One of the most exciting (and fun!) parts of hosting a wedding is planning your dream wedding reception! There’s so many ways to bring your personality and energy to the party, so today I thought I’d share a few fun tips for your wedding reception. Of course, at the end of the day, you should do what YOU want because it’s your celebration. But, I hope that these wedding reception planning tips help you feel more confident in the choices you make.
Your vendors, particularly the venue and planner, will be able to help with the flow for your reception space. But try to think about how to set it up based on how you want your guests to experience the space. This might mean putting escort cards outside the door so that once they go in, there isn’t a backup to get into the tables. Work with your venue to determine the best layout of tables and seating for your guests so that you can still have a dance space and move to navigate the room. You’d be surprised how tight rooms can feel once everyone is seated around the room!
One of the best parts of receptions is the decor!! Take this time to really show off your space! It’s always a great time when couples dress up the door or choose elaborate centerpieces to bring a lot of color into the room. And over-the-top sweetheart table displays are another great option. But, remember – not everything has to be over-the-top for it to be dressed up. Think about how you can make each place setting something to remember too. Maybe that’s a beautifully written menu card or place setting name holder. Whatever it is, use this decor to bring your personality to the venue!
When you’re planning your meals for your reception, make sure to check with your caterer or venue about vendor meals. Most photographers and videographers will require that you feed them if your event is over 4 hours, so just confirm what you need to do to order those with the caterer. Sometimes it’s a boxed meal and others, it ill be the same meal your guests get. Just don’t forget to add them to the list!
If you’re planning to do a sparkler exit or some other celebration to end your reception, don’t do it at the end of your reception. I know it sounds strange but it’s actually better to plan your exit for an hour or two into the party because otherwise, your guests may not be there for the photos! If your guests are older or it’s a long celebration, think about moving up your exit a few hours so that your photographer can help you stage the photos. Everyone can go right back to the party, but this helps make sure that everyone that you want in the photos is still there when it’s time to hold sparklers.
And there you have it! Four simple tips to plan an even better wedding reception for your guests.
Christian Nwosu is a Northern Virginia wedding photographer serving clients in DC, Maryland, and wherever your love takes you.