If you are currently planning your special day, and are looking for wedding reception ideas to help everything run smoothly, check out my eight step plan to achieve the PERFECT wedding reception!
Variety is the spice of life. That’s certainly the case when it comes to drinks! Having a selection of drinks available rather than just a glass of fizz will be a welcome addition for your guests. Not everyone is a fan of Champagne or Prosecco. Things like a bottle of beer for the guys, maybe a glass of Pimms, or Mulled wine (well, in winter…) in addition to the bubbles go down well for your guests!
Your guests have probably been up since the crack of dawn, getting themselves ready, travelling to the venue, sitting through the ceremony – by the time it gets to 2pm, they are bound to be getting a bit peckish. It’s nice to have some form of nibbles just to get them through it! You don’t need a running buffet or anything like that, just a few trays with some dainty canapés would be perfect. Don’t over-do it though, you don’t want them filling up on mini Yorkshire Puds with roast beef and Horseradish!
Getting the music right at this point in the day is vital, but getting the balance right is really important. You want to make sure that the music is background, that way your guests can have a chat and a catch up. Acoustic artists (Steven Heath Music is PERFECT for this kind of thing) or harpists are are really well suited to adding a bit of music at this chilled out time of day.
Two hours is a long time during a wedding. Maybe not for you so much, but for your guests, it’s just a massive waiting game. They are waiting for you to come back from your photos, and they are waiting for the wedding breakfast. The conversation dries up quickly for them. That’s why entertainment is vital at this point. A close up magician is the perfect ice breaker for your guests, getting the conversation flowing again and getting some excitement and fun back into the room. It’ll help to kill that dead time for your guests, and they will thank you for it.
Typically, most of your photos will happen during the reception. It’s good to get those big important shots out of the way early in the day before Uncle Albert has a few too many pints of Old Peculiar! It’s super exciting at this point in the day when you are just married, and your got that amazing excited smile on your face. You will be away from your guests for quite a while at this point, which is why entertainment (like a wedding magician!) is vital at this point. Your guests are very much playing the waiting game at this point so the entertainment will be welcome. It also means that you can enjoy your photos at your own pace. It’s your day, so make sure you enjoy it!
6. Second Shooter
More often than not nowadays, photographers work as a duo at weddings. The simple reason is so they don’t miss out on any of the action! During the reception, the first shooter (the main photographer) will be with you getting your important formal shots, but the second shooter will be drifting round your guests getting the candid shots. That way, you have great memories of your guests in the album, from the times of day that they were most involved in. It’s worth speaking to your photographer about a second shooter as part of your day. It doesn’t usually cost much more, but certainly increases the amount of material available to work with to create your perfect photo album!
7. Table Plans.
Make sure the table plan is available right from the start! Really, it’s important. There’s nothing worse for your guests than the table plan being revealed 5 minutes before being seated. It’ll cause unnecessary chaos in the venue. Remember, there is usually two hours before they sit down, so that means there should be two hours for them to work out where they are sat at their own pace!
8. Get Involved.
You are bound to want to make sure you get the pictures absolutely perfect, but don’t forget to get involved too! Your guests will be really excited to see you and congratulate them, and you will want to enjoy all the good wishes and love from your guests. Speak with your photographer before the big day, and plan time to mingle. A good photographer would allow 20 or 30 minutes for you to catch up with your guests before starting the formal shots. You can always come back and do a few more shots after the wedding breakfast, and there will be that opportunity for those awesome ‘Golden Hour’ photos too!
Thanks so much for reading. I hope you found this really helpful as part of your wedding planning journey, you got some wedding reception ideas, and it gave you something to focus your mind to. If you need help to keep your guests entertained during the drinks reception, and only the very best will do, make sure you get in touch now!