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Aisle Style . Reception


Choco Lot

It makes a perfect party favor. Photographs by Carlos Alejandro.

Dark chocolate-covered caramel from Eclat, West Chester, Pa.

Fruit-flavored couverture from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Lewes and Rehoboth Beach

Hazelnut-flavored cream in dark chocolate from Govatos Chocolates, Wilmington

Personalized Belgian chocolate truffle from U Outta Be on Chocolates, Magnolia.

Page 2: Time It Right | And save big on your reception.


Time It Right

And save big on your reception.

The wedding of your dreams might be more affordable than you think, if you are willing to have your reception at an off-peak time.

“The cost is really based on supply and demand,” says Jeff Robinson of Deerfield Golf & Tennis Club in Newark, which offers a 10 percent discount on receptions held January through March. “We try to work with the bride with a sliding scale of dates, days, time of day and menu.”

At Harry’s Savoy Grill and Ballroom in Wilmington, the reception package costs 10 percent less in January and February than it does in the popular summer months, notes Harry’s wedding specialist Gloria Talbot. That includes the meal, as well as a champagne toast, fresh flowers, wedding cake and limo.

Mid-winter might be too frosty for a seaside ceremony, but the off-season for beach weddings starts as early as September and extends into the spring, says Cynthia Funbar, owner of Weddings by the Seashore in Ocean City, Maryland, and many vendors offer extra incentives at that time. The savings can extend beyond the reception, too, with lower rates for lodging and pre- and post-events.

“If you want to give your guests a real beach experience, it’s better to avoid summer crowds,” Funbar says. “The weather can be beautiful after Labor Day and into mid-November, and we plan spring weddings for the warmest part of the day.”

Saturday weddings are more convenient for out-of-town guests, but if most of your guests are local, having your reception on Friday or Sunday can be less expensive any time of year. “It could be a smart strategy to pick a Sunday before a holiday Monday,” Robinson points out. And if it simply must be a Saturday wedding, he adds, consider a brunch reception instead of the more expensive dinner. A little flexibility can add up to big savings.   —Theresa Gawlas Medoff

Page 3: Save This Way


Holly Smay and George Bilbrough created candle  centerpieces for their reception at Pizzadili’s Vineyard. Photograph by CMBaker Photography/www.cmbaker.comSave This Way

In this economy, everyone is looking to cut costs, including brides. Here are five ways to shave wedding expenses.

• Buy a sample dress or last year’s style. The longer a dress stays in the store, the more it’s discounted. Jennifer’s, a bridal and formalwear shop in Hockessin, has devoted its lower level to gowns on sale.

• Buy on consignment. The Resale Boutique on Philadelphia Pike is known for consignment formalwear. Some dresses have never been worn, says owner Meryl Pottock. Even if it has been worn, it’s only been worn once. “Brides would be crazy not to come here,” Pottock says. So would mothers-of-the-bride, flower girls and guests. An approval plan allows you to get an estimate from the tailor before going through with the sale.

• Instead of an ornately decorated cake for everyone, order a small decorated cake for cutting, says Casey Kieffer, co-owner of Make My Day Event Planning & More. In the kitchen, have staff cut large, less-fussy cakes for guests. Or let the cake do double duty. Kieffer says some brides place individual cakes on each table as centerpieces.

• Vary centerpieces. Instead of putting flowers on each table, mix it up with candles or other decorative items.

• Tell vendors your bottom line, says Jackie Cinaglia, owner of Boyd’s Flowers in Wilmington. “Vendors will give you a straight answer back.” Cinaglia has noticed that brides today often want to spend more money on their honeymoon or their home than a big wedding. In response, Boyd’s offers three wedding packages, starting at $149. “It’s perfect for a second wedding or someone on a super budget,” she says.    —Pam George

Page 4: Afternoon Delight | Early receptions have advantages that may make one right for you.


Carla Capozzoli and Robert DiGiacomo chose to party early at Nassau Valley Vineyards on September 26, 2008. Photograph by Keith Mosher/KAMPRODUCTIONS.COM

Afternoon Delight

Early receptions have advantages that may make one right for you.

Prime reception dates get gobbled up faster than wedding cake. What’s a couple to do? Consider a midday wedding, typically held between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., reception to follow. Here are some pros and cons.

The Cons
• Outdoor pictures can be problematic. The glare. The squints. No wonder photographers avoid bright sunlight. Discuss options for photo ops. Have a plan.

• Set-up starts early for flowers, linens, tables and entertainment to be ready at the designated hour. Keep transportation in mind when selecting vendors.

• Time is money. The venue likely has another event planned for that night, which means you, your guests and your suppliers need to vamoose on time—no wiggle room.

The Pros
• Most guests limit their libations during the day. Uncle Ted is more likely to opt for a mimosa with brunch rather than several drinks at dinner.

• You can offer lighter fare. Heavy hors d’oeuvres are an affordable option, but if your reception is during the lunch hour, you may need as much food as you would for dinner, says Gloria Talbot, wedding specialist at Harry’s Savoy Ballroom in North Wilmington. Afternoon receptions also let you get creative. Why not have a barbecue or picnic?

• There’s time for an after-party. With the evening ahead of you, celebrate with an intimate group in the setting of your choice, says Casey Kieffer, co-owner of Make My Day Event Planning & More in Milford.

• Out-of-towners have time to drive home and relax, which makes attending your wedding more attractive.    –Pam George

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