So the fallout from 2020’s pandemic scare has changed the economy of 2021, and the intrigues of 2021 are definitely going to reverberate throughout 2022. How you travel, where you spend your honeymoon, what venues will allow what sort of wedding parties, which provinces and countries are more or less free—all these things are going to carry over into 2022.
Marriage is pretty important, and it’s kind of a backbone for society. There’s an argument to be made that marriage actually outranks political issues. Without the nuclear family, it’s pretty hard for a society to develop in a way which is ultimately productive.
Marriage is the core nexus point of that reality. All that to say this: your weddingis more important than many realize. Don’t stress it too much, but don’t be intimidated into having some cloistered back-room affair—unless, of course, that’s what you were going for. Then, by all means, have it in the basement.
Planning a wedding reception is exciting and daunting at the same time. This is the event that your guests look forward to, which demands you plan it well. When done right, wedding receptions are very memorable, and you do want your guests to remember yours fondly.
If you are a creative person, there is plenty you can do at your wedding reception. People remember unique wedding reception themes best. However, the cost climbs quickly with each idea you implement. Nonetheless, there are certain essentials for a reception that you shouldn’t overlook. Let us look at these wedding reception essentials that you must have to guarantee a good day.
An Original Theme
There are plenty of original ideas you can adopt for your wedding day. Nonetheless, as a couple, you should be able to identify with the theme you choose. If you think of it, specific pieces are more trendy than others in each season. Every year, from the Great Gatsby theme in 2015 to vintage glamour in 2017, it introduces us to new and exciting pieces. While there is no harm in picking one of these for your wedding, ensure you do something special with it. In other ways, you should ensure you make it your own. Although you will find inspiration in magazines, on the internet or even at other weddings, try to add your unique touches to the theme you choose.
Avoid a cookie-cutter wedding by adding a personal flavour to the theme, whether with the colour palette, patterns or details. Or better still, stay away from the trends and find a theme that reflects who you are as a couple. It could be based on your hobbies, what you like to do together or even on your love story.
The Perfect Venue
The term “perfect” is subjective, for different factors appeal to other couples. However, let us concern ourselves with the wedding guests for now. In their eyes, the perfect venue will be easy to find, comfortable to settle into and welcoming with its ambiance and décor. This venue should also have enough space to accommodate your entire guest list. It shouldn’t be too cramped but should have enough room for lounging, dancing and relaxing.
Apart from these factors, the venue must match the theme of your wedding. Only then will it become the perfect backdrop for your event. Since the choicest media tend to get booked quickly, this should be one of your priority wedding planning tasks. Therefore, start looking at potential venues as soon as you decide on your wedding theme. For more tips on choosing the right platform for your reception, visit this post on the Brides website.
A few signature appetizers are all it takes to nail that first impression. After all, the entrees give your guests a heads-up of what to expect in the food and drink department. Even while the rest of the meal is standard fare, interesting appetizers can pep up the menu. Small, bite-sized food items make a strong impression. It is also the best way to serve your favourite dishes if they aren’t suitable as the main course.
Don’t forget to make the presentation of your entrees impressive. This will add to its appeal, and your guests will be amazed by the attention to detail. Make the entire set-up festive and fun by adding a few unique drinks to the mix. If you want some inspiration to get the ball rolling, here are some ideas on the Brides website.
Your wedding reception décor creates the first impression of the event that follows. So, don’t hesitate to pull all stops to make it striking. Of course, depending on your budget, there are different ways to bring your theme alive. The good news is that you will come across numerous options with unique personalities and flavours with a bit of research and planning.
While there is no harm in DIY-ing most details, it can tax your time and effort. In all-inclusive wedding packages, the décor is usually taken care of. However, you can always add small signature touches to this and ensure your wedding has its elements. If you have hired a wedding planner, you have the right person on board to guide you with the right décor that works within your budget and has the impact you desire. One important thing to remember is that it is easy to go overboard or become overwhelmed with the many different options available. Stop when you find the right balance, and don’t add too many details that will end up being lost in the clutter.
Centrepieces are an essential element in wedding décor. However, these are also more important than most of the other items in your décor. This is because your guests will be seeing the centrepieces up close for a significant part of the evening. So, the better you execute it, the more impressive it will be. While your centrepieces should follow the theme, you can add unique touches to give it a signature effect.
Exercise your creativity and vary the designs across the tables for more appeal. Whether you choose towering centrepieces or ones that spread out, make sure the arrangement is neat and give each item its space. The centrepieces should also be high up or below eye level, not obstruct the view. Finally, don’t overdo the details. Since your guests will sit close to it, it can look cluttered if there are too many details.
