The ceremony is done. You’ve said your ‘I do’s’, exchanged the rings, and now its time to party with your friends and family!! If you are anything like me, where as the ceremony was the most emotionally impacting part of the day, the reception is now the time to unwind and just have some fun! As always though, sometimes little things come up that threaten to kill your partying mood. With a little preplanning, you can ensure your reception keeps on going with no interruption with these 7 tips!
1. Think about seating
Make sure you take a look at your guest list and place people appropriately. Close friends and family should be near the wedding table, while coworkers and acquaintances should be farther back. For most people it probably doesn’t matter, but nothing will kill the mood more than seeing Aunt Ellen brooding in the corner during the entire reception.
2. Minimize the distractions
At a wedding I was recently filming in southern Missouri, the coordinator had erringly placed the photo booth near the head table. While at first it was convenient for the wedding party, it soon turned into an unparalleled distraction when the guests kept using the booth while the brides father tried to give his toast. The noise from the machine itself (let alone the guests having fun) quickly overpowered the toast. If you have something that may cause a distraction, the best plan is to move it as far away from the action as possible to minimize disturbances.
Many people don’t like being in the spotlight, but your wedding is definitely one of the times you absolutely need to be seen. I filmed a wedding once where 60% of the guests were in a different rooms (yes, rooms plural!), totally disconnected from the entire reception. Needless to say, the majority of the guests that night missed out on best parts of the reception. Think through your schedule. Is the bridal table in a visible location? Will people be able to view your cake cutting and toasts?
4. Communicate your preferences
Nothing will ruin your vibe more than your all-time most hated song somehow sneaking its way into your dance playlist. Make sure to schedule a time to sit down with your DJ and discuss your must have songs, favorite genres, and most hated tunes. Then apply this to your entire reception. Talk with your event space manager, wedding coordinator, etc to ensure things turn out exactly as you always wanted them to.
5. Plan your exit
After a long night of partying, you will probably hit a point where your only thought is to slip away with your new spouse. However, making a grand exit can sometimes be a production all in itself (especially when you don’t want it to be). Decide beforehand what sort of exit you want. Look at the routes, and find some backdoor exit that allows you to quietly slip away. Or plan out your grand exit. Either way, decide exactly what you want in advance so you simply need to tell someone ‘lets go!’
6. Keep your photographer / videographer close
If you are paying thousands of dollars to capture your once-in-a-lifetime wedding, you probably want to make sure the people capturing your event are close by. Things can change in an instant, and if your photographer is eating at the other end of the room, they may not have time to gather their things to film your cake cutting… especially if they had no advance warning. A best practice is to seat them at an adjacent table, as close as possible so you can maintain communication throughout.
7. Have fun!
Lastly, make sure you have fun. Don’t let the little things pull you down and ruin your party. Push off as many decisions as you can on your attendant, maid of honor or wedding coordinator, and focus on having FUN! Trust me, you will be thankful you didn’t have to think about a broken light or an empty tap.
Weddings like yours only come along once-in-a-lifetime, so you want to make every minute count. So grab your spouse, and a couple BFF’s and party like there’s no tomorrow!