The party is here!!! Receptions can be a blast. However, it’s important to make sure that you have your event well thought out. This is the job of your coordinator and your DJ/Band. Your caterer will also play a big role in the design and set up of your event. Every aspect of your reception affects the overall outline of the evening. For example, if you’re not having a plated meal, your reception will need to be set up in a way that allows movement. Guests will need to be able to find the food station easily and there will be a mixture of dinner tables and hightop cocktail tables. This will encourage guests to mix and mingle. If you are having a plated dinner, you will more than likely need escort cards, full place settings and space for all of you guests to be seated comfortably. Whatever the style of your event, make sure that you plan out all of the events of the evening. Your coordinator and DJ can help you set up the evening so that guests won’t leave early or experience long periods of waiting for the next thing to happen.
Much like the ceremony, you have the freedom to make your reception your own. It’s your party, it should be exactly how you want it to be! Here is a list of some key events that happen often at receptions and they are listed in the order in which they usually happen.
– entrance of bridal party
– welcome by parents
– serving of the meal
– cake cutting
– first dance
– father daughter dance
– mother son dance
– bouquet/garter toss
– anniversary dance
– money dance
– exit of bride and groom
The fun has just begun! It’s time to relax, dance and celebrate! Your reception should be a blast!! The last thing you need to be worrying about is your timeline. Your coordinator and DJ should take care of making sure that everything stays on schedule so that you can enjoy your night. Here are some helpful tips that will help your reception flow smoothly.
– Take your guests into consideration when planning your timeline. Make sure to have all of your important events and traditions at the beginning of the reception. This way the folks (i.e. grandma and grandpa) that aren’t staying until the very end don’t miss the cake cutting, for example. Grandmas love seeing this sweet tradition.
– Keep it moving! Chat with your coordinator about how you can plan your reception in a way that will keep guests engaged and moving all night.
– Make it your own! If you want to have a special dance with your grandparents, do it! Make your reception a reflection of who you are and don’t feel tied to traditions. Also, make sure you give your DJ or Band a “do not play” list if there are some songs you really don’t want to hear during your reception.
– Don’t get too caught up in the formalities and details. Sure, details are pretty and fun to photograph, but they can steal the joy of the day if you get too caught up in them. Plan your centerpieces, welcome table, etc. well before the wedding date and teach your coordinator or family friend how to set them up so that you aren’t even thinking about those things the day of.
– If you haven’t purchased enough overage time for your photography to last until exit, that’s ok!! We have several options! (Read Below) I recommend planning your timeline so that you can have 30 minutes of dancing photographed. The guests that dance during the first half hour will still be dancing in the third hour. A half hour of dancing will be enough time to really capture the joy of your reception.
– Exits! If your coverage ends before your exit, you have the option of planning a faux exit with your bridal party. This is more common than you may think. Instead of saving your exit until the very end, you can plan a faux exit with just the members of your bridal party and a few family members instead. This allows us to have more control over these shots and the party NEVER has to stop. In most cases, no one even notices that the bride and groom are missing for a few minutes. Also, it’s almost impossible to tell that the whole wedding party isn’t there waving sparklers and sending off the happy couple. This ideas allows our couples to save money and still have all of the shots that they dream of.