A Great Menu
Just as with signature appetizers, a good menu will make the wedding memorable. Food is one of the things that your guests will look forward to most. So, don’t disappoint. Find a caterer who consistently delivers and has the equipment, resources, and knowledge to perfect your chosen menu. Don’t forget to match the food to the theme in terms of colours, flavour or choice of dishes. This will tie it to the wedding beautifully. Also, pay attention to the presentation. It doesn’t matter how tasty an item is; if it doesn’t look good, it will fail to create the right impression.
Don’t forget to find the right mix of drinks for the meal you plan. Since drinks complement the meal, choose them carefully. Remember that your guests will have different palates and varying preferences. Keep this in mind and choose a variety of dishes and drinks so there is something to please everyone.
The entertainment for the evening can make or break your wedding reception. So, don’t skimp on this part. Whether you hire a band or a DJ, make sure you check reviews and watch a CD or attend one of their actual performances. It would be best if you were confident that they would keep the group entertained all evening long.
When hiring entertainment, remember that your guests will be from different age groups with varying likes and dislikes. So, plan your playlist in such a way that there is something for everyone. For example, mix new and fast numbers with classics so that everyone can join in the fun. Also, remember that the bandleader or DJ will primarily handle the announcements of the different events like cutting the cake and the first dance. So, coordinate with this person to make sure your reception progresses as per schedule. Also, discuss your specific do’s and don’ts and ensure that the guests have a good time with no unexpected issues.
Games are a great way to break the ice and to help your guests enjoy the evening. It is also a way to get bored guests involved keep themselves busy between events. Please make a list of games that will appeal to all, whether they are young or old. Consider space constraints when making your choice. While certain games like musical chairs can be played indoors and outdoors, it requires plenty of space.
You will also have to coordinate with the wedding party in advance to make sure the games progress smoothly. Brief them on what to arrange, where to be and what to do, so they know their roles. This will help the event to proceed without hitches and your guests to have fun.
You may have good food and a beautiful presentation, but the service matters too. Unless catering arrangements at your wedding progress smoothly and on time, your guests may end up dissatisfied. Make sure you discuss this factor with the team in action.
If your guests pick their food from a pre-defined menu, ensure everything is recorded and done correctly. There may be guests with specific dietary requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure their needs are adhered to. So, cross-check this with the catering manager. Prompt and cordial service and pleasant staff will ensure your event progresses smoothly and your guests are happy with how the day turns out to be.
After your wedding day is long gone, the photos will remind you of the fun day that it was. Have your special day documented in full style by hiring the services of an efficient and talented wedding photographer. He should make it a point to cover all the guests at the event. This will serve as a reminder of all those who attended this momentous occasion in your life.
While the photography should be fun, it shouldn’t compete for time with the rest of the events. No guest will like to attend an event where they barely get to chat with the couple. Discuss this with your photographer in advance. Set up specific slots of time during the day that you can dedicate to taking photographs. Also, discuss how you want your photos to look, and your photographer can plan his shots to reflect your taste. For more ideas on what to look for in a wedding photographer, look at this article on The Knot.
Interaction With The Guests
Although it is your special day, you must acknowledge all those who participate in it. Irrespective of whether a guest flew in from a distant location for your wedding or just stepped in from next door, what matters is that they made it to your wedding. It is only suitable that you spare a few minutes to chat with each of them and thank them for their time and effort.
You and your spouse can pop by at each reception table and engage in small talk with the guests. Say your thanks, give a few compliments and be courteous. Keep it brief and move on to the following table after few minutes. You can then cover the entire lot in a minimum time. Your guests will appreciate this small dose of attention.
Planning a wedding is a detail-oriented, time-consuming and laborious task. Several details can make or break an entire wedding planning event. Nevertheless, with proper planning and execution, a wedding can progress smoothly from start to end.
At Best for Bride, we try to relieve the bride’s stress to a great extent by giving her all she needs for her wedding under one roof. From bridal dress collections to bridesmaids’ dresses, mother of the bride dresses, bridal accessories, emergency kits and more, we have all you need for your special day. So take a look at our website and see what we have to offer.
FAQ – Wedding Reception
What is the difference between a wedding ceremony and a wedding reception?
The objective of each function is the most significant distinction between the wedding ceremony and the wedding reception. The objective of the wedding ceremony is to legally and officially marry the couple. The wedding reception, on the other hand, is a gathering to commemorate the couple’s union.
When it comes to wedding receptions, what is the standard order?
The best man usually speaks first, followed by the maid of honour and parents of either spouse (traditionally, the father of the bride speaks first, although any parent/host can speak).
