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Formal afternoon weddings will of course lead to usual "sit down" planned menus. Caterers will be necessary. The advantage being that whole affair will be tended to without you lifting a finger...for a price. In order to cut costs here, you will have to limit menu and guests.
So, if you have a large guest list and a limited budget, avoid marrying late in afternoon. Guests will be hungry and expect dinner reception. Instead, stick with a breakfast, brunch or cocktail reception.
The wedding industry dictates that a reception should be from three to five hours in length. Rubbish! A reception should be as long as it takes for you and your guests to enjoy each others company and have fun. It can last a couple of hours or all day if you like.
Don't feel obligated to stretch event out. Often, your older guests tire easily and would like to leave before designated departure time anyway. If you are having a beach side bash, consider a "come and go" atmosphere. Let people know what time your departure will be so they can be there to send you off.
As far as beach wedding reception ideas go, rule of thumb is - there is no rule of thumb! Break mold. Do something different, something fun, something memorable.
Whatever you and your guests will enjoy most, IS perfect beach wedding reception!
Cindy English is the publisher of Beach-Wedding-Themes.com where you will find ideas for beach wedding themes full of fun, fantasy and romance. Discover new places to shop and things to make at: http://www.beach-wedding-themes.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org