Your wedding reception should be the party of your life. Whether you're planning on pulling out all the stops, or you'll be hosting a low-key affair, this is a time you and your guests should enjoy yourselves.
Modern wedding reception may take place anywhere, from amusement parks to backyards. Many contemporary brides use their creativity to plan a reception that's right for them. In addition to the location, other reception considerations include:
- The overall atmosphere or theme of the reception
- Decorations and centerpieces
- Seating arrangements and place cards
- The menu, including appetizers and drinks
- Wedding reception music
- Reception activities (traditionally dancing, but modern couples may include anything from photo booths to reception games)
Tips for Planning a Wedding Reception
- Your main consideration should be your budget. Once you know how much you can afford to spend, you can begin making plans.
- Many venues book far in advance, so it's best to begin shopping around as soon as you have set a date.
- Your wedding reception should be a celebratory event, but it should also reflect your own lifestyle. If you and your spouse are famous for whooping it up and dancing until dawn, you're probably interested in a major event. If your preference is to stay home on the weekends with a good book or rented movie, consider having a small afternoon party --one with fewer bells and whistles.
- When you book your reception, ask your banquet manager for recommendations for disc jockeys, musicians or bands, florists and photographers. You might get a discount for booking through the catering hall.
- Before agreeing to a specific package, check into how much each component of that package might cost if purchased separately. Sometimes it's cheaper to go with a neighborhood florist than the catering hall's recommendation. You'll also want to meet with and audition anyone who "comes with" the package. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a dull DJ or bland wedding cake.
- If you'd prefer not to travel, consider booking the wedding and reception at the same venue. Many catering halls now offer this option.
The most important tip is not to settle. Hopefully, this is the one and only time you will be getting married. It's a special day, and the arrangements should be treated as such. After all, when else is it all about you?