5 Reception Planning Tips For Brides

FAQ, Tips, Info, Miscellaneous, Weddings

November 9, 2017

I receive alot of questions both from brides and photographers each week and one question I get asked alot by brides is regarding the reception. Brides often want to know if I have any tips for their reception planning and execution… So I’m sharing 5 quick tips on the blog today! :-D

Take your guests into consideration when planning your reception timeline. If you’ll be taking portraits after the ceremony, I recommend having some sort of cocktail hour for them to enjoy if you don’t plan on having dinner until you and your groom enter. If you have elderly guests who may not be staying until the very end, make sure you schedule the cake cutting earlier in the evening (soon after dinner starts or finishes is a great time for that!) so that they can be a part of it. Your sweet grandmother will love seeing this sweet tradition! ;-)

Keep it moving! Chat with your coordinator about how you can plan your reception in a way to keep guests engaged and moving all night! Try to avoid long periods of down time in between each event (dances, toasts, cake cutting, open dance floor) so that your guests stay entertained.

Consider planning a styled departure. Depending on how many hours of coverage you booked your photographer for, chances are that you want them to arrive earlier in the day to capture all of your pretty bridal details and final getting ready moments. But if you don’t have enough coverage time left over for your photographer to stay until your formal exit at the end of your reception, that’s okay! Photographers, including us, often have options to still be able to capture plenty of open dance floor photos as well as those reception departure photos. A Styled Departure is a great option that we use regularly! Ask your photographer what your options are!

Don’t get too caught up in the formalities or in the details. Yes, details are pretty and fun to plan, but they can steal the joy of the day if you get too caught up in them! Create a vision and work towards executing that vision, but rest in the fact that even if some things need to be adjusted, your wedding will still be beautiful and you’ll still be marrying the love of your life! Keep that focus and you’ll have THE most incredible wedding day!

Make it your own! If you want to have a special dance with your grandparents, do it! If you don’t want to do a formal cake cutting, that’s fine! Make your reception a reflection of who you are and don’t feel tied to traditions if they don’t match your style!

If you have any extra tips you want to add, leave a comment below! I know that brides would love to hear your tips as well! :-D

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destination wedding photographer, boutique photo editor, and coach to photographers

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