From dining to dancing, planning your reception should be just as much fun as planning your ceremony. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to your reception timeline, planning the beats you will be dancing to, and of course events to include during your reception:
1. Music – such an important factor of the reception portion of your wedding! When picking out your favorite songs to be played, consider the critical moments including your wedding party entrance, newlywed entrance, first dance, traditional dances, anniversary dance, cake cutting, garter toss, flower toss, and last dance songs. These events during your reception will be the main features. When picking a DJ, make sure that you and your DJ have the same style of music in mind.
2. Specialty Tables – placement of your cake, gift, and place card tables should always be based on what makes the most sense location wise. For example, the place card table always looks great next to the entrance door of the reception room along with the gift table close by. That way guests can pick up their place card and also drop off their gift. Keep the cake table away from the kiddos table to not tempt little ones from grabbing a bite before the cake cutting. Other tables to consider include your sweetheart and wedding party tables. For examples, will you all be sitting separately at a sweetheart table and wedding party table, sitting together at one table, sitting together at one table with spouses, or sitting separately with spouses.
3. Anniversary Dance – an anniversary dance where married couples are invited to the dance floor is a great way to open the floor for dancing after dining. It entices guests to get out of their seat and is always a blast to see who has been married the longest.
4. Uplighting – from blue to purple to pink, there are so many options to light up the walls of your reception. Make sure when booking your uplighting that you consider your color scheme and having a light roughly every eight feet.
5. Dining – buffet or plated, serving stations or buffet line? When deciding how food will be served, consider the space and amount of guests you will be having. For example, a double line buffet is always a great option to help filter guests through the line quickly, however a smaller venue might not have room for guests to go on two sides. Plated dining is always a great option as well, but check with your caterer to ensure how many of their staff will be on hand to accommodate serving and clearing dishes.
6. Send Off – bubbles, sparklers, flowers… there are so many options to choose from! One of my favorite send offs was for my bride Leanne; guests threw fuzzy pompoms at the couple as they exited for the night. Also consider where your send off will take place. For example, my bride Rachel’s bubble send off was perfectly placed outside the front entrance to their wedding venue, which allowed for us to use back lighting to light up the whole building as the couple exited.