There are so many different ways to make your wedding day fun, unique and memorable. Your reception is where some of the best memories of the day are made, with photo opportunities galore If you’re looking for ways to ensure that your wedding reception will be talked about for months to come. And so we are going to talk about some great ideas you should steal and do at your wedding reception.
During the reception, you have a number of options. Do you want more candid shots of your guest or would you like your photography to accompany you as you greet each table and guest? Do you need to have all professional shots of your guests dancing and enjoying themselves or do you want to encourage your guest to share some of the shots they take by using a hashtag or offering a place for them to upload their images to like Flickr or a google drive document? If you are on a tight budget the reception is one of the first places you can cut back on how long you need the photographer for. And so we are going to talk about some things you will definitely want to discuss with your photographer.
Your reception tables will play a big role in the overall atmosphere of your wedding day. There are various shapes and sizes for you to choose from, each option adding a unique touch to your reception area. The shape and size that you choose will depend on your specific wedding style and the space that you’ve chosen to have your reception in. And so we're going to give you a list of ideas for your tables at your wedding reception.
There’s nothing quite like watching the people you love the most dancing, laughing, and having a good time at your wedding. The last thing you want is for your guests to leave early – this is a celebration after all. If you want to make sure that your guests stay until the very last song, definitely scroll down to check out our ideas to get your guests to stay to the very last song!
And last but not least as a bride, you will eventually need to sit down and create your wedding timeline. A timeline ensures that the day runs smoothly and that all vendors are on the same page. If you are wondering what a typical wedding reception timeline looks like and how much time your photographer will need to capture all the important aspects of your day, then definitely scroll down to check out our wedding reception timeline and order of events!
I am a total foodie and would rather gain another 5 pounds than sacrifice a delicious meal. Ice cream is my love language (just don't mention i'm lactose intolerant). I love long drives with my husband and daughter with no end destination in mind. Some might call me a bit of a geek as I love all the backend of running a business. I always wanted to be a mom when I grew up and didn't anticipate falling in love with photography and now I couldn't imagine doing anything different.
There are so many different ways to make your wedding day fun, unique and memorable. Your reception is where some of the best memories of the day are made, with photo opportunities galore If you’re looking for ways to ensure that your wedding reception will be talked about for months to come. When it comes to planning your wedding reception, decide what’s most important to you as a couple and build on that. You can’t go wrong. Here are a few fun ideas that you’ll definitely want to steal:
Get the celebrations off to a classy start by creating a signature cocktail for your wedding. Use your personalities as a couple as a guideline and chat to a mixology pro about some of the options. Your guests will love the unique options and it will help kick your reception into high gear.
If you will be serving other desserts at the reception but would still like to give your guests a slice of wedding cake, why not purchase a few custom cardboard boxes that your guests can use to take some sugary goodness home with them.
Give your guests a glimpse into your pasts by creating custom table numbers that include photos of you and your partner at that specific age.
Hundreds of photos will be taken at your wedding and sometimes the best shots are taken by your guests. To make sure that you don’t miss out on any of these amazing moments and memories, create your own Instagram hashtag and display it at the reception for all to use.
Don’t want to simply toss your garter into the crowd? Change things up a bit by placing it on a football and get your husband to toss that into the crowd instead.
Add a touch of fun to your reception and get more people to dance by assigning a song or lyric to each table. When the DJ plays that particular song, the entire table needs to get up and dance.
Are you and your partner fans of a cold beer? Why not hire out a DIY beer bar where your guests can help themselves. Add one or two different varieties and a couple of mason jars and you’re good to go.
Add a quirky touch to the reception bathrooms by adding a funny photo of each of you on the bathroom doors.
Instead of serving up traditional desserts or opting for a DIY candy bar, why not change things up by having an ice cream bar instead? Throw in a few different ice cream flavors and toppings and you won’t be able to keep your guests away.
Get your guests to write down their words of wisdom on custom-printed coasters that you can scatter on the tables.
head table, Dining, Buffet, Wedding cake display, Dessert display, Bar/drinks station, Guest book and Gifts.
Tables and napkins.
