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3 Major Tips for Planning a Wedding Reception

by Russell Crowe

Getting married? It’s an exciting time, a time to enjoy, and a time to remember. 

But, if you look at the vast amount of wedding planning sites, you might feel overwhelmed and ready to elope. Choosing venues, menus, formal wear, and flowers are only a small drop in the ocean of decisions you must conquer.

Most wedding experts agree that, after the actual exchange of vows, the main event of your wedding day will be your wedding reception. This is where your public commitment to one another, is celebrated, and this party defines the day.

Here are three tips for planning a wedding reception.

1. Venue and Guest Accommodation

Your reception is a party that you and your family host to welcome guests, who are there to celebrate your marriage. The reception site should not only reflect the style and preference of you and your future spouse but should take into consideration those who will be invited.

For example, after you exchange vows on the beach in Florida, you and your guests will want to be able to walk immediately into an adjacent reception venue, which will need to be heavily air-conditioned, and well-stocked with beverages, including water.

Or, if you have a lot of out-of-town guests, choose a venue that is part of or very close to a fine hotel. Many conference centers, like the Midlothian Conference Center outside of Dallas, offer not only a hotel on-site but catering and bar service as well, covering all your reception needs. 

When looking at a venue, consider the needs of guests with children, elderly guests, and anyone with special needs. Choose a venue that YOU will be comfortable in, but make sure your guests can be comfortable there, too.

2. Food and Drink

It doesn’t matter if you’re having a sit-down dinner, a barbeque, or afternoon tea for your reception. What matters more is getting the best quality food and drink that your budget will allow.

Examine menus at the venues you visit, and be clear about what kind of food you want to serve. Visit caterers as well, and see if you can taste-test some samples. Again, keep your guests in mind, as many have dietary restrictions. Offering one meatless entree /hors d’oeuvre, or one gluten-free sweet treat along with wedding cake accommodates those with such restrictions.

As for drinks, it’s not necessary to offer a full bar. A few select cocktails or wines, always with water, and the option for non-alcoholic drinks will keep everyone happy.

Keep in mind that the timing of the food and drink is important. When planning the day, make sure that your guests aren’t starving or thirsty for longer than a few minutes.  

3. Rituals and Entertainment

Besides food and drink, a wedding reception should offer a few rituals, like a cake-cutting “moment” or short toasts to the bride and groom. The object here is to involve everyone in the room in some treasured moments but to keep those moments to a minimum. 

Music and dancing are the parts of the day when everyone can let their hair down a bit and have some fun. Don’t just choose YOUR favorite music style, but include a little bit of every era represented by your guests.

Have an Amazing Wedding Reception

If you start with a reasonable budget and guest list, you can apply the tips above to any type of wedding reception. Remember to cater your reception to your guests, and throw in touches that reflect your style as a couple, to ensure an amazing wedding day.

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