10 Tips to a Great Wedding Reception
Susan Southerland (24 Jun 2010)
Your wedding day will pass by so quickly. You want to be able to enjoy every moment of it. Here are ten tips to make sure you and your guests get the most out of your reception.
1. Plan like crazy during the months prior to your wedding, but on the wedding day, let everything go. It is so easy to get caught up on all the details of your wedding reception, but when the big day arrives, there is very little you can do as events unfold. Don’t get upset over little things like the cake knife getting lost, or a flower falling out of your bouquet. You will waste precious time fretting over little details that no one else will notice.
2. Don’t make your guests wait. We provide our clients with a timeline of the wedding day from the moment they start getting ready through the exit from the reception. We tell everyone that the time prior to the start of dinner is firm. We don’t want anyone running late, because the guests will be left standing around doing nothing. In particular, make sure your ceremony starts on time and that the photographer doesn’t take longer than the cocktail hour to complete your photos. Your reception doors should open up between forty-five minutes and an hour after your cocktail hour begins. If the guests are left waiting much longer than that, they will get restless.
3. Don’t plan too many events during the reception. Most wedding receptions have traditional events that must take place, the entrance, first dance, parent dance, toasts, cake cutting, bouquet and garter toss and exit. Do not add too many other events that will interrupt dance time.
4. Make some music selections and give that information to your band or DJ, but don’t try and program the entire event. A professional entertainer will be able to read the crowd and adjust the music to keep people dancing. If you tie their hands with too many song requests, the energy of the evening may suffer.
5. Have proper lighting. If you want a great dance party, make sure the lights are dim. Your guests will be more likely to get up and move if the lights are down. Remember, if you are having a videographer, make sure to discuss the lighting with him. If it is too dark in the room, the video quality may suffer.
6. Make sure the temperature in your reception room is comfortable. It shouldn’t be too hot or too cold. Many modern reception facilities have their room temperatures regulated by computers, so if the room is uncomfortable, it takes time to change the temperature. Make sure to discuss the issue with your catering manager or wedding planner prior to the wedding day.
7. Make sure your entertainment is right on the dance floor, not in a corner. Of course, the entertainment is not the main focus of the day, but your guests will respond better if they can interact with the band or DJ.
8. Make sure your feet are comfortable. Every bride wants to have stunning shoes on the wedding day. Usually the most stunning shoes have a three inch heal and straps or a skinny toe. They look great for the ceremony and beautiful in photographs, but they don’t do well on the dance floor. Make sure to bring some flat shoes, sneakers or flip flops to give your feet a break.
9. Don’t overspend. Nothing is more stressful than watching your beautiful wedding day unfold knowing that you are in debt because of it. Plan carefully and spend wisely, you will be able to enjoy your wedding and honeymoon in peace.
10. Eat, Drink and be Merry! Your guests will take their cues from you. If you are eating, dancing and enjoying yourselves, your guests will too. When I see a packed dance floor, typically the bride and groom are right in the center of the crowd.
Susan Southerland is the president and founder of Just Marry! and the wedding planning expert for Perfect Wedding Guide. For more wedding planning tips and ideas, visit Susan’s blog.