Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! We are so excited for you and excited to help you create a one of a kind event! These tips are cultivated from 23 years of service in the wedding world at well over 10,000 weddings. We hope they help you create the wedding reception you’ve always dreamed of!
1. Create your timeline with your guests in mind!
When laying out the timeline of your entire day (your wedding day is far more than the reception of course), make sure to keep your guest’s comfort in mind. It is romantic to think of an early afternoon ceremony under the glowing sunlight, an elegant evening dinner that stretches into an all night dance celebration where your guests do not stop dancing until midnight! This is of course possible and truly great professionals can achieve this result. But remember that even a 4 p.m. ceremony means guests are traveling by 3 p.m. at the latest and preparing themselves since the morning. It is likely a few of your guests will be just too tired to go on after 9 or 10 p.m. and you may only have a few guests left by midnight. Our advice is to make sure your major events are grouped into a 4 or 5 hour period so that your guests who may not be so energetic can experience your entire day with you! Ask your service providers for assistance with this!
2. Connect your service providers together to maximize their efficiency!
Truly great weddings are created, they do not just happen. Your hall staff, photographer, entertainment, decorations, outside catering, etc. must all work together to create a seamless result. Many brides assume that this happens “behind the scenes” without any input from them. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many service providers do not make the effort to reach out, either from lack of care or lack of information! Examples of this would be: does your hall have requirements for when the entertainment should arrive, where to set up or any other needs pertaining to the entertainer. Does your photographer know the layout of the reception, what to be looking for from the entertainment and where the most important events will happen? Contact between vendors should be a high priority for you because it allows work to go on without you directly having to make it happen. You paid good money for your services, utilize them!
3. Budget for the Mundane!
When putting together a budget for a wedding, there are so many exciting items to add or cross off the list! Your Dress! Your Rings! The Music! The Food! That amazing photographer you found! It is very easy to forget all the tiny stuff that makes all the difference! Does your venue have a dance floor, services to move tables if necessary, security? Napkins and linens are often overlooked at many rented spaces. Materials for affixing decorations like wire, tape, glue, etc. are all relatively inexpensive but might also be a challenge to get a hold of at 7 p.m. the night before the big day! Take time to identify what mundane items you will need and budget extra for them!
4. Plan a meal to create the reception you want!
Much like the timeline being set up around guest comfort, it is important to remember that what you serve can dramatically influence your event! Imagine your reception dinner to be a beautiful prime rib dinner with roasted potatoes, an ample salad, delicious breads and great wine. Then imagine the decadent cake you choose to delight your guests! They love it and maybe go back for seconds! I’m already hungry just thinking about it! Now all of this well intended deliciousness may have an undesirable side effect! Your guests may become tired, less likely to dance, interact and more likely to go home with love on their minds and food in their tummies. Now if that is the effect you a want to achieve then you are all set! But if you want a long lived event, choose a lighter meal!
5. Make sure you have a plan for your props to be placed!
So many parts of a wedding reception can be delayed at the last minute because the appropriate props are not in place! Take the cake knife and server, your bouquet and your garter for example. Many of these items can be handled by your service providers, but making sure they know it is their job to do so is…your job! Once again, great communication is key and having a concrete plan that takes into account all the little stuff will save you embarrassing moments and delays on your day!
6. Accommodate for disability!
Most of us are well aware of the challenges that some of our family member face. Disability is a fact of life and therefore is a concern for this very important life event! No one blames a bride or the couple for having so many details on their minds, compromise and accommodation is expected of course. Show extra compassion and care for your guests by identifying those members of your group who may need a simple accommodation and making sure it gets handled. The hard of hearing can be placed near those speaking, the blind can be seated adjacent to wide walkways and needed facilities. Those with special needs can be identified to service providers so they can be more sensitive and clear in working with your specific guests. Often these challenges can be seen as too personal to speak about, but truly professional service providers know how to pair discretion with compassion to help serve ALL of your guests to the fullest! I urge you to consider the needs of your special guests!
7. Let your groom help!
At the risk of assuming I am speaking mainly to brides, I would suggest allowing your groom to be a pivotal part of your preparations! He has an incredible array of skills that you can harness to create the wedding of your dreams. Many men stay away from helping because they feel unwelcome or that they might “mess something up”. This simply is not the case and you can work with your partner to create things that you may not have been able to do on your own. Discuss the entire plan with them, get their input and find which tasks they can do well. Maybe he is a better negotiator and would be perfect for closing the contracts with your vendors? Or maybe he is great with his hands and can help create those “girly” decorations. The upside is that you get to practice being a team right away!
Our best wishes to you for having a fun, unique and memorable celebration!
Pro Sound & Light Show DJ’s & Uplighting – 888-347-5562 – www.pro-1.com