It can be hard to know where to start when planning a wedding reception. There’s so much to do - organize food, a band, find a venue, decide upon a seating plan and so many more things it’s easy to forget something here and there. Here’s a few vital tips for planning your reception and ensuring things go smoothly on the big day…
Booking The Venue
Choosing a venue depends on many things - the theme you’re having, it’s location in relevance to the ceremony, the number of guests you’re inviting, the food you want to serve etc. To help you along, here’s some important questions to ask any perspective venue before you sign on the dotted line…
Do they have an in-house caterer or will you have to hire one?
Are you allowed to move furniture around to suit your needs?
What kind of confetti or favors does the venue allow, if any?
Does it cater for the disabled?
Are there any restrictions on types of decorations (e.g. candles) and where they can be placed?
Are there adequate parking facilities and can guests leave their cars overnight?
Can the venue confirm the arrangements in writing?
Planning The Food
What food you choose to serve at your reception and how you choose to serve it often depends on the time of day your receptions occurs. Evening receptions often call for sit down meals but for early afternoon receptions it’s acceptable to serve a buffet.
Don’t let yourself be ruled by what is and isn’t common practice however. Serving snack foods and buffets is much cheaper than serving a three course meal and often it will appeal to a wider selection of guests, particularly if there’s some fussy eaters among them. It’s also worth considering what feel you want your reception to have. Do you want the formality of a sit down meal or would you like it to be relaxed? Sit down and work the meal into your budget before you decide for sure and also look closely at what meal options your venue has on offer and how many people you’ve invited.
Remember To Coordinate With The Band
Something people often forget to do when planning their reception is to coordinate with the band. They’ll remember to book one and they’ll give them a rough idea of what music to play but often the order of the music might as well be left to chance. It’s becoming less and less common for the bride and groom’s first dance to take place as they enter the reception but, if you want this, be sure to let the band know so they can be ready for you entering. It’s wise to let the band know what your meal plans are too and what the dancing arrangements will be throughout. If you’re having a sit down meal you could have dancing between courses or wait until the meal is over but either way the band needs to know.
These may seem like just a fews simple tips but, on the big day, they’ll make all the difference. It’s not worth leaving anything to chance so ask as many questions as you possibly can to your venue, band, caterer and anyone else who may be involved. Don’t worry about seeming too pushy or demanding, they’re in the business of weddings so no doubt they’re used to it and even expect it. Plan like crazy before the wedding but, when the day finally arrives, let all your stress go and remember to enjoy yourself. Good luck!