You may have thought that planning the ceremony portion of your wedding day was the hardest part. The part where you actually say your vows is a lot to plan and a HUGE deal– don’t get us wrong! However, the celebration afterwards is its own beast. There is A LOT going on during this portion the evening, so it’s best to stay on top of things and in order. Which brings us to the first tip on our list of helpful reception planning hints…
1. Get organized.
Once you pick out your venue for the reception, become familiar with it. Do you need to find a caterer, too, or does the venue provide their own food and beverages? Pick out where you want everything to happen. For example, where will the wedding cake go or where will the band perform. While we’re on the subject, make a timeline of events– and follow it! It will help everyone involved out immensely!
2. Have your guests RSVP.
Trust us. You will want to know how many people will be attending. This helps you better prepare and avoid potentially not having enough food for your guests or ordering entirely too many party favors.
3. Prepare for the worst.
Always, always, always have a back up option. This is especially important for those couples that are celebrating under the open sky. Have a tent on hand that’s ready to go up on a moment’s notice!
4. Offer a variety.
Whether you are having a sit down dinner or a casual buffet-style meal, offer your guests a few options. You don’t have to go overboard! But, the last thing you want is to only have stuffed shrimp being served and have it turn out that your grandmother is allergic to shellfish. No one wants an unhappy Granny. Also, more than one bar isn’t a bad idea… no one likes to wait in long lines. These are your loved ones that travelled far and wide for YOU. Be sure to treat them well!
5. Decide what you want on display.
Do you want the band to announce the new Mr. and Mrs. when you arrive? Do you want everyone to watch in awe of your breathtaking first dance? Do you want all eyes on you when you cut the wedding cake? Decide what events of the evening you want to be the center of attention. Is it everything? Do you just want everyone to meander at their own pace? It’s totally up to you!
6. Finally, enlist any help you can.
The absolute LAST thing that you should be doing at your reception is anything other than having fun with your beloved guests, eating cake, and dancing the night away! Whether the venue provides employees to help with any odds and ends or you get a “day of” wedding coordinator (or maybe you have a really, REALLY nice cousin), have someone there to do whatever you need to make the night perfect.