R5 Registry: Celebrate


     savvy reception ideas and tips


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A Cosmopolitan Affair


Sit-down dinners and buffets aren’t your style? Then you’ll love the latest trend in wedding receptions: the cocktail dinner. “People like the idea of having a more relaxed yet still formal affair,” says event planner Andrea Most Gottschall, co-owner of A Most Creative Affair in Tarrytown. “It’s fun, it’s hip, and it’s more intimate than a sit-down dinner or buffet.” The concept works best for small weddings in intimate settings like a home, nightclub, or lounge. “You don’t want too big a space or too many people because it becomes unmanageable,” Gottschall says.

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Instead of tables or buffets, the room is furnished with sofas, large ottomans, and lots of scattered cocktail tables. While everyone gets drinks from the open bar, hors d’oeuvres are passed and then, a traditional, three-course meal featuring heartier fare, like short ribs and mashed potatoes, is served. “Everything is passed, so the trick is to serve everything in easy-to-hold containers so diners don’t have to juggle full-sized plates and utensils,” Gottschall says. “For example, you might serve a chopped salad in a shot glass or the short ribs in a clever, Asian-inspired cup. You have to get really creative with catering.” While Gottschall says cocktail receptions aren’t a money-saving option (you’re still serving a full complement of hors d’oeuvres plus a full, three-course meal), they can’t be beat for atmosphere. “We did one cocktail event at Tappan Hill where we filled the room with white leather settees and amber votives,” Gottschall says. “It was very sexy.”



Feng Shui Weddings


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Ever wonder why some wedding receptions “feel good” while others, despite considerable expense on flowers, catering, etc., seem awkward and uncomfortable? Joanne Sabato, co-owner with Claudia Sidman of Joi Us Events, a feng shui event planner, says the difference is elemental balance. “There’s nothing really mystical about it,” she says. “Most talented designers and florists intuitively practice feng shui. The colors and elements that seem harmonious to them in a centerpiece actually are harmonious.” Here are Sabato’s tips for incorporating feng shui into your own reception using shape, light, and color.

Shape: In feng shui, the shape connected to the earth element is square. Create a dance floor that is square in shape so that when you take your first dance steps together as man and wife, you are standing on “solid ground.”

Light: Crystals reflect rainbows of light and, according to feng shui, are imbued with “positive energy.” Hang octagonal crystals from the ceiling, centerpiece, or in front of a window to reflect this positive energy to every corner of your celebration.

Color: Each color has a special symbolic significance, attracting particular “energies” and emotions. Using shades of green and purple is said to promote good health, longevity, abundance, and blessings. Add some touches of pink for romance, and you have the perfect bouquet, both visually and symbolically.


Prettier Potties




You’ve thought of every detail for your at-home or outdoor ceremony. You’ve hired an elegant caterer, a classical quartet for the cocktail hour, and even a lighting designer who shares your obsession with votive candles. So what are you going to do with all these guests when nature calls? Send them to those construction-site plastic potties parked outside your beautiful tent?

If the mere thought makes you shudder, take heart. Kohler Rental, a division of the same company that manufactures insanely luxurious home bathroom fixtures, rents a fleet of elegant mobile restrooms powered by generators or hooked up to on-site electricity. These air-conditioned palaces offer separate entrances for males and females. Inside, guests will find porcelain lavatories and toilets, polished chrome faucets with hot water, and cherry wood and marble surfaces. Artwork, piped-in music, and full-length mirrors make these retreats as enticing as they are necessary



Of course, these restroom trailers don’t come cheap. A 24-foot model, housing six stalls (three male, three female), rents for $3,100 for a one-to-seven-day event. The company also offers a 32-foot model that is accessible for guests with disabilities. It rents for $4,875. Fees for either model include setup and tear down. A bathroom attendant can be added for additional cost. Call (866) 732-8734 for more information.

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