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15 Standout Reception Ideas

Post-reception cigars and cordials.  

10. Have an ecosensitive wedding.
Use caterers that support organic and local farmers and dairy producers, like Cleaver Co. (212-741-9174); Great Performances (212-727-2424); and Blue Hill (212-539-1776). At one wedding, planner Ann David put together ecofriendly favors: pine seedlings in brown paper bags stamped PLANT ME. Consider calling on Special E, a company that collects leftover food and delivers it to shelters and soup kitchens around the city; they also convert leftovers into organic, rich compost. “The Flower Power Foundation redistributes flowers to the sick and elderly,” says planner Karen Bussen.

11. Showcase something you love.
For one wedding, planners Josh Brooks and Jung Lee tracked down a Methuselah of the groom’s favorite rare dessert wine, and paired it with complementary cheeses and fruit tarts (go to for ideas). One cigar-aficionado groom hired cigar rollers. After dinner, guests smoked and drank cordials selected to complement the cigars (from $800; La Casa Grande; 718-364-4657). One coffee-worshipping New York couple ordered half-pound bags as favors, each stamped with a label reading VICTORIA AND ADAM’S SPECIAL BLEND (from $6 per bag; Says planner Ann David: “We had a groom who was famous for only ever ordering dirty martinis at bars. It was his drink. So that was their signature cocktail.”

12. Keep kids amused but under control.
Planner Shira Citron recommends setting aside a kids’ table with bags of quiet toys and candy: kaleidoscopes, bubbles, and oversize lollipops. Or hire someone to baby-sit them in a room right outside the main reception space. One New York bride went so far as to hire a professional magician to entertain and face-paint through Party Poopers (from $500 per hour; 212-274-9955). (NB: Negotiate to have kids’ meals cost 50 percent less).


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