A beautiful wedding reception at the elegant Toftrees Golf Resort in Pennsylvania, USA. Photo Courtesy: Toftrees Golf Resort
A lot of people assume that the reception will be the easy to plan and leave it until the last minute. However, that’s not the case so get planning early.
The wedding reception is that part that everyone looks forward to after a day of formality and having to keep the kids quiet in a church. The reception is the time where you can let your hair down, and all of your guests can too and although your church ceremony will be something you’ll never forget, you need to remember that the reception might actually be the most important part of the day – for everyone else anyway. Also, your reception is where the majority of your budget will be spent, so it requires a lot of planning.
Venue and Guests
The obvious thing to think about first is where you want to hold it and who you’re going to invite. A lot of people invite a lot more people to the reception than they do to the actual wedding because there’s generally a lot more room for guests.
Wedding Reception in Lacoste, France – Ain’t it just beautiful? Photo Courtesy: Philip Larson
Choosing the venue can be pretty time consuming because you’ll have a lot of expectations and there will be a lot of places that can’t live up to them. Obviously you might have to be a little more relaxed about your list of requirements if you have a restricted budget but otherwise you should try and find somewhere that ticks as many boxes as possible. Remember to start looking for a venue early because it will take a lot of time so if you don’t, you could end up holding your wedding somewhere that you really don’t want to.
Once you’ve found the perfect venue, it’s time to start thinking about decorations. If you have a theme running through your main ceremony then it’s probably a good idea to carry that theme on to your reception.
Catherine and Jaco’s Wedding Reception decorations in progress in Riebeek-Wes, Western Cape, ZA (South Africa). Photo Courtesy: Warren Rohner
However, if you’ve not actually specified a theme then the decorations at the reception are completely up to you. If you’re going for a drastic change, i.e. you have a traditional ceremony but are having a beach party for your reception, then you should probably advise your guests to go home and change before they turn up in their formal attire as it’s doubtful that they’ll be too impressed if you don’t. People often choose flowers as the main way of decorating their reception as they’re easy to get hold of and you can create a variety of different moods really easily.
In between all of the organising you also have to think about your wedding favours for everyone who attends. You should make sure that whatever you give them is special but not necessarily expensive. A lot of people still like to be traditional when it comes to favours and stick to the sugared almonds or other sweet treats. However, others choose to buy individual gifts that they know people will like or even something completely different like a lottery ticket.
Emma Green spent months planning the perfect reception and found it much less stressful when she bought all of her decorations and gift boxes for favours from one place perfectpartyuk.com.