the wedding party formed a line at the buffet tables and stations. The waiters also brought food to elderly guests and guests with small children. While many people think buffet meals at a wedding reception is not as expensive as the sit down dinners, they are actually incorrect. Caterers have to overestimate the amount of food that will be eaten at a buffet meal so the couple is usually charged more per person than they would be if they were having a sit down meal.

Wedding Reception Beverages
When planning a semiformal wedding, the beverages served at the reception should be champagne or punch for toasts, soft drinks, whiskey and wine. We chose to have champagne only for the toast but to have an open bar throughout the wedding reception serving soft drinks, fruit juices and hard liquor. White and red wine was served by waiters to guests at their tables throughout the wedding.

Wedding Ceremony Music
When planning a semiformal wedding, the wedding ceremony music can be a church organ, choir or soloist. In our case, our wedding was outdoors and the perfect setting for a string quartet. We asked them to play several classical pieces that we liked as the guests arrived to the wedding ceremony site, as the wedding party walked into the wedding ceremony site, after the ceremony while we took some photos and after the ceremony as the guests and wedding party left the site.

Wedding Reception Music
When planning a semiformal wedding, you can choose to have a strolling musician, small orchestra or band or tapes/CD compilations for the reception music. Dancing is optional – and thankfully so. We were going to have a small band but then decided to just have recorded music played overhead throughout the room. The music had significance to my husband’s family because they were local songs from the country is originally from. And I was able to get out of having to dance, thank goodness! Neither my husband nor I are fans of dancing at receptions – ours or anyone else.

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Semiformal Wedding Etiquette - Wedding Ceremony and Reception
Semiformal Wedding Etiquette - Wedding Party Attire and Attendants
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Content copyright © 2014 by Victoria . All rights reserved.
This content was written by Victoria . If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Christina Marie McBride for details.

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