ForeWord Reviews

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The Best Wedding Reception... Ever!

Foreword Review

Outstanding, memorable, and fun—if the wedding guests are left buzzing with delight, the happy couple probably consulted Peter Merry, a Wedding Entertainment Director, for help planning the event. Or perhaps they read this book.

Likening the wedding extravaganza to a movie production, Merry, who leads seminars for wedding planner professionals, helps couples script their perfect event. From location, timing, photographer and DJ, to choreographing the last dance and big send-off, every piece of wedding ritual is unpacked to reveal how best to reflect the couple’s unique preferences and enhance the entertainment value for their guests.

This idea-book in three parts is packed with inspiring examples, memorable missteps like “The iPod Wedding,” and nitty-gritty practicalities.

Part One, or “Beginning Your Production,” maps out preliminaries using movie-making metaphors like “producer,” “director,” “cinematographer,” and includes questions to ask various vendors. Charts show scheduling pros and cons including consideration of holidays and sports events.

Part Two, entitled “Creating Your Timeline,” provides the foundation “if your definition of a successful reception calls for the fun moments to be the focus and priority.” One couple’s fun, of course, may be no fun for the next, so selecting how to handle (or even include) the usual wedding reception rituals in a way that satisfies an individual couple’s preferences becomes part of a couple’s event script. Merry also recommends a backup plan for the event.

Part Three, “Adding Your Personal Style,” counsels couples on putting “Your Fingerprints on Every Page of Your Reception Plan.” These “fingerprints” come alive in profiles showcasing the weddings of eighteen couples; the profiles include date, location, each event’s unique twist, and an event timeline including music, rituals, and, for some, ceremony customization.

From the Williamsburg wedding with a fife and drum corps, to the California couple with the “In & Out Burger” team delivering to the reception, to the NFL garter toss (on a football), there’s something for every taste and budget.

Merry gives some attention to the difficulty of implementing suggestions by rating them with a star system. Very Basic ideas, like personalizing vows, get one star. Very Advanced (five stars) includes ideas like “dancing on the clouds” using a fog machine. Experienced vendors are suggested for implementing more complicated ideas.

This guide illustrates how every piece of the action can add to the fun and be tailored to the couple. Although the book is tilted towards the “hire a pro” end of the continuum, even D-I-Y couples will find ideas to create a buzz-worthy event. A great addition to the wedding book section, Merry’s refreshing perspective will inspire events both memorable and fun.

Bobbye Middendorf