10 Tips for a Successful Wedding Reception

A professional wedding photographer loves to celebrate with you at the reception. After hundreds of weddings, I’ve learned some tips to make your reception a success. No couple wants their wedding reception to be boring and impersonal. It’s actually the opposite. It’s a party that you will never forget! The wedding reception is a once-in-a lifetime event for the newlyweds as well as their family, friends and guests.

Consider that the reception takes up nearly half of your photography timeline. We photograph the cocktail hours, the first dances and toasts as well as the dancing on the dance floor. We love to capture the laughter and tears of joy!

What’s this? What do we want to photograph? We want to photograph it all! Sometimes receptions end early and this is a big disappointment. Human beings can be fickle and fickle creatures. We want to be entertained, informed, fed, and comforted. We leave when we don’t get what we want.

This blog is full of tips to make your wedding reception a success. Your guests will be happy that you did! As a wedding photographer, I’m here to offer you some of the best tips to make your reception a memorable one!

1. Plan For Your Personality

You will know that I strongly believe in couples making their own decisions on their wedding day. There are no two couples who are alike, so there are no two weddings. You can customize any tradition or event to fit your personality as a couple. Leave out the garter toss if it’s not your thing. You can choose to do a couple’s dance instead of a parent dance. You may not want to dance. Fine.

You might want to add something special to your wedding. Anything unusual and fun is well received by guests. Speak to your event coordinator or wedding coordinator. The best way to ensure a successful reception is by hiring a wedding planner. Hiring a coordinator for your wedding can save you time, money and give you peace of mind. You can then enjoy your wedding reception more.

2. Keep Your Guests Comfortable

Your guests are just as important. Many people have travelled from far and wide to celebrate. You want to make your wedding reception a reflection of your personality, but you also need to keep your guests happy.

Seating: As hard as it may be to believe, you can’t have everyone dancing the whole night. Consider creating a separate seating area for guests who are older or need a place to relax. They can then step out for a moment without having to leave.

Temperature: Whether you are having your wedding in summer or winter, it is important to keep guests comfortable. For hot days, offer cooling fans, iced drinks, and shaded seats. Offer blankets, scarves or heaters in the cooler months.

Facilities: People gotta pee. When planning your wedding, make sure there are enough restrooms. Consider baby changing stations, parking and routes that are accessible from the ceremony to the reception.

Thoughtful Add-Ons: A small comfort item is always appreciated. Think about putting a basket with inexpensive slippers next to the dance floor, so that the ladies can take off their high heels. In the bathrooms, stock hand lotion, tissues or gum. You can also add hairspray. If you are hosting an outdoor event, consider providing sunscreen or insect repellent. Your guests will be grateful.

3. Make Food Fast, Good, and Accessible

At a wedding, food is a huge issue. You and your guests want to be able to eat delicious food as soon as possible. You want guests to be able to access food easily through the reception. You have already spent money on this, so it’s important that you use it!

Food is Good: Bad food cannot be hidden. Delicious food leads to great conversations. A great party is a result of a great conversation. A fantastic party will leave you with wonderful memories. The end.

Fast food: Not like Burger King. This buffet is perfect for those who are looking to try one. It happens all the time. Couples are eager to serve their guests great food, but the set-up is…off. Add two lines to a buffet or allow the waiting staff serve it. If you are considering any type of idea in which the guests make the plates themselves (burger bars, taco bars, or make-you-own-potato), you will absolutely need extra lines or helpers. The human being is fickle and slow.

Accessible food: Consider the cheesecake desserts, late-night Krystals or the hot cocoa bar. Most guests are unaware of when the treats are “open”. Before you know, the reception is over and the food still remains! No! Make sure your Emcee or DJ announces this food’s availability!

A team of professionals is essential for a wedding. They’ll know how to prepare delicious food for you and your guests, and will serve it professionally and on time.

4. Hire a Professional Dj

A DJ is much more than a person who plays music. They have extraordinary skills and expertise. They can also read the mood of the crowd. They can turn a dull wedding into a fun and exciting event! Professional DJs prepare well in advance of the wedding. The DJs discuss with the couple the wedding plans, including the main theme or mood. The reception is designed to be the perfect wedding of your dreams.

Most professional DJs also bring LIGHTS. Lighting can change a room’s atmosphere from casual dining to dancing. Do not underestimate the importance proper event lighting at a wedding reception. Ambient uplighting sets the mood while dancing patterns and moving lights create a fun party.

5. You can request songs

What is the best way to encourage your guests to dance? Play songs that they want to hear. It doesn’t mean you give Uncle Joe full control. You may not want to dance The Wobble, or The Electric Slide. Guess what? You guests will. It’s true. Couples can let their DJ announce that they are taking song requests. The requests may only be for a short time but your dance floor is sure to fill up quickly.

6. Get on the Dance Floor

You shouldn’t hide behind the bar. You want your guests to join you in the party and watch you dance on the floor. When the couple dances, the floor quickly fills. It doesn’t have to be the whole wedding. If you want to throw a great party, then this is a must. “This is going to be a huge party,” says DJ Sammy Scott from Legacy Sound. “Brides and Grooms need to be dancing as much as they can.” “Guests want to be with you, so where you are is where they will go.”

7. Bring the Alcohol

The decision to serve alcohol at a wedding can be a difficult one for any couple. You don’t have to serve top-shelf liquor if you decide to serve alcohol at your wedding. Open bars can get expensive. You can make it work for any budget. Consider just offering beer and wine, or a few cocktails. Offer champagne to guests as a gift or at the toasts.

Alcohol can extend the duration of a reception. Many couples desire a wedding reception that goes into the wee hours of the morning. Alcohol can make this happen. Those who are considering not drinking alcohol might want to reduce the reception time from four to three hours. So they can use their photography time in other areas.

8. Easy Entertainment

The way your wedding reception made your guests feel will remain in their memories. Include engaging entertainment off the dance floor for your guests to have a great time. The activities will also allow your guests to get to know each other. You can include different games and events at a reception.

For the Kids: When you are having a child-friendly reception, think about scavenger hunting, mazes or puzzles. Make a separate room or area for the kids. This will keep the kids entertained while allowing the adults to dance.

Photo booths: One thing that will never go out of fashion is the photo booth. For photos, people love to wear silly outfits and hats. Hire a photo bus or create your own booth on site.

This is my favorite way to entertain guests, and I think it makes a great favor. Hire an artist to create a photo of each guest! This is an excellent way to entertain your guests and give them a gift.

Yard games: For the beautiful summer evenings in your home, yard games can be a fun way to keep guests entertained away from the dancing floor.

Bars with Cigars: The bars can be used in any season. This is a great way to meet other guests and socialize without having to dance.

9. Provide Unique (and Usable) Wedding Favors

Wedding favors are a wonderful way to show your guests how much you value them. Favors that guests can use at home or enjoy during the reception are best. You don’t want your money to go to waste. You can give kids blankets, East Tennessee Moonshine, homemade jams and honey, personalized mugs, or personalized glasses. These can be used by your guests at the wedding as well as after!

Personalized bottles of wine make great gifts for people who have helped you with your wedding planning.

10. Do not Fret or Fight

Plan as much as you want, but let your wedding day be. Be happy. Enjoy your day. Enjoy your wedding and reception. You don’t need to be upset, worried or stressed about insignificant details. Let your event coordinator or wedding coordinator handle the behind-the scenes stuff.

What’s this? Newlyweds argue on their wedding day. The majority of the fights are caused by anxiety or frustration. You should not do certain things on your wedding day if you know they will upset your partner. Don’t smash cake in your bride’s face if you know she doesn’t like it.

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