10 Wedding Reception Tips
As the spring wedding season approaches, we have some simple tips for you to keep in mind for your reception. Although these are subjective, you can count on our 25 years of experience for these ideas. They may seem like common sense, but time and time again we have witnessed some of these pitfalls. To make sure your wedding is stress-free, listen up.
1) If your event is outdoors, have a backup plan.
Seriously, Florida is known for its insane weather. If you imagine your ceremony, cocktail hour, or reception to be held on a sunny with a high of 75 type of day, it’s time to get your head out of the unpredictably stormy clouds. In other words, make sure your idealism comes with another option. A tent, a room inside the venue, umbrellas and fans are just a few ways to avoid cranky, hot, sticky guests.
2) Do introductions and dances at the beginning of the evening.
This ensures that your participants and guests will all be in the room. For the participants, this will make everything easier, more efficient, and quicker to coordinate. Also, your guests are relatives who have traveled great distances to see you dance your first dance. If you do it right away they will not miss it, and the party as a whole will be more attentive.
3) Speaking of dances, a smaller dance floor is better!
A gigantic dance floor can be intimidating, and can reduce the likelihood of your guests enjoying themselves dancing. A smaller, more intimate dance floor is encouraging to guests (not all of whom are professional ballroom dancers), and can provide for more of a connection to your entertainment.
4) Consider having longer toasts at the rehearsal dinner.
The toasts are a magical and personal moment for every wedding reception. However, an overtly lengthy toast is undesirable because your entertainment and food service are on a schedule, and your guests want to eat, drink, dance, and be merry! Having longer toasts scheduled for the rehearsal dinner gives wedding party members time for anecdotal jokes and tears without making the reception schedule fall behind.
5) It’s good to have a schedule, but prepare to be flexible.
For your reception, a timeline is essential. However, you don’t want to break up a great dance set with a cake cutting. Alternatively, if nothing is going on, why not do the bouquet and garter a bit early to get the crowd going?
6) Keep your photographer and/or videographer there for the entire reception.
Too many times I have seen the photographer/videographer leave the reception an hour too soon. The party is just getting started! It is worth it to keep them there for the entire event, so they don’t miss a single special moment.
7) Consider having the bar closed during dinner.
Guests will be retained to drinking wine or water or whatever from their tables, and will be able to enjoy their dinners together.
8) Speaking of the bar….
Keep the bar inside the room of the reception! This keeps guests inside the room, which is necessary for everyone to celebrate together. A bar placed outside the reception room, in a lobby, for example, displaces a large amount of guests, and creates a sloppy flow of people between the two locations.
9) When selecting your song list, consider the demographic of your guests.
Aunt Nancy from Ohio isn’t going to have the same music tastes as your college buddies. If you are going to have variety in your party, consider variety in your music as well. A wedding is a celebration of tradition and love, so if it is applicable, think about your ethnic customs and traditions; for example, the Jewish Hora, the Italian Tarantella, or Polish or German Polkas.
10) A late-night snack can be fun and smart.
Getting some food into your guests before they drive- or take a taxi- home is thoughtful and welcome. Comfort food, such as hamburger sliders, or breakfast food, is sure to delight and fulfill your guests when the reception is coming to a close.
That’s all our wedding reception tips for now, folks. Feel free to comment any of your ideas or experience, and please like and share!