wedding reception planning

reception

The reception party is not only the costliest event of your wedding day, but the most challenging to plan.

This is the party you will celebrate your marriage with your family and friends, so you'll want a fun ending to a perfect day.

How elaborate your reception will be is limited by your imagination and budget. Don't fret if you have limited funds because there are many ways you can plan a wonderful reception if you consider all of your options.

reception site

If you're like most couples, you will want your reception after your ceremony so you should reserve the reception and ceremony sites the same day, if possible. You can book either one first as long as the end result is the same, which is having your ceremony and reception at your desired locations -- on the same day.

Depending on how large your city is, you an check out function halls, hotels and country clubs. If you budget is limited, try renting outdoor gardens, farms, beaches or a large backyard. Use your imagination. Of course, any event planned outdoors will be affected by the weather, so have a back-up plan and take precautions with tents and awnings.

Don't spread out your reception site hunting over weeks, instead, make it a mission to decide within days. Use your time wisely and you'll have enough information to decide where you'll hold your wedding reception and secure your desired date. Shop around and compare prices, You'll probably feel pressure making your decision because the last thing you want is someone to snatch up your date and book ahead of you. Don't overreact. It will all work out.

Through the process, it helps if you bring along a camera to take pictures of each site at various angles. Initially, this will help you decide which place to choose and later on, will be incredibly helpful for deciding on decorations and backdrops when you're off-site. It will also give you an idea for lighting and how your pictures may turn out.

It's super handy to have a separate room for the gifts. Many places provide this for free. It's a secure room that can be used immediately as a gift room as long as someone is tending to it or the gifts can be stored there overnight and you can retrieve them in the morning. You will likely have to sign a disclaimer that states the reception site is not responsible or liable for lost or stolen gifts, so make sure you trust the staff and that they are the only ones with the keys. Otherwise, if they gave you a key, that means others have also had the key and an opportunity to make a duplicate which is very risky.

related pages

today's tip

If there is no event planned at the reception hall on the day or evening before your wedding, ask if you can get in there and start decorating early.