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What kind of wedding atmosphere do you want for you wedding?

Article by John Rzasa

Determine Your Wedding Atmosphere.

What is a wedding atmosphere, anyway? The wedding atmosphere is the overall look and feel of your wedding. Some call it "the vibe". Your vision of your wedding determines a lot of the details of your big day including the size of your guest list, ceremony and reception location(s), the décor, attire, food and entertainment. Here are some tips for determining your wedding atmosphere.


Size matters.

  • 100 to 200 guests - A large wedding gives the atmosphere of a grand event. It sends the message that you want to celebrate your marriage with everyone you know. Family, friends and even co-workers. You will need a large location for both your wedding ceremony and your reception.
  • 50 to 100 guests - A medium sized wedding gives you the opportunity to have a big party, yet keep it very manageable. Your atmosphere is celebratory, but not over the top. This is a great option for couples with large families and close friends.
  • Less than 50 guests - A small wedding gives the atmosphere of intimacy. A small wedding usually involves just close family and friends. This atmosphere is great for couples that want to share their wedding day with those who matter most. You can get creative with the location of this size wedding.

Location, location, location.

The location of your wedding adds a lot to the atmosphere. Here are a few examples of atmospheres determined by location.

  • Church - Generally this is a very traditional atmosphere that not only celebrates your wedding, but your spirituality at the same time
  • Destination - This is an option for the fun-loving couple. You're there to get married, but also to have fun with your friends and family.
  • Outdoors - This is the most versatile atmosphere based on the time of day you have your wedding. A mid-morning, garden wedding is a wonderful and very intimate setting. A mid-afternoon wedding and reception in a park like setting is magnificent. A sunset wedding on a lake or by the seashore is a very romantic atmosphere.
  • Historic locale - A bed and breakfast in the country, a library in the city or other historic location is a great place for a traditional wedding and reception. The charm of an old house or library can save you a lot of money on décor.

The décor sets the stage for the atmosphere.

The décor you choose for your wedding lends a lot toward the creating the atmosphere. Elegant décor such as candles and elaborate floral arrangements and potted palm trees make a grand statement for traditional atmosphere. Simple vases of flowers and one large floral arrangement are great options for a small, contemporary style wedding. An outdoor park or beach wedding needs little more than seating for the guests and hand carried flowers for the bridal party. The atmosphere of an outdoor wedding is the beauty of nature itself.


Attire inspires.

The attire of your wedding should match the ddécor and overall atmosphere of the wedding. Large weddings at an exclusive locale usually calls for fine fabrics such as satin, lace, pearl beading and Swarovski crystals and full tuxedos.

Destination and beach weddings are a great place to wear casual, breezy attire. Flowy fabrics in light weights and light colors are great options for the beach and exotic destinations.


Reception radiates atmosphere.

The reception is all about atmosphere. A large, elegant wedding calls for a classy reception at an upscale country club or other locale. Music is usually elegant and low-key so guests can enjoy conversation and the sure-to-be large number of toasts.

A simple, small wedding reception can be at your favorite restaurant or at a chic hotel. Having the reception in someone's home is another option for a smaller wedding. This lends to a very intimate atmosphere.


Give your guests a clue.

  • Date - Give your guests a clue in your save the date cards and invitation by matching them to your atmosphere. Go a little more elegant for the grander, larger wedding. Be more simplistic and casual in a smaller or destination wedding invitation.
  • Dress - Be sure to give information on attire (black tie, black tie optional, beach) in the invitation
  • Where - Be sure to give directions and instructions for your wedding locale, especially for destination weddings.


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