Reception Ideas

Because the reception is usually the single largest expensive in any wedding, lots has been written about it. Much of the lore of receptions represents historical or traditional flavor. But times have changed. The economy is different. The bride and groom are different and the focus on the reception as the celebratory segment of a wedding event has changed somewhat

One assumes that the commitment to another person inherent in the engagement process, is binding. However, like the Crystal Harris plan to marry Hugh Hefner, it is always subject to change. Crystal canceled her wedding plans two days before the event. One can only assume that there were sufficient funds available to cover lost deposits and to issue guest list wide notes of cancellation. But assuming that the wedding and reception went on as planned, these modern notes of advice would have been well received.

Leave the reception before your guests. It used to be the “rule”. The wedding couple changed into their “traveling clothes” and left the reception to begin their honeymoon. Today’s couples have challenged that tradition and are frequently the last to leave their reception. In some cases, it becomes a waiting game. No one is sure who should leave when, so no one does. One can speculate about the reason for this need to be the last to leave the party, but it can prove awkward. Be gracious and leave before your guests begin to nod off at their tables. It was a super party, but someone has to leave at some point.

Whatever you budget for the reception, DO IT WELL!

If you don’t have the money for a sit down dinner, switch to a buffet. Don’t skimp. Do what you can afford to do beautifully. Switch days, switch times, switch venues–do whatever gives you the most beautiful ceremony and reception with your budget. Don’t try to reach a level that you cannot afford. Skimping always shows.

Let your focus at the reception be on your guests. This is a huge party/celebration you are hosting. And hosting means that the focus is on the guests. The first rule of entertaining guests is to consider their time and attention. That means: cut down the time between the ceremony and the reception. Don’t make them wait several hours between events. ┬áIf the lag time is two hours, that is too much. Also, work hard to have the venue for the reception and the ceremony close together. Be considerate of your guests and don’t make them drive an hour or more to get from one event to another.

Cut down the guest list. You don’t need to have the area’s largest reception. Invite only those people who matter to you both. Surveys have shown that after several years, couples look at their wedding photos and are amazed by the numbers of guests they cannot name. To a person, those couples regret having invited people who really don’t matter to their important event.

If you have changed your mind and don’t want to go through with the wedding, cancel it earlier rather than later. Don’t pull a Crystal Harris and cancel the wedding to Hugh Hefner two days before the event. Remember the focus on others. The bride isn’t the only star of the day. The groom is a significant player as well. If you two have doubts, work them out or agree to disagree and be gracious hosts.


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