Your wedding reception is a celebration of your love and marriage with your family and friends. You may feel a lot of pressure to plan an event that is both enjoyable for you and your guests. Do not fear, we’ve created a guide to help you plan the perfect wedding reception that you and your closest will never forget.
Setting a budget.
Weddings can be big or small, private or open, at home or abroad – knowing which can help you plan the costs. So, it’s important to set a budget early on and stick to it but understand that there can be some leeway here and there. Setting a budget will help you make decisions about all aspects of your reception, from the venue to the food to the entertainment. Don’t compromise too much though. This is a special day and going all out, if your budget allows it, is recommended!
Choosing a date and time.
Once you have a budget in mind, you can start to choose a date and time for your reception. A weekend is often a good idea, guests don’t need to worry about being able to get time off and people can really enjoy the day without worrying about having a sore head at work the next day! One thing to keep in mind is that popular dates and venues book up quickly, so it’s important to start planning early regardless of the size, date, time or location of your wedding.
Finding a venue.
The venue is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when planning your reception. Consider the size of your guest list and the style of reception you want. Always refer to your budget when choosing a venue because this will give you the best view of your options. Pick somewhere that can handle the size of your guest list and is nearby your wedding venue for easy access for your guests.
Hiring caterers, photographers, and entertainment.
Hiring a photographer and videographer is a great way to remember the day. Professionals can get great images that tend to really capture the vibe and celebrations well. Next, you’ll want to hire a caterer to feed your guests. Consider how many people will be there, and whether you want a buffet or a set menu style reception. Additionally, on your R.S.V.P. for reception/wedding it may be a good idea to include any allergy that people may have so you can assure everyone is catered for and happy. A cake can be a great centre piece and The Cake Architect provide great options and custom designs for every occasion.
Hiring entertainment is a staple for any reception. There are generally two main options: a band or a DJ. A band can be great as they provide renditions of the greatest hits. A DJ is also a great option as you can help create a play list of songs that mean a lot to you and your guests. If you’re keen on hiring a band for your wedding, consider Infinity The Band for a great night! Regardless of which one you choose, be sure to get quotes from multiple caterers, photographers and bands/DJs to make the best decision for your event and budget.
Refine your guestlist & send out invitations.
Now comes the hard part, deciding who is and isn’t going to be able to attend your wedding reception. Generally speaking, everyone invited to your wedding ceremony should be on the list for your reception guestlist. Also, the reception can be a larger guestlist than your wedding reception and may include extra people like the children of guests or guests that are friends of friends. Regardless, plan the appropriate headcount and be sure to send out your invitations at least six weeks in advance of your reception. This will give your guests enough time to RSVP and make travel arrangements.
Once you have a venue and a timeline, you can start thinking about how you want to decorate for your reception. Consider the style of your wedding and the overall atmosphere you want to create. Consider the vibe you’re going for and the venue itself. If it’s an outdoor wedding in summer, consider some outdoor cover for shade in hot weather, or just on the *off chance* the British weather decides to rain!
Above all remember this is a celebration of you and your partner, your families and your guests. Your wedding reception is a celebration of your love, so be sure to relax and enjoy yourself. Dance the night away with your loved ones and create memories that will last a lifetime.