Is a wedding reception lasting 4 hours long enough?
Cocktails, food, toasts, and, of course, dancing are all part of a normal wedding reception, which lasts around 4-5 hours.
Is it a party at the reception?
A wedding reception is a gathering conducted after a wedding ceremony as hospitality for people who have attended the wedding, thus the term reception: the couple receives society for the first time as a married couple in the form of family and friends.
What exactly is a reception gown?
A reception dress is a separate gown worn by the bride for the reception. This is a great wedding trend since it allows you to wear a comfy, beautiful outfit while yet maintaining a more formal appearance for the ceremony (and your photos).
A wedding, whether small or large, is an affair that involves hundreds of details. Even an intimate wedding, in which just the couple and their close family and circle of friends participate, has its fair share of challenges. So, you can imagine how much more complicated it is when you must plan a bigger wedding.
Typically, a large wedding is one where the guest count exceeds 200. If your guest count touches this number, you will have more work planning your wedding. Here are the Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind when you intend to have a large wedding of this nature.
DO book a venue that can accommodate your guests comfortably
While you still have the challenge of finding a venue that fits your budget, it is also important to find one that will fit your guests. Not only should the venue have space to hold so many people, but it should also have adequate facilities to make them comfortable during their stay there.
The venue should have enough space to seat all the guests during the wedding and reception. It should also have a sufficient number of washrooms to meet the needs of your guests. Apart from the ample parking space, the dance floor should be large enough so your guests can dance comfortably.
Ideal choices are banquet halls, museums, castles, and outdoor venues like parks or beaches. You should visit the venue before you commit to it. Seeing it is the only way to recognize whether it is right for your needs.
DO analyze and fix issues which can cause queues at the venue
Always consider the likelihood of long lines at the bar or bathroom. Analyze whether your venue has enough facilities to meet the needs of the number of guests attending your wedding. Your guests will find it inconvenient if it takes them forever for their turn at the washroom. Similarly, they won’t appreciate waiting indefinitely to get their chosen drink, at the bar.
Consider these factors in detail when you plan your wedding. If the venue has limited facilities, consider how you can alleviate issues. Simply arranging an extra lot of portable restrooms at an outdoor facility will help you overcome these issues. You can also have two separate bar setups at either end of your reception space to distribute the crowd evenly. Discuss your options with the venue manager and figure out the right fixes before the event.
DON’T cut down on what is most important to you
There is no question that a big wedding will be more expensive than a small one. However, this doesn’t mean you should cut down on what you love. Instead, redistribute your budget to include what you must have at your wedding. You can always let go of certain factors or choose cheaper options for what is less important.
Here is an interesting idea on this post on A Practical Wedding. This couple decided to save on centerpieces and elaborate florals, which can quickly add up to several hundreds of dollars. Instead, they had a cocktail-style party, where everyone could move around and socialize throughout the evening. Since there was no need for a strict seating arrangement, in this case, they went with simple tabletop arrangements and saved a huge amount of their budget this way.
DO remember that you still have to meet and greet all your guests
Whether it is a big wedding or a small one, you have to abide by some etiquette rules. This includes how essential it is to say hello to all the people who made the effort to participate in your wedding. Schedule enough buffer time in your wedding day timeline to accommodate this need. Set aside at least two minutes per guest, and it should work well.
Since waiting at a receiving line isn’t usually practical for this huge number of guests, it is a better idea to plan the day so you have opportunities to socialize and meet and greet everyone. Well-wishing guests will understand the practical problems you face with meeting all your guests. So, they shouldn’t complain if you couldn’t meet them personally. Nonetheless, it is best if you try to greet all there and avoid such a situation.
DO consider hiring help
While you can always attempt to pull off a big wedding by yourself, it is a Herculean task. With the number of details involved, you need plenty of time to do this right. Also, remember that even small tasks will involve time because of the sheer volume of work involved. Imagine addressing your invitations to 200 guests, and you will realize the time that it will require. Similarly, every small detail will quickly add up in terms of time and energy.
Professional wedding planners have enough resources and staff to handle such weddings. They can make your job much easier, and save you a lot of stress. Even if you intend to do everything yourself, consider hiring a day-of bridal planner. While he or she tackles the numerous responsibilities of the day, you can sit back and actually enjoy your wedding. Additionally, wedding planners can get you valuable vendor discounts, which is a big win in the case of a large wedding. More details on how you can make the most of their expertise to snag a bargain are here on this Brides website article.
