When planning a wedding, many couples choose to spend most of their time, energy, and money making the reception the best it can be. Even couples who leave for the legal part of the ceremony are expected to have a party when they get back since that is the most exciting part. It also makes sense when you think about how the ceremony usually only lasts a few minutes while the reception usually goes on all day, into the evening and the early morning hours.
There is a lot of planning to make sure it does not look like a regular meal and party. The food and seating arrangements are carefully designed. The indoor and outdoor entertainment, photography by Christophe Viseux Photography, canapés and drinks, the wedding band, cutting the cake, the first dance, and the disco until the morning are all things to think about. A reception takes a lot of work, but if everything goes as planned, it will be the one that everyone talks about for years to come.
Then the question is, what can you do to make your reception go from just okay to great? So let us look at it.
Think about where you are.
This depends on where you have your ceremony, since many places include this as part of the deal. If you have a separate ceremony and reception, you might want to choose a different and exciting place. Most people choose hotels, social clubs, or pubs, but you can put a marquee on a field, your back yard if it is big enough, or any other privately owned land or property. Offer places to sit, eat, and relax, a bar (you can rent mobile bars) and entertainment, and make sure all of your guests can easily reach the restrooms.
Consider the meal.
The food is usually the center of most wedding receptions. Most weddings have a traditional sit-down breakfast with at least three dishes, a wedding cake, and a buffet the night before the wedding. That is what everyone does. Who says, though, that you have to follow the rules? If it is not your thing, you could try a hog roast buffet, a pizza bar, a burger station, or an afternoon tea. Just make sure you have enough food. You do not want your guests to drink too much because they are hungry.
How would you keep them amused?
Wedding guests are known for being hard to please. People want something to do between things like the first dance and cutting the cake. You could do things outside in the afternoon like giant Jenga, hook-a-duck, and other lawn games and a DJ who plays your favorite songs all night. You can have karaoke booths, photo booths, fireworks, stations to make drinks, selfie mirrors, bingo, or anything else!
Make it special and unique.
Even with the above requirements, it may be hard to make a reception stand out, so find a way to include who you and your future spouse are. Your reception should show who you are as a person and what you hope to achieve in the future. For example, do you live close to the water? Why do you not have a party at the beach?
Make a collage of pictures.
Since your wedding day is such a special day in your relationship, why not trip down memory lane by putting up some photos you love? We love the idea of having a unique wall or table for pictures that are important to your family’s history.
Include pictures of you and your partner as kids, photos from your favorite holidays and important events, and even pictures of your parents at their wedding. This is also a beautiful place to honor family members who can not be there by putting up a favorite photo of them.
Listen to your heart.
This is your wedding day. Do not follow any rules or traditions. Go ahead and follow the rules for the wedding. Today is your wedding day.