charitable favors. Many brides are choosing to donate money to a cause that is important to them. The Susan G. Komen for the Cure is one of the more popular charities and makes contributions to the fight against breast cancer.
Other ideas include:
And so many charities to promote the awareness of global warming.
You can make sure that your guests are aware of the donation by putting cards on the tables at the reception, putting a blurb in the ceremony program, or even having the DJ make an announcement.
One of the biggest trends in weddings for the past two years has been the candy buffet. Lovely clear vases filled with yummy candies in your wedding color scheme. Not only is this favor delicious, but about pleasing to the eye. What is better yet, some people have picked up on the trend and offer catering for the candy buffet.
For some really cool professional ideas, check out http://www.candycatering.com/
I never have a definitive answer for this. I know what I prefer, and that is to have a full meal with some place to sit. Most guests are fine as long as they do not have to hit Taco Bell on the way home.
The other issue is, the cocktail reception is going to cost the same, if not more, than the plated dinner or dinner buffet. This may raise some eyebrows, but if you really think about it, the staff is having to clear more plate, more food per item is being made, there is usually some sort of chef's action area, and the list goes on.
If you are truly worried about the cost of food, and you have exhausted all your options elsewhere, I would suggest perhaps having a lunch or even a brunch if you do not mind getting married earlier in the day. If you want to keep the later ceremony time, inquire to your catering representative about a dessert reception.