Quick Guide To Planning a Reception Party

Quick Guide To Planning a Reception Party

Whether you are the happy couple taking the lead on organizing your own reception or a designated friend in charge of the party, this quick guide to planning a reception party will lay out the key jobs of the party planner and some of the decisions they’ll need to make.

Choose a Venue

When planning a reception party, decide where you’re going to point your guests to once the wedding itself is over. Some people want to keep the wedding and party at the same venue to keep everything convenient, while others might want to move from a formal setting to one that’s party-friendly. Some of the things the party planner will need to decide regarding venue are:

  • Will the party be indoors or outdoors?
  • Will the party be formal and ritzy or something more casual?
  • How close is the venue to where guests are staying?
  • How many guests can the venue accommodate (think seating, parking, and dancefloor)?
  • Does the venue have a code of conduct the guests need to be aware of?

Pick the Menu

Deciding the menu for the reception party can either be the most fun or most stressful part of the job. For laidback receptions, asking each guest to bring an item (or just the guests you know can cook) lowers the party’s cost. If you’d rather cater the event yourself, options range from luxury experiences to getting the bride and groom’s favorite fast food loaded in. Keep in mind that the cake will likely be the star dish of the night and some guests will be looking to graze more than eat. Any food you have at the reception should be something you’re willing to take home and eat later.

Note: Choosing to have an open bar at your wedding reception will be a boon for guests but a potential headache for the party planner, so weigh the risks and benefits before bringing drinks into the picture.

Set the Itinerary

Planning a reception means trying to keep some control over everyone throughout the night. Organizing people is never easy but handing out a pamphlet or small flyer with times designating when events will take place can help guests keep themselves in check. Time should be set aside for arrivals, receiving line greetings, toasts, specific dances, and most importantly, when guests should leave.

If you’re unsure of the process or have your hands too full to tackle the reception, bringing an event planner or event production team can simplify everything. Enlist the help of whichever planner suits your needs best. A big takeaway from this guide for planning a reception party should be that events like this easily go off the rails, so lastly, have an escape plan ready if things truly get wild. It is a party, after all!

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