Three Keys of Reception Planning
The reception is the real celebration of the wedding, so a large portion of your planning will be focused on it. The process might seem overwhelming but if you focus on the three main areas, you'll find it much more manageable. Here are some suggestions to help you with each one and make your wedding reception a memorable one!
In many ways you the reception is the place where your wedding theme and style will be most prominently displayed. Whatever theme or style you decide on, the design idea you are creating should be complimentary and focused. Try not to mix a 1940's traditional china pattern with 70's hippie linens. If you love your grandmother's china pattern build everything else around that by using the colors or pattern. An easy way to ensure great flow and coordination is to carry a specific color or monogram or flower throughout the entire room. Items to consider for decor include linens, china and glassware, centerpieces, and lighting.
Entertainment choices vary with each bride. Some brides prefer a DJ and others go with live bands. If you choose a DJ be sure he can play a diverse collection of music from classics to top 40 hits. Live entertainment is also be a great choice. If you're concerned with the cost of an 8 peice band, search for great local bands in your area. If you like certain type of music (such as the Beatles) tribute bands are a great idea. Shop around until you find a DJ or band that you "click" with. It is extremely important to feel comfortable with every vendor that you choose. Entertainment is typically thought of in terms of music, but can also include fun interactive activities such photo booths, ice cream or coffee bars, or for less formal events perhaps a balloon artist for the children!
The menu is obviously a very important element at your reception. The meal can make a positive or negative impression and you are certainly aiming for positive! A great source for ideas is the theme, style, or season of your wedding. For example a fall wedding meal could begin with pumpkin soup served in hollowed out pumpkin shells or apple cider served in scooped green apples. Interactive "food bars" - such as mashed potato bars or pasta or omelet stations - are also delicious and great for your guests. Take a standard comfort food like mac-n-cheese and upgrade it with gouda and bacon for a great twist that doesn't strain your guests' comfort levels. And by all means - that divine cheesecake tart that Grandma makes? Give the caterer her recipe and serve it on those fabulous china dishes. Everyone in the room will love it.