LDS Wedding Receptions

LDS Reception

Dance Lessons for Your LDS Wedding

Wedding Music Checklist for LDS wedding receptions
Photo Courtesy of Ravenberg Photography

The most important dance of your life is the first dance at your wedding reception. You want to make it special, you want it to look polished, and you want it to be remembered. Many couples take dance lessons together in the months leading up to their wedding so that their first dance can be everything they hoped it would be.

Benefits of Wedding Dance Lessons

Of course, lessons will help you to look good when you’re on the dance floor in front of everyone you know. But aside from the obvious, there are other benefits of taking dance lessons together.

If you’re not familiar with the basics of dance and music, this is a great way to learn. Lessons will help you get more confident about moving to music with everybody watching, get comfortable dancing with your spouse-to-be, and you can even use what you learn at parties and events during the rest of your married life.

wedding dance lessons for LDS brides, grooms, and their parents
Photo Courtesy of Burnt Exposure Photography

Moreover, dance lessons during the busy phase of wedding planning are a perfect stress reliever and a regular carved-out date when you are tempted to get too busy to really spend time just having fun together like you used to.

What Kind of Dance Lessons?

Before you sign up for a class or private dancing lessons, you need to know what your main objective is. Are you a complete novice who would just like to get a general feel for dancing? Would you like to learn some kind of specific ballroom dance, like a waltz? Or would you like a customized choreographed first dance to your song? What kind of dance lessons you take depends on your answer to these questions.

Where to Take Wedding Dance Lessons

There are many sources for quality dance lessons, with a wide price range. For a general overview of dance, an inexpensive session of classes at a local community center may be best. If you want one-on-one instruction or you’d like custom choreography for your first dance, private lessons at a professional dance studio are a good idea.

If you choose a private instructor, see if it’s possible to sit in on a lesson before signing up. The personality of the instructor makes a big difference in what you will get out of the class and how much you will enjoy it. If they will be creating choreography for you, ask if you can see videos of their previous work for other couples before they get to work on yours.

Dance Lessons for Father/Daughter or Mother/Son Dances

Just like with the first dance, you and your parents may also want to take lessons. They can help you feel more natural dancing together (odds are that you haven’t done it since you were a child) and choreograph a dance for you if you ask.

Even though parent/child dance lessons aren’t vital, they are a really nice gift for your mom or dad. Probably what they want most in the world at this busy point in your life is to spend some time with you.

Taking couple or parent/child dance lessons before your wedding reception is a fun way to spend time together and great preparation for the most important dance of your life. Find a good instructor and pay attention in class – and don’t forget pictures of your lessons for your scrapbook!

♥ Jenny Evans
Exclusively for
Copyright © 2011 All rights reserved.

LDS wedding music, LDS weddings, LDS reception, LDS open houses

LDS weddings, LDS reception, LDS open houses

Wedding Reception Food; Fun Ideas

fruit display for wedding receptions
Photo Courtesy of

You’ve got to feed the guests at your wedding reception, and probably everything you think of has been done before at a million other weddings. Or is it? These unique wedding reception food ideas can help make the dinner a meal to remember.

Wedding Reception Food Stations

A classy, modern spin on the old wedding reception buffet is the invention of freestanding food stations or centers. At separate round tables, guests pick up different types of food fare. One table can be sushi and another chicken parmesan, another for drinks and another for salads. Food stations can be expensive or inexpensive, depending on the foods you choose.

Finger Foods Only Wedding Receptions

Not only are finger food receptions less messy, they are also less expensive! Finger foods tend to be cheaper, plus you don’t have to buy any cutlery. For starters, think about breads, crackers, veggies and dip, chips and salsa, cream puffs, pinwheel wraps, deviled eggs, mixed nuts, or fruit skewers. You’ll find that guests who have their hands free while eating are more likely to mingle and converse with each other.

Wedding Receptions with a Chocolate Fountain

unique and fun food ideas for LDS receptions
Photo Courtesy of

The main attraction of your wedding reception could be an ornate chocolate fountain with liquid chocolate flowing down the sides. Provide a variety of foods for guests to dip in chocolate (or eat plain): pretzels rods, strawberries, cherries, pineapple slices, apple slices, Graham crackers, chocolate chip cookies, bananas, Nutter Butters, and mint Oreos. Practically anything tastes good in chocolate – just make sure to keep it off your dress!

