Having a large wedding reception gives you the opportunity to invite everyone you love and who’s important to you and the family of your significant other. Having so many people attending your wedding may be difficult to plan, though. If you’re looking to have a unique and memorable experience, here’s how to plan a reception for a large guest list.
Determine Your Guests
When coming up with your guest list, you should consider how more people means more expensive. It would help if you also kept this in mind when choosing your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Although not everyone will show up, you should not make this something you bank on when creating your guest list.
When deciding who to invite, ask yourself if you have spoken to them in the past five years. Although you may answer yes to this question, dive a little deeper. Is this a person you could spend five or more minutes with? Does it add value and joy to your life to let them in on your special day?
Choose an Appropriate Venue
Choosing an appropriate venue may seem like a given, but ensuring you find a venue capable of accommodating all your guests is essential to your reception. This means being able to sit comfortably while being able to get up and mingle as well. Be sure to visit the place you want to book before setting your reservation.
Depending on whether your wedding is inside or outside, you may need to consider different elements. If it is outside, you may want to consider a tent in unfortunate weather circumstances – just familiarize yourself with the standard sizes first.
Although there is typically a good amount of space to offer at an outdoor reception, indoor can be a safer bet. Be sure your indoor venue has important qualities like air conditioning and heating. You will want to ensure the area has these elements so your guests can stay comfortable. It’s easy for the area to get hot with so many people walking around and dancing.
Plan Out Seeing Everyone
Having over 200 people means seeing everyone you invited will be a challenge. It’s best to have a rough plan of how you will try and see everyone at your reception. Of course, the key word here is “try.” Your guests are all coming to see and celebrate you, so it can be challenging to spend time with everyone, but making an effort counts.
With a four- to five-hour reception, it’s tough to navigate getting stopped by crowds, spending time with guests, and enjoying your day simultaneously. Here are some suggestions to help you see your guests:
Take photos before the wedding.You can plan a first look to take pictures with everyone before the wedding of after. This can increase your time during your cocktail hour and you can continue talking to guests there.
Have dinner pre-plated.This can speed up the evening because, as soon as you and your guests sit down, you can eat. You will not need to wait for every table to get their food and finish eating before stopping by.
Plan a table route.It may be best to stop by each table for a few minutes. Traditionally, tables are grouped by families or friend groups, so you can talk with the entire group instead of individually speaking to each person.
Including activities around your reception will give a reason for your guests to get up and mingle. It’s like creating little mini-parties throughout your reception.
Keeping your guests engaged allows them to feel like they are contributing to your big day. Even if you have a formal wedding, you can break up time between the second and third courses with something simple like dancing. It can take a long time to feed a big group of people, so ensuring time for fun is essential.
There are lots of activities you can include at your wedding. There’s the classic photo booth option, but adding something more interactive can be great too. Try something like marriage advice, or maybe allow your guests to write their names down in a book to look back on one day.
Plan Your Reception for a Large Guest List
Your wedding day is meant to be memorable and full of love. No matter what you include to create the perfect reception for a large guest list, be sure you focus on enjoying your time first and foremost.