Tips & Trends: Family-style dining and A checklist for friends and relatives officiating your wedding

Rachel Buckley_866-Laura-Steve-Wed-4914

Trend: Family-style dining. Family-style dining works with any wedding style. “Friends and family sharing food and eating together fosters togetherness,” says Pifferrer. Remember that family-style dining may be a costlier dining option. “In addition to renting your usual place settings, you increase rental costs by needing additional serving utensils,” says Taranto. The additional cost, however, may be balanced by creating a fun family-centric environment.

Tip: A checklist for friends and relatives officiating your wedding. If you’re officiating a friend’s wedding, be prepared. “Make the ceremony your own but work with the couple so they’re not surprised,” says Eric McCallister. “And don’t duck out of photos! The couple will love seeing a familiar face in their ceremony pictures.” Other tips: make sure you’re ordained in the state where the couple is getting married and make sure there’s a declaration of intent (“Do you take…”, “I do”) in the ceremony so that it’s legal. Lubanski says, “Get ordained well in advance of the wedding and make sure couples sign the marriage certificate after the ceremony. Then sign and return the marriage license.”

Tip: Trim your guest list. Save money—and your sanity—by cutting your number of attendants and guest list. From dresses to food to flowers, expenses go up when more people are involved. “You’re spending at least $100 a bouquet for your attendants, not to mention extra money on hair, makeup, and clothing,” says Rose. “So if you went from 10 to 5 attendants, you’re saving $500 on flowers alone.” Trimming the guest list means saving money on food and drinks as well as on event rentals like tables, chairs, dishes and flatware. Zahares suggests, “Trim your list by category—for example, don’t invite second cousins or co-workers. You’ll have more flexibility on wedding venues with smaller numbers and can do more little things for guests, like nice welcome bags.”

Trend: Wedding style gone wild. From unruly hair to wildflower bouquets, the trend is organic and less styled. “Flowers and table settings are a little more loose,” says Zahares. “It’s fun to use mismatched tables and play with different styles of arrangements, linens, and chairs.” Flower arrangements are featuring more locally-grown garden flowers. “We’re creating a garden effect,” says Rose. “Zinnia, anemones, dahlias, Queen Anne’s Lace—everything is local and provides a punch of color.”

Written by Debbie Kane

Photography by Rachel Buckley Weddings