Reception Tips for the Savvy Bride

Wedding Planning Advice by Alena Bard

After you walk down the aisle, most couples feel relaxed and like the big part is over. All the stress melts away and they can just party and enjoy their night!

Your wedding planner/coordinator (me hopefully!) and/or DJ will take care of making sure everything stays on schedule so that you can enjoy your night and clock out. Rather than being MC, you can be the host. You are the party leader and center of attention, and whateer you are excited to do, guests will do with you!

Here are some helpful tips that will help your reception flow smoothly and prepare you for the big day:

First, keep it moving. Check with your coordinator about how you can plan your reception timeline in a way that will keep guest engaged and moving all night.
Second, think about special dances/people. 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 to give your DJ or band a “do not play” list if there are some songs that you do not want to hear during the reception. Most good DJ’s will already know sappy break-up songs are not a good fit for a wedding, or that rap music with cursing is probably not great for the little flower girls’ ears, but be clear about what you do and don’t want style/ambiance wise!
Third, take a deep breath. Don’t get caught up in formalities or details. Plan your centerpieces, welcome table, guestbook, transfer of gifts, etc. far before the wedding date and communicate to your planner/coordinator (me!) how to set them up so that you are not even thinking about those things on the day of! With a good layout, you won’t need to tell people to sign the guest book or have to tell them what you want them to do…. signage and/or ushers and family members will take care of that for you.
Last, think outside the box to make your wedding your own. Incorporate things you to enjoy, such as yard games and s’mores or a photo booth. Consider a brunch wedding if you are a morning person who loves mimosas and donuts, or consider a night club type dance reception if you celebrate with drinks, dancing, and staying up late! The day is about the two of you, and guests will celebrate with you through whatever activities you propose. Guests and vendors would love to get to know you even more by having your personality incorporated into the big day!
Happy Planning!