So many things go into the reception! Let me give you some ideas!
All About The
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One of my favorite parts of the wedding day is the reception! I love a good party and what a fantastic way to celebrate your first moments as husband and wife!
Kick it off
First thing that usually kicks off the reception is the grand entrance. The grand entrance follows cocktail hour and pictures.
The entire bridal party enters the room in style with a big entrance from the DJ. A lot of couples like to use this opportunity to have each set in the bridal party bust a move as they enter.
After the Grand Entrance
Here is a list of other events that can follow the grand entrance and occur through out the remainder of the reception.
First dance ( some take a direct transition from the grand entrance for the bride and groom to enjoy this first dance right off the bat) (a lot also choose to move from grand entrance right into dinner time and do the first dance after eating is over)
From the first dance there is typically and easy transition right to father daughter dance and mother son dance. Or some prefer to leave the parent dances for right after speeches
Prayer- A lot of couple chose to have someone pray over the meal prior to the start of eating and as kind of a transition into that event. They pray over the food and a blessing over the marriage.
Eating- I recommend making sure you eat first. Your day is so busy and people want to come and congratulate and chat you up. I recommend calling the bride and groom to dinner first then bridal party and then from there releasing each table. Chances are the guests are so hungry during this time they are hyper focused on waiting to be called to eat that you ( bride and groom) get a chance to eat in peace.
Meet and Greet-This one works well with a buffet line and if you aren’t eating first. Basically bride and groom stand near the buffet table and greet each guest as they enter the buffet line.
Welcome speech- this is a great opportunity for the bride and groom to thank everyone for coming. It can be sort and sweet and as simple as “We are so blessed by your presence and thank you for sharing this special day with us” boom guests thanked and they got to hear your voice.
Speeches- typical line up is father of the bride, father of the groom, maid of honor, best man. Maybe a sibling. This line up can be altered and is not strict by any means. Some people just chose to have maid of honor and best man speak. I recommend giving the speaker a time limit. No one typically wants a 25 minute speech ( parents are usually guilty of lengthy speeches). 2-3 minutes is probably a good length of time for speeches.
Shoe Game- Not a must have event but is super fun and really gains the guests interest.
If you are unfamiliar with this game here is a run down. Bride and groom sit back to back while the DJ asks questions. The bride will be holding one of her shoes and one of the grooms. The groom will be holding one of his shoes and one of the brides. The DJ will ask questions like “who is the best driver?” And the bride and groom hold up the shoe to who they think relates more to the question. This game sparks laughter for sure!
The party!- This is great to sprinkle throughout the night or have in one chunk. Definitely check with the DJ and make sure the music will resonate with your style and your guests. If you’re wanting a lot of dancing it is essential to be mindful of the music choices. A good example, if you are having a more country wedding and you want country dancing, be sure to communicate that with the DJ because that will ensure the vibe suites your day.
Cake cutting- This is a pretty traditional event! Let the people party and break it up to enjoy some yummy cake! It also gives you a chance to catch your breath and refuel for the continuation of the party.
Dollar Dance- This one is a fan favorite( it certainly was mine at my wedding) If you are unfamiliar, the dollar dance is an event where the bride and groom are invited to the dance floor as well as the maid of honor and best man. The guests then pay the maid of honor and best man for a chance to dance with the bride or groom( super great way to pad your wallet for your honeymoon!) If you chose to add this event to your day make it super easy for people to pay. Have Venmo, cash app, PayPal, Zelle, cash, whatever really ready for people to be able to pay! There could probably a scan tag created for the maid of honor and best man to have people just scan with their phone and open up the ways to pay- or if thats too much it can all be printed out on a piece of card stock.
Bouquet and garter toss. This one is pretty straight forward. However I do come with tips on this event. Have a secondary garter and a secondary bouquet. The secondary garter if the one you toss and not the one that you keep with the memories for the day. The secondary bouquet is a smaller version of your bouquet so you also keep your bouquet special and intact.
Last dance- This one can go many ways
Some chose the last dance to be just bride and groom for one final hoorah for their celebration or get everyone on the dance floor to really send off! This last part can totally be catered to your vision. You can get it to be a slow song or really something high energy to end the night.
Group picture- call all up to the dance floor and gather in really tight for a fun group shot!
Private dance- This is a sweet moment for the bride and groom when all guests have left the reception area to have a final dance together alone in the empty room. Very sweet time to reflect on what a special day you just had. If you are doing a fun send off this is a good time to have the coordinator ( or someone designated to handle this) get the guests in position and ready to go.
Other Fun for the Reception
Karaoke- Can be dangerous(ahhahaha) and can be fun
Desert bar- lots of different fun deserts to be enjoyed all night
Activities for kids( if having kids at the wedding)- coloring table is always a crowd favorite
Fun guest book to sign- This could be many things. Can be a book, a picture, Polaroids(this can get expensive for the film but what a treasure) bible, or something totally unique to you!
Find ways to celebrate in a manner that reflects you and your culture. There are no bounds with your wedding day and events can easily be catered to you!
All the things
I hope this list helps you find ways to personalize your reception and include the things that are truly important to you. As always, this is not an inclusive list and there is always a world of things you can add. By finding things that are important to you to include we will be able to build a timeline that ensures all aspects of your day are incorporated.