Cultural Foods at your Wedding Reception

The standard “chicken or fish” option at wedding receptions doesn’t have to apply to your wedding reception if you go with cultural foods. Consider choosing foods from the culture of your heritage, feature an “around-the-world” type menu with everything from Chinese to Mexican food, or use Italian food to complement your old-world Italy wedding theme.

Wedding Reception Mini Foods

Almost anything can be made into a tasty bite-sized treat, from the main course (mini burgers) to dessert (mini muffins.) Other ideas for mini wedding reception foods include mini crab cakes, cocktail weenies, red potatoes, baby carrots (or other veggies), Jell-o cubes, or pizzas made on mini bagels. Soups, parfaits, or ice cream can be served in shot glasses.

Unique Wedding Reception Dessert Bars

fun and elegant food ideas for receptions
Photo Courtesy of Carly Daniel Photography

The standard wedding cake slice is only the size of a pack of cards – that’s why plenty of couples choose to provide an array of desserts in addition to (or even instead of) wedding cake. Old standards like brownies, cookies, pastries, and pies are great, but that’s just the beginning. What about a soft-serve ice cream bar with all the toppings, or a candy bar featuring suckers, mints, Jolly ranchers, taffy, M&Ms, and so on?

Wedding Reception Food Colors

Explore incorporating your wedding colors into your meal? Use food coloring sparingly, choosing foods that are naturally colored whenever you can. Vibrant fruits and vegetables can be used as toppings, garnishes, or chopped up and mixed in to naturally tint your recipe any color of the rainbow.

The wedding reception meal is traditional, but the food you serve doesn’t have to be. For a creative and unique twist, all you need to do is think of a “hook” or “angle” for your wedding reception food and run with it. These wedding food ideas should kick-start your creativity.

♥ Jenny Evans
Exclusively for
Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved.

Catering for LDS weddings, LDS reception, LDS open houses

LDS weddings, LDS reception, LDS open houses

Guide to Decorating Food Tables

beautiful skirted food table
Photo Courtesy of Carly Daniel Photography

Having food stations, a buffet, or a dessert bar at your wedding reception is a great choice: both are economical, easy, and convenient. But you will need to worry about how to decorate your food tables, which inevitably become the focal point of the reception as the guests file past.

Wedding Buffet Tablecloths

Just because your caterer will cover the buffet tables with a boring white linen tablecloth for free doesn’t mean you have to go that route. Match the buffet tablecloths to the guests’ tablecloths, and incorporate your wedding colors.

Wedding Food Table Centerpieces

Pre-set table
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The food tables will look crowded with too much going on, but tasteful centerpieces placed at strategic locations can add just the right touch to the table. You have lots of options for centerpieces: balloons, mirrors, and floral arrangements, to name a few.

Just be careful about choosing fresh floral arrangements and stick with flowers that have a minimal scent. Super-aromatic flowers may not smell so good mixed in with the various food aromas on the buffet table.

Dress Up the Wedding Reception Food

Don’t forget what’s center stage at the food table: the food! Work with what you’ve got and concentrate on artful arrangement. Add colorful garnishes like slices of lemon or lime, sprigs of herbs like rosemary or parsley, or beds of lettuce leaves underneath your food. You might even consider edible flowers!

Decorating buffet tables for LDS receptions
Photo Courtesy of Whitney Lewis Photography

Stack items at various heights down the length of the table by using tiered trays and cake stands to display food items. Even placing a box underneath the tablecloth adds height and dimension to a flat platter.

Decorating your buffet tables doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming, but it makes a huge difference in the look and feel of your wedding. A little attention to tablecloths, simple centerpieces, and arrangement of the food goes a long way in your wedding reception buffet.

♥ Jenny Evans
Exclusively for
Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved.

Catering for LDS weddings, LDS reception, LDS open houses

LDS weddings, LDS reception, LDS open houses

Pros and Cons of Hiring Wedding Professionals

Wedding Service Professionals for LDS Receptions

Wedding Service Professionals for LDS wedding receptions
Photo Courtesy of Whitney Lewis Photography

Some LDS brides and grooms hire a professional wedding photographer and rent a reception hall with professional catering and DJ services for their special day; others let family and friends handle the pictures and serve homemade food at a wedding reception in their backyard or at a local LDS chapel. Which way is best for you depends on your circumstances, preferences, and of course your budget.

