In every large city as well as most smaller centers, there are florists, entertainment bureaus, decorators, and caterers who specialize in weddings. Some of these specialists have large staffs and they can take over all planning, preparation, food, decoration, music, and service with trained maids and butlers and other helpers for every detail. They will set up a gay, beautiful tent on the lawn for bridal luncheon or reception or dancing, and their kitchen staff works in another tent away from the party tent and away from the house, so that all sounds and odors of cookery are removed from the house.
They decorate country house or city home using your garden and local flowers, or have garlands, bouquets, and other arrangements made in their own workrooms. They do not need suggestions and help from the bride’s family as to what to do, what to serve, how to decorate, but they take such suggestions as their working plan and develop every detail for the day with care and according to the budget agreed upon with the family.
This sort of professional service is not necessary in some families where experienced, imaginative, and creative planning for all entertaining is the rule, and where a staff of helpers in the kitchen and household ease all entertaining. For a family with a very small budget for the wedding, professional assistance is ruled out. The simplicity or elaborateness of a reception is the bride’s decision.
Planning, shopping, and cookery for a wedding breakfast and reception are no different than for any other important entertaining. But since the family of the bride is also in the wedding party, it is almost imperative that some outside help be on hand for cleaning and arrangement of the rooms the day before, to set tables, help with decoration, and especially with the cookery on that day and the wedding day, to help with serving, and later with cleaning up and restoring the house after the wedding. Sometimes a neighbor or two will gladly help when there is a wedding in the family, or maids and cooks who work on a part-time basis can be hired by the hour or day.
Whoever is in charge of plans must use whatever help is available to clear space for the reception, the living room and any rooms which adjoin it, removing small furniture and most of the accessories. The reception area should be bright with flowers, garlands, greens, or any favorite decorations. For a summer wedding in a suburban or country house, garden flowers, especially white ones or mixed garden roses are used. The flowers should be added last, probably on the morning of the wedding day while the family is still at the church.