Chairs, Sofas, Rugs, Tent
Hors d'oeuvres, Appetizer, Entrée(s), Side dishes, Dessert, serving dishes, Bread and butter dishes, Chargers, Flatware, Glassware, Serving tools, Punch bowl and ladle, Salt and pepper shakers, Sugar bowls and creamers, Pitchers, food warmers for buffet table.
Wine, Beer, Liquor, Mixers, Nonalcoholic drinks ,Water, fruit. Ice
Glassware, Cocktail napkins
Cake, Cake stand, Knife, Cake topper, Plates, Forks, Napkins, Coffee and tea & coffee & tea accessories.
Flowers or nonfloral centerpieces, VASES, Candles, Greenery, lanterns, Garlands, decor for bride's and groom's chairs, table numbers, table number holders, drapery fabric.
Table (escort) cards or seating chart, Table numbers, Place cards, Menus, Guest book, Favor tags, welcome sign, parking sign, bar menu
Stage for DJ or band, Dance floor , Photo booth, Photo-booth props, kids table, lawn games, Sparklers
During the reception, you have a number of options. Do you want more candid shots of your guest or would you like your photography to accompany you as you greet each table and guest? Do you need to have all professional shots of your guests dancing and enjoying themselves or do you want to encourage your guest to share some of the shots they take by using a hashtag or offering a place for them to upload their images to like Flickr or a google drive document? If you are on a tight budget the reception is one of the first places you can cut back on how long you need the photographer for. Some things you will definitely want to discuss with your photographer:
Not all couples make a big show of their first entrance, others, make it an entertaining affair with their bridal party, dance routine, or even horse-drawn carriage. Make sure your photographer knows where to be and what to expect so they can be in place.
Most speeches are giving during the dinner, but sometimes this is done just after the couple arrives, or throughout the reception. It is ideal for speeches to be done during the dinner hour since all your guest are seating and it is much easier to gain their attention and for the photographer to move around to get the right angle.
The first dance, mother of the groom, and father of the bride dances can yield incredibly special moments, but again not all couples are interested in including these dances. Others couples may have a few additional dances included into their reception timeline; some have special performers, surprise routines and more. While the choice is yours you want to be mindful of when you are planning these dances, especially if your photographer is not going to be staying throughout the entirety of the reception.
The cake cutting can occur at any point during your reception, most couples tend to leave this until after toasts. A few things to consider with the cake cutting; if you are serving your guest the same cake from the cake you have displayed the cutting will need to occur earlier in the reception so the event staff has time to cut and plate the cake for your guest. You can eliminate this by having sheet cakes to serve to your guest instead of the actual wedding cake. You will want to discuss the best way to cut your cake with your photographer prior to the cutting. You want to make sure the photographer can get the best shot and this will take a little bit of planning that will depend on how big your cake is and the decoration you have on and around your cake.
This is often left until the very end of the reception usually just before or after dessert is served but can be done at any time during the reception.
Your reception tables will play a big role in the overall atmosphere of your wedding day. There are various shapes and sizes for you to choose from, each option adding a unique touch to your reception area. The shape and size that you choose will depend on your specific wedding style and the space that you’ve chosen to have your reception in. Here are the options that you have available to you.
These shapes are best for events that are taking place in unconventional areas such as under a tent or on a lawn and are a great way to create borders in your reception area. This doesn’t mean that you need to line them up perfectly either. Square or rectangle tables can be placed at different angles to create a unique look and feel. If you will be using this table shape, be sure to use an even number of chairs and quality linens to soften any edges.
Round tables are used most often for events because they work in just about any space. If you do want to make things more interesting though, try using a few tables of different sizes. Beautiful chairs, cutlery, linens, and flowers can really bring these classic tables to life.
Since banquet tables are longer, they generally work well in larger reception areas. Banquet tables work well when organized in U or L shapes but you could also place them in rows. Using décor of different heights and sizes helps break these larger tables up; candle holders and vases being some examples. Use runners of different textures or square plates to add some character to the tables.
Remember that while you need to choose the right table for your unique space, the tables act as a base for your reception area and can be used to create any style and the atmosphere you want on your wedding day.
