Getting married is more popular these days than ever, but no, the traditional wedding. It seems like more and more couples are opting for celebrations as unique as they are and which have more in common with a great party than a typical wedding reception. Take a look at the trend for fresh and fun weddings without a wedding.

What really sets a “non-wedding” reception apart from its more traditional counterpart is attitude. A celebration without a wedding is rarely formal, never stuffy, and fun. The focus is on a party that promises friends and family a great time, full of delicious food, wonderful wine or cocktails, and relaxed conversation. This type of wedding celebration can take place in a traditional location, but it can also take place in a location other than the standard club or hotel.

Restaurants are a great place for a reception outside of the wedding. A party in a restaurant will feel more like a large dinner party than a normal wedding reception. And when you choose your favorite restaurant, you can be sure that the food is absolutely amazing, a far cry from the usual chicken or beef starters that are served at most receptions. The bride and groom can opt for relaxed attire rather than heavy-looking tuxedo and an ornate ball gown. A modern silk organza dress with a black ribbon trim and handmade bridal jewelry would be very chic.

Keep the decor informal and interesting. When it fits in the space, some long tables will feel more family-friendly than many small ones. A great look for table setting would be a long runner over a simple tablecloth with a variety of decorative elements loosely arranged to tumble down the length of the table. A mixture of flickering votive candles, fresh seasonal fruit and flowers in short vases goes perfectly with the restaurant. A word of caution: not all restaurants have space for a dance floor. So decide if this is important to you and choose your restaurant accordingly.

Unusual settings are also popular with non-weddings. Choose an interesting location for your reception, such as an aquarium or a trendy art gallery. The room itself will be so visually appealing that you will need to do very little decoration work. Plan your menu to suit the room. In an art gallery, stations with contemporary and unique cuisine are ideal for dinner. Of course, seafood would be suitable for an aquarium wedding.

If you’re working with an unusual venue, choose your colors based on the locale. Watery blues and greens would look wonderful in an aquarium, for example. In a place like a gallery, where there’s a lot to see, a restrained palette of colors like white and charcoal goes well together. This color combination is one of the most popular for weddings this year for everything from bridesmaid dresses to invitations to handmade bridal jewelry. Charcoal Dupioni tablecloths with some shimmer and texture can be topped with tall, clear cylinders filled with a modern flower like white allium.

A wedding reception without a wedding can take place anywhere you like. It could be an airplane hangar, a city floor, or an antique carousel. If you get rid of tradition, your wedding can be anything your heart desires and your mind can imagine.

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