The party is here!! Receptions can be a blast! However, it’s important to make sure that you have your event well thought out. This is the job of your wedding planner/coordinator and your DJ/Band. Your caterer will also play a big role in the design and setup of your event. Every aspect of your reception affects the overall outline of the evening. For example, if you’re not having a plated meal, your reception will need to be set up in a way that allows movement. Guests will need to be able to find the food stations easily, and there will be a mixture of dinner tables and hightop cocktail tables. This will encourage guests to mix and mingle. If you are having a plated dinner, you will more than likely need escort cards, full place settings, and space for all of your guests to be seated comfortably. Whatever the style of your event, make sure that you plan out all of the aspects of the evening. Your coordinator and DJ can help you set up the evening so that guests won’t leave early or experience long periods of waiting for the next thing to happen.
Much like the ceremony, you have the freedom to make your reception your own! It’s your party, it should be exactly how you want it to be! Here is a list of some key events that happen often at receptions:
The fun has begun! It’s time to relax, dance, and celebrate!! Your reception should be a BLAST! The last thing you need to be worrying about is your timeline. Your coordinator and DJ should take care of making sure that everything stays on schedule so that you can enjoy your night. Here are some helpful tips that will help your reception flow smoothly.
Take your guests into consideration when planning your timeline. If you have a lot of elderly guests that will not be staying until the very end, make sure you schedule the cake-cutting at a relatively early time so that they can be a part of it. Grandma love seeing this sweet tradition!
Chat with your coordinator about how you can plan your reception in a way that will keep guests engaged and moving all night!
If you want to have a special dance with your grandparents, do it! Make your reception a reflection of who you are and don’t feel tied to traditions. Also, make sure you give your DJ or Band a “Do Not Play” list if there are some songs you really don’t want to hear during your reception!
In the formalities and the details. Sure, details are pretty and fun to photograph, but they can steal the joy of the day if you get too caught up in them. (Just speaking from experience here) Plan your centerpieces, welcome table, etc. well before the wedding date, and teach your coordinator or family friend how to set them up so that you aren’t even thinking about those things the day of!
If you haven’t purchased enough coverage time for your photography to last until the exit, that’s ok! We have several options! I recommend planning your timeline so that you can have at least one hour of dancing photographed. The guests who dance during the first hour will still be dancing in the third hour! One hour of dancing will be enough time to really capture the joy of your reception!
Exits! If your coverage ends before your exit, you have the option of planning a faux exit with your bridal party! This is more common than you may think. Instead of saving your exit until the very end, you can plan a faux exit with just the members of your bridal party and a few family members! This allows us to have more control over these shots and the party NEVER has to stop! In most cases, no one even notices that the bride and groom are missing for a few minutes! Also, it’s almost impossible to tell that the whole wedding party isn’t there waving sparklers and sending off the happy couple! This idea allows my couples to save money and still have all of the shots that they dreamed of!
Your Boise based Wedding and Senior Photographer with BIG dreams! At the age of 23 I invested in my very first "pink-Sony" digital camera. Little did I know, that camera would ignite a passion for capturing the most precious seasons of life! If you're reading this, you've made it to the part of my online home where I show off TRP senior's and couples in their special seasons of life, as well as share helpful tips and resources to ensure you are well prepared for your special day!
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Tina Ricketts is a Wedding & Senior Portrait Photographer serving Boise, ID and Worldwide
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