DO try to skip the little extras
Unless you have a budget that cannot be extinguished easily, it is wise to skip the little extras when planning a big wedding. Although these items will help make your wedding unique, they can also quickly add up with the extended headcount. For instance, you will run up several extra dollars if you decide to send out Save-the-date cards in addition to wedding invitations. Similarly, special touches like calligraphy, monograms and personalized wedding favors will be expensive unless you DIY.
Rather than splurging on these items, it is better to save your budget for the more essential parts of the wedding. Better quality food and drinks, for example, will be more appreciated than these elements.
DO consider repurposing and reusing items to take your budget further
Certain items at a wedding are non-negotiable, like flowers. However, they are expensive as well. To get the best bargain on such items, we suggest that you consider using them to the greatest extent possible.
Take the advice of event planner Kristen in this article on the She Knows website. You can get your money’s worth for the flowers at your wedding by putting them to more than just one use. Take the flowers off your arbor and use them in centerpieces. Or put your bridesmaids bouquets into vases and use them at your cocktail table after the ceremony.
All you need is an organized friend or professional planner to handle these details. It will save you more money than if you have to use more flowers for the purpose. And, more importantly, it will also lessen scope for wastage of wedding resources. Other options are to choose centerpieces that double up as wedding favors and choosing non-perishable décor items that you can reuse after the wedding.
DO consider a bigger bridal party
Consider yourself lucky if you have a number of friends and family members who want to be closely involved in the wedding. With a little tact and foresight, you can use their help to the most at your wedding. The benefits of having a bigger bridal party are immense. This gives you more people who will assist you on and before the wedding day. For a bigger wedding party, this means you have many hands to help you handle the various details.
Your bridesmaids and ushers will be valuable in helping guests find their way around, on the day of the wedding. They can also assist with tasks like helping the photographer round up the right people for each wedding shot. You can request their assistance with setting up the venue, distributing favors and meeting and greeting guests. Nonetheless, the extent of success will also depend on the personalities of the people in your party. Choose wisely, and enlist the help of each person for tasks they are best suited for.
DO allow enough time between events
The logistics of planning a successful wedding timeline can be challenging when you have a huge wedding party. The flow of the event will be affected by the number of people there. Although this can be sorted out to a great extent by making multiple arrangements for dining and washroom facilities, it may not be enough.
We also suggest you plan your wedding timeline at a relaxed pace, with more buffer time for special moments. This will allow people to move to settle in comfortably and be ready for the next event on the timeline. Avoid packing in a tight schedule and make sure you consider the distance and space they have to maneuver to be in place for the next important part of the day. This will ensure your wedding timeline progresses as expected and that the day winds up on time.
DON’T risk booking unreliable vendors
Whether your wedding is big or small, unreliable vendors can totally ruin the show. Nonetheless, the chance of fixing a goof-up is tougher when the guest count is higher. It is simply impossible to find a replacement at short notice who can cater to such a large crowd without prior notice. This can end up as an emotional and stressful disaster, and spoil all the fun of your special day.
Hence, make sure that every vendor you hire for your wedding is reliable and has always delivered the service they promise to. Apart from online reviews, also ask for references before you commit to a contract. If you have a wedding planner, he or she will be able to suggest reliable vendors for various jobs. They will also have likely alternatives if any of the plans go south. Finally, ensure your vendor contracts contain practical solutions as emergency plans, in case of cancellations at the last minute. Make sure you can work with their solutions before you decide to be optimistic and sign up for the service.
DON’T forget to account for all the extras
There are many extras that you may miss adding to your budget. Many couples overlook factors like tipping and gratuity, wedding dress alteration charges, extra costs at the venue for service, etc, when planning their budget. Although some of these may seem insignificant, it can quickly add up when you consider the headcount at your wedding.
So, make sure you discuss all overheads before you book a service. Also, calculate these factors so you can create a practical budget. When booking a service, mention to the vendor what your total budget is, so they can direct you to the service accordingly. Also, don’t hesitate to cross-check and ask whether you will have to pay anything above and over the mentioned amount to get the service you book.
All said and done, your wedding is a special celebration of the day you and your partner become husband and wife! It is a special moment, that should be celebrated with all those who matter in your life. If this means having a big wedding, so be it! The challenges pale in comparison with the joy of the celebration. Just make sure that every moment counts, you stand by every decision you make and enjoy this special day in your life.
For all that you need for your wedding day, from your all-important wedding dress to dress alterations, attires for the bridal party, wedding favors and more, come visit our Best for Bride shop. With four locations and an impressive inventory of everything wedding-related, every modern bride can find all that she needs for her special day. Find more details about our wedding dress collections, services, and more at the Best for Bride website here.
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