Your wedding reception is an important event. It’s where guests go to refresh, mingle, and celebrate — as well as create happy memories that last a lifetime. Planning a fantastic wedding reception is certainly exciting, but no easy feat. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the very thought of it, fret not. Here are five fool-proof tips to help you plan the perfect wedding reception of your dreams.
1. Choose your venue
When it comes to the ambiance of your wedding reception, your venue is key, so choose a place that truly resonates with you as a couple. For example, ballrooms and castles appeal to traditionalists. Modern couples feel at home in industrial warehouses and city lofts. And if you’re a lover of everything old-timey and rustic? A barn or ranch may be just the thing.
At this point, you should have a good idea of how many people will be in attendance. Choose a venue big enough to accommodate all the tables and seats, dancing guests, and busy waiters. Allowing 25 square feet per person is a good rule of thumb.
Take the time to book visits to multiple venues and look around with an official who can answer your questions. To help finalise your decision, assess the pros and cons of each venue (of course keeping budget in mind).
2. Pick the perfect table linen
The next big thing that can make or break your reception ambiance? Table linen. Dirty or hideous linen can ruin your desired aesthetic, as well as deter guests. The Linen Hire provides beautiful, high-quality table linen to help seamlessly tie your wedding decor together. Visit http://www.thelinenhire.co.uk/ to view their range.
When choosing your linen, consider the following:
- What colour linen will fit your overall theme?
- Do you want smooth or textured?
- Patterned or plain?
Envision how the table will look complete with any other decorations (napkins, place settings, centerpieces, etc). You’ll also have to choose between square, rectangular, or round tables. Once you know the table measurements, your linen vendor can advise you on how much fabric you’ll need in total.
3. Make a seating chart
You may be tempted to skip this step. Surely, your guests can seat themselves where and next to who they want? Well, yes, in time — after a whole lot of dilly-dallying and congestion. A designated seating plan will make sure everyone finds their place swiftly. Deciding on a seating arrangement that keeps everyone happy shouldn’t be too tough with a little common sense and consideration. Keep families and close friends together. Make sure everyone at each table knows at least one other guest seated there. Not even the most outgoing person wants to be sitting at a table of strangers. If there are more than two or three children in attendance, seat them at a separate kids table.
4. Organise the speeches
Wedding speeches are a time-honoured tradition that should leave the whole room both laughing and teary-eyed. Needless to say, they need to be well-planned. Usually, speeches are given just before the meal or immediately after plates are cleared (so there’s no food around to distract people).
When you ask your chosen people to speak, clearly explain just how long you want them to talk for (five minutes max) and if you want them to toast or not. The most important thing is to devise a schedule for the speakers and inform them of it ahead of time. This ensures each person knows when they’re up and avoids long pauses.
5. Choose a delicious cake
You and your fiancé may be in easy agreement over which flavor cake to choose. But what if you just have different tastes? Fortunately, it’s possible to order cakes with tiers of varying flavors to satisfy the individual tastes of the bride and groom, as well as the guests.
And what about the cake cutting? This ritual signals to guests there’ll be no more “big” events and they’re free to leave, which is why it’s traditionally done at the end of the night. However, nowadays the cake is often cut nearer the end of dinner just before everyone hits the dance floor. It’s really your choice, although older guests may appreciate the chance to turn-in early.
It’s normal to plan like crazy the month running up to your big day. But when it actually arrives? Let everything go. Now’s the time to relax and celebrate your love — there’s much eating, drinking, and dancing to be had!