Planning Your Wedding Reception

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Planning your wedding reception can take a lot of effort and it all begins with deciding on the location of the reception and the type of reception. Fear not, it’s a fairly methodical process provided you’re aware of which things need to be covered and you can have a lot of fun with it too.

Set the date for your wedding before you actually start looking for locations for the reception. Keep in mind that many sites are booked a year or even two in advance, so you may need to fine tune the date dependent on the availability of your desired reception location, or be ready to change to a different reception venue.

Set down your budget. When you go to rent your wedding reception location, you’ll have to give a rounded figure of approximately how many quests you’re likely to have. Therefore, an important part of any planning of the wedding reception involves pruning down your reception list; this will also bring about an estimation of the costs per head, according to the size of the room and your requirements too.

Decide on the type of reception you’d like to have. Nowadays the two main types of reception are sit-down meal or a cocktail wedding reception, but other variants such as picnics, a simple cake-cutting, or a beach reception might also appeal.

Consider whether or not you’ll have a receiving line. On the positive side, this can provide an opportunity to greet all guests and allows everyone to feel they’ve had the chance to congratulate you. On the downside, it can take a lot of time and it can begin to feel tiring for those in it. Some guests may also detest the formality of this and having to wait in line. Having divorced parents can also make this an awkward decision for some.

Decide when to have the wedding toasts and plan to keep them short. While these are both traditional and wonderful, they’re a pain when they’re too long, or just plain dull. Make the toasts during or between dinner courses, with two or three people speaking each time.

Decide when dancing will occur at the wedding reception. Nowadays most weddings tend to leave the dancing until all courses are finished rather than having dances between courses. Besides your special song, be sure to have songs people will really want to dance to, not strange songs that only suit the taste of a few. 

Organize the photography of the wedding reception. You will want your wedding reception photos as much as the ceremony photos. Organize pictures with family and friends, in special groups or at certain tables. Do you want guests to take photos too? They could each be asked to email digital photos of the evening that they’ve taken; give them a central wedding photo email set up just for this purpose.

Consider whether you wish to have any other ceremonial aspects. For example, garter belt removal tradition in front of the guests. And you might wish to throw the bouquet at your wedding reception, as per tradition.

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