Planning the Reception

There are steps you can take to make planning your reception a little less stressful, so that’s the good news! Below are several steps that will give you a general idea of how to minimize the anxiety you feel when looking at your to-do list:

  1. Set a Date – First and foremost, setting a date for your wedding is always the first step. Once this date is set, you will be able to nail down all your other plans.
  2. Decide on a Budget – Figuring out your budget will help you narrow down your options for venue, décor, vendors, etc.
  3. Figure Out What Type of Wedding You Want – Outdoor versus Indoor? Casual versus formal? Daytime versus nighttime? These may seem like big decisions, but chances are, you’ve already thought about your big day and what type of wedding you want.
  4. Decide Whether or Not You Want to Hire a Wedding Planner – Much of this decision will depend on your budget. For those completely unfamiliar with the wedding industry, a planner can help walk you through each and every decision. For those familiar with the industry who simply do not want the extra stress and hassle of handling all the details, a wedding planner can be a real life saver! Still, some brides choose to be in complete control of their days – as long as you have a great support system, this is certainly an option.
  5. Pick a Venue – Luckily, selecting the venue will make several decisions for you. Some venues require certain things such as using house wine or beer, using a house band or one from a pre-approved list, only offering certain time frames of day or requiring that a specific amount of food be ordered. All of these are things you need to discuss with every venue you consider, but make sure you keep in mind that dates fill up quickly, so don’t wait too long to finalize plans with your chosen location.
  6. Allow Your Vendors to Help – You are hiring professionals for a reason. While it is fine to want to be in control of one of the most important days of your life, it will be so much more enjoyable if you allow other people to help you – especially people who do this type of planning for a living. Need a few examples?
  • Can’t decide on what type of food to have? Ask the manager of your venue what he or she recommends. Ask friends and family what is most appropriate for the time of your wedding. If you can meet with the chef, ask him or her what types of foods would be memorable or even in keeping with your theme or the time of year.
  • Have no clue what songs to use for all those special dances? Ask your band or DJ what will be meaningful without being too trendy. They have likely heard the same songs over and over and would most likely jump at the chance to have some input.
  • Stuck on fashion choices for your wedding party? Visit several boutiques, and see what they recommend. If you can bring a bridesmaid or two along with you, have them try on several styles for you to consider. Chances are, the man or woman helping you narrow down your options for attire will give you an honest opinion about what would work best with all the other wedding details in mind.
  • Other questions about the reception? Let the manager or event planner at your venue take you through all the steps. That is what they are there for! Part of the fee you pay for your venue includes services like these, so take advantage of them. Professionals like these will help make your day memorable and will do whatever it takes to make sure you are satisfied!