Your wedding reception will most likely be a whirlwind event that is over before you know it. It will be filled with friends and family as well as food and dancing. Yes, this is a party to celebrate the ceremony the preceded and it is a time to celebrate you and your new spouse as a couple. Making sure you enjoy the reception is critical. Believe it or not, things can get overwhelming and chaotic if you don’t plan ahead and know going into your reception what you need to do in order to ensure that you enjoy it.
- Visit Each Table. If you don’t have a receiving line then you and your spouse must have a plan to visit each table. Typically the easiest time to do this is right after people are done eating. This will give you the opportunity to thank everyone for coming and make sure that you spoke with everyone. Take your photographer around with you so that he can get shots of you with your various guests. There will come a day when you forget who attended your wedding and photos are a great way to keep those memories alive.
- Family Pictures. Be sure to get pictures at the reception of all your family members. Sometimes relatives will get lost in the crowd and your photographer may not know who is related to you. This is especially critical if you have family members who won’t be out on the dance floor. Photographers tend to drift towards where the action is in order to capture the candid moments of your reception. If you have family who aren’t likely to be in the midst of the action, be sure to let you photographer know ahead of time.
- Take a quiet moment. There is a ton of action and traditional events that occur at wedding receptions. From the bouquet toss to the line dancing, the reception will be filled with activity. Be sure and take a few quiet moments with your new spouse to remember that you are now married and that the party is for the wonderful life you are beginning. Don’t let the reception go by and then remember that you haven’t even had a moment of piece just to gaze into each other’s eyes.
- Eat! Eat! Eat! This maybe one of the most critical items on this list. It is so important that you eat at your reception. Yes, you may have a lot of people to say hello to and yes, you may feel that you need to get the party started by being out on the dance floor, but none of that will be truly enjoyed unless you have a full stomach and a clear head. The stress of the day and the cocktails of the night will catch up to you quickly if you don’t take the time to eat. And let’s face it, you have paid good money for the food, so be sure and partake.
- Gift and Flower Plan. It is really important to have a gift and flower plan prior to the day of your wedding and reception. Have a designated person or persons who will be responsible for getting all your gifts either back to your house or to wherever you plan to open them. The flowers also need to be assigned to someone. These make great decorations for the morning after brunch or select a place that takes flower donations. Don’t leave this decision until the last few minutes of the reception and end the night by scrambling to find someone who has a vehicle large enough, knows where to go and is willing, possibly late at night, to deliver these items for you.