Everyone looks forward to the wedding reception. After the formalities of the ceremony, the reception is typically where family and friends get together to celebrate and have a good time. And for those who may have missed you exchanging ‘I Dos’, the perfect wedding reception is your guests’ first impression about your big day.
With so much seemingly at stake, planning the after-ceremony celebration may seem like a daunting task. But with careful planning and preparation, pulling off a perfect wedding reception is easier than your Pinterest inspiration board may lead you to think.
Here, we share some easy-to-remember basics that will help you create your perfect wedding reception.
Hire a wedding coordinator
Yes, a DIY wedding maybe a fun, bonding moment with your spouse-to-be, but without the help of a professional, it’s easy to overlook some important details.
Hiring a coordinator should be the first step you take when planning a wedding. Do a run through of all the candidates you have in mind, or those referred to you by family and friends. A careful look at a wedding coordinator’s portfolio will give you an idea of their voice and brand, and just how much experience and expertise he or she can lend to your wedding, especially at the reception.
Meet them in person too – there’s no better way of checking out if your personalities will work together, especially in something as crazy and tense as a wedding. Great wedding coordinators are able to communicate your ideas to others clearly. This is an important trait as your coordinator will be talking to a broad range of contacts – from florists to venue decorators, wedding DJs and caterers.
Choose the right venue
One of the biggest decisions you will have to make as an engaged couple is choosing the wedding reception venue. Your selection has a huge influence on every other aspect of your big day including the décor, food, and vendors of choice.
Always consider a venue that can accommodate a number of people larger than your expected guests. This gives you ample room for furniture and décor, and makes sure there’s space for your guests and their plus one (or even two).
Your wedding theme will also impact the choice of venue for your wedding reception. For example, According to an article about rustic weddings by BBJ Linen, if you’re planning a rustic wedding, it’s only natural you choose an outdoor reception venue. Likewise, a tropical-themed wedding will lead you to consider tying the knot by the beach, or opting for a destination wedding in a exotic island in the tropics.
Amanda Megan Miller Photography – Lola Event Productions
Impress with the décor
The devil is in the details, and nowhere else is this more apparent than in your wedding reception’s décor. Great receptions should be a balance between creating eye-catching centerpieces, and providing room where guests can converse properly without any obstruction. It should also reflect clearly and distinctly your wedding theme.
Do you want to add drama to your romantic wedding reception? Opt for textured runners, linens, napkins and fabrics that add depth and detail to the overall look. Going minimal? Use sparse, single-stemmed flower arrangements placed in geometric terrariums or acrylic vases for interesting focal points that spark curiosity and conversations. Looking to bring the outdoors indoors? Create a rustic tablescape replete with wooden chargers, vintage china, and homespun quilts for added warmth and coziness.
Big Delicious Planet
Hire a caterer
After the bride’s wedding dress, the food at the reception perhaps comes a close second to what people remember most about a wedding. Make sure to leave good memories by hiring a caterer for your wedding reception.
Sure, you’re family’s heirloom recipe is beloved by relatives, and your friend can make a killer pecan pie. However, with all the guests coming, wedding receptions are not the best time to experiment with potluck. Hiring a caterer is often a one-stop shop service – you get the appetizer, beverages, full course meals, and desserts – so you don’t have to worry about anything.
Remember to also talk to your caterer about creating a menu that accommodates guests who may have food allergies, dietary requirements, or cultural restrictions. You can include in your invitation a request for guests to inform you of any dietary restricts your caterer will have to consider.
Choose the right entertainment
A wedding without an entertainment is as good as a party without drinks. Make your wedding reception alive by opting for professional entertainment – including wedding hosts, DJs, and musicians.
When choosing entertainment for your wedding reception, always make sure that like everything else, it fits your theme and your venue. Elegant affairs and even quaint, Victorian-inspired celebrations demand a string ensemble, choir, or classical artist to truly heighten the affair’s sensibilities.
For more modern and casual celebrations, DJ services can provide you with a comprehensive library of songs that can get the crowd pumped up. Before hiring entertainment, ask to hear samples of their repertoire and if possible, give them your playlist and “do not play” list.
The perfect wedding reception is all about bringing family and friends together to have fun, share stories, reminisce, enjoy great food and company, and make new memories. Hiring professional wedding planners, caterers, and entertainment can help your bring your ideas from inception to implementation so that your affair is as memorable and meaningful as possible.