There’s nothing quite like watching the people you love the most dancing, laughing, and having a good time at your wedding. The last thing you want is for your guests to leave early – this is a celebration after all.
If you want to make sure that your guests stay until the very last song, here are a few things that you should keep in mind:
If the music is so loud that the people who aren’t dancing can’t even have a conversation, you may see some of your guests slipping out early. Make sure that your band and DJ are playing at a volume that’s acceptable for the size of the venue.
This is your wedding and you should absolutely play the music that you want to hear but you may also want to keep your guests in mind too. If you’re going to be playing music that others can’t dance to or are planning to stick to a very specific genre, a few of your guests might not stay until the end.
Most guests won’t stay after the bride and groom cut the cake, so try not to do it too early or you could end up with a slightly smaller group of people on the dance floor afterward.
Your guests are there to eat, drink and have a good time, so make sure that you don’t run out of food, and especially drinks, too early in the evening. This applies to both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
Over and above this, your guests really could just be tired, have work in the morning or need to get their kids to bed. Don’t take your guests leaving early too personally. Rather focus on the celebrations, your partner and the guests that are still enjoying themselves.
As a bride, you will eventually need to sit down and create your wedding timeline. A timeline ensures that the day runs smoothly and that all vendors are on the same page. If you are wondering what a typical wedding timeline looks like and how much time your photographer will need to capture all the important aspects of your day, here is an example to help you get started.
Your photographer will want to capture some shots of your venue and the décor before your reception area is filled with people, which is why this is generally the starting point. Don’t forget to mention any specific details that you want your photographer to capture.
Your photographer will spend more time with you and your bridesmaids because there is a lot more going on. Make sure that your photographer is able to capture some shots of you getting your hair and makeup done before you start getting ready. These 90 minutes may also include your mom or dad seeing you for the first time.
Next, your photographer will want to grab some shots of the guys getting ready. This will include any shots of them chilling in their casual outfits, getting ready and any general detail shots.
Since each wedding is unique, so there is no set time for your ceremony. It does help to build the timing of the rest of your day around your ceremony though. Not only do you want to make sure that your photographer has enough time for your couple photos afterward but that there’s enough time to capture you getting ready too.
If you would like to capture photos of your guests as you greet them after the ceremony, work this into your timeline. Some couples choose to use this time to capture family and bridal party photos instead though.
Before you get into your couple session, your photographer will spend time capturing family photos as well as photos of the bridal party.
Your photographer will generally plan your photos according to the time the sun sets as this will give you the best light. If you do a first look then often we do 15 minutes for those photos, followed by another 30 minutes of portraits. We then like to steal you from the reception for 15 minutes of sunset photos.
Toast time also can vary drastically depending on how many toasters you have and how long each person speaks.
First dances are usually a maximum of 5 minutes per dance. And so if you have a father/daughter dance, mother/son dance and a first dance as a couple, you can account for about 15 minutes.
Open dancing time can vary depending on the type of crowd you have, if the two of you are big dancers and the type of music your DJ might play. This is also a great time for more mingling with your guests outside the dance floor.
The garter and bouquet toss are also short and sweet but maybe you want the DJ to play a song for a few minutes with all your girlfriends before tossing the bouquet, so plan about 10 minutes for this to happen.
And last but not least, the grand exit!! You'll want to plan in the time to actually organize and move your guest to where your grand exit will occur and so plan for about 15 minutes from start to finish.
Cake cutting is short and sweet but you will want to take into consideration how your guests will get their cake. Is it being cut and plated by your caterer and passed or set on a table for guests to get? You'll want to allow time for guests to get cake before moving onto your next activity.
Dinner seems pretty self explanatory, however there are a lot of different options that could play into how much time you want to set aside for dinner. What type of meal are you serving and how are you serving it? Buffet? Plated? Family style? Different food stations? Each of these options means a different timeframe for dinner to be served, as well as how many guests need go be served. Communicate with your caterer about their estimates. You ideally want everyone to be just finishing up their meal before toasts so there isn't clanking of dishes during the talks. If you are doing passed champagne, you will also want to ask your caterer how much time they need to allot for that before toasts.