First, let’s take a look at the reasons why people hire professionals – and why they sometimes choose not to. Many people like professional wedding services because they…read more

DIY Wedding Music

DIY Wedding Music

Do-it-yourself wedding music for LDS wedding receptions and open houses
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With all the expenses and costs of a wedding and reception, you may be considering DIY options like you never thought you would. Are you ready for a do-it-yourself job on your reception music, otherwise known as an “iPod wedding”?

Like any DIY wedding option, handling your own reception music has a big list of pros and cons. The biggest benefit is of course the hefty savings once you cut out hiring a DJ or wedding band to provide your reception music. Others like it because you get complete control over the song selection. Being your own wedding DJ is…read more

Live Reception Music Options

Live harp music for LDS weddings
Photo Courtesy of Effervescent Media Works

Live Reception Music Options for Elegant LDS Wedding Receptions

When choosing music for your wedding and/or reception, don’t forget that your choice extends beyond the question of DJ versus live band. There are many talented wedding music professionals that will make your reception one to remember.

Adam Sandler jokes aside, today’s wedding singers put on a truly impressive show. They can perform all styles of music from Frank Sinatra to Shania Twain to the Beatles.

Some wedding singers…read more

How to Hire a Wedding Band

How to Hire a Wedding Band

How to hire a live band for an LDS wedding reception
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It’s true that while DJs seem to be the most popular choice for your wedding reception music these days, have you considered hiring a live band? It’s hard to find something that will instantly transform your reception as dramatically as live entertainment during your reception. Have you ever noticed that movies like My Best Friend’s Wedding and The Time Traveler’s Wife have live bands? Nothing is as amazing and classy as a live band.

When booking a wedding band, size is an important consideration. Most bands have between 5 and 7 members, but the band you choose should roughly correspond to the size crowd at your reception.

Three players would seem…read more

Theme Wedding Music

Beach theme wedding music for an LDS wedding reception
Photo Courtesy of Carly Daniel Photography

Theme Wedding Music

Some theme weddings come with a ready-made soundtrack. A Phantom of the Opera or Lord of the Rings themed wedding, for example, is easy to pick songs for. But most of us aren’t so lucky. What about those of us with theme weddings who don’t have a clue what music to choose?

– if you have a tropical or Hawaiian theme, you can choose songs with a bubbly reggae feel like Israel’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “It Must Be Love” by Madness, “Cupid” by Amy Winehouse or “I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash. If those aren’t for you, opt for songs with beachy lyrics like “Walk on the Ocean” by Toad the Wet Sprocket or “The Ocean” by U2.

– if your wedding falls in…read more

LDS Wedding Bouquet Toss Songs

LDS Wedding Bouquet Toss Songs

Bouquet Toss Songs for LDS weddingsFor the single girls at your wedding reception, the bouquet toss is one of the most looked-forward-to events of the reception. Make it perfect with a bouquet toss song that celebrates girl power and all things feminine.

This One’s for the Girls by Martina McBride
I Feel Like a Woman by Shania Twain
It’s Raining Men by The Weathergirls
Just a Girl by No Doubt
Wishin’ and Hopin’ by Ani Difranco
One Way or Another by Blondie
Another One Bites the Dust by Queen
Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) by Beyonce
Independent Women by Destiny’s Child
Where My Girls At by 702
Luck Be a Lady by Frank Sinatra
Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
Diamonds Are…read more

LDS Wedding Cake Cutting Songs

LDS Wedding Cake Cutting Songs

cake cutting music for LDS wedding receptions
Photo Courtesy of Ravenberg Photography

Whether your wedding reception features a big cake or a small one, chocolate or vanilla, you’ll need to select the right music for the bride and groom cutting of the first slice.

These songs about sweetness and sugar run the gamut from ballad to up tempo, silly to romantic. There’s got to be a perfect cake cutting song for you here.

Recipe for Love by Harry Connick, Jr
Sugar, Sugar by The Archies
How Sweet It Is by James Taylor
The Sweetest Thing by U2
Ice Cream by Sarah McLachlin
Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard
Savoy Truffle by The Beatles
I Want Candy by Bow Wow Wow (or punk remix by Good Charlotte)
I Can’t Help Myself by the Four Tops
Cherry Pie by Skip and Flip
Cut the Cake by Average White Band
If I Knew You Were Coming I’d Have…read more

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