My colleague Carina Castro is an creative and innovative wedding coordinator who helps brides in the New York/New Jersey are put together the celebration of their dreams. This is one of her recent articles that will help you make your reception an event to remember!
So, you’ve spent months and your entire life savings planning the wedding of your dreams. You’ve obsessed over every last detail to make sure your day is seamless. However, don’t forget to keep your guests and their needs in mind as well when planning your day. After all, you want them to enjoy themselves too, right?
Here are 7 tips to consider:
1. Be considerate of your guests’ schedules. If your wedding falls on a holiday weekend, summertime, or if you have out-of-town guests attending, send your save-the-dates early. This way your guests are notified before they begin making vacation plans and your out-of-town guests will have enough time to make their travel arrangements.
2. Provide direction with seating arrangements. Use escort cards (often confused with placecards, these assign your guests to a table) or a seating chart to avoid a high-school cafeteria style seating. This is a good idea even if your reception is less formal. You don’t want guests having a “where should I sit?” moment…or worse, your guests will end up sitting at a table where they don’t know anyone else.
3. Be mindful of your menu. Work with your caterer to offer alternative food options for vegetarians and guest with food restrictions. If you want to get adventuroud with your food choices, offer these during cocktail hour instead of the main meal.
4. Keep the drinks free and the bar stocked. You’re inviting people to be your guests; food and drinks should be paid for – by you, not them! Avoid having a cash bar at all costs. Also, make sure to have at least 1 bartender for every 50 guests to avoid long lines.
5. Get the party started. Keep in mind the different generations that will be attending your wedding. You may prefer to hear 90′s pop but you want your guests to have a good time as well. Work with your DJ so your playlist can include some musical genres your guests will enjoy.
6. Don’t keep them waiting. Avoid long pauses between your ceremony and reception, especially if it’s during mealtime. If your reception does not immediately follow the ceremony, consider having cocktails and hors d’oeuvres served in a space nearby. You can also provide light snacks. It’s a long day for everyone. Keep your guests fed and taken care of. Hungry guests are not happy guests!
7. Make them feel at home. Make arrangements for hotel room blocks for your out-of-town guests. Offer at least three nearby hotels in different price ranges, since not everyone will be able to stay at a 5-star hotel. Prepare guest bags (packed with bottled water, snacks, and information on nearby attractions, activities, restaurants) to make them feel welcome.
Event Planning Entrepreneur Carina Castro publishes the “Luxe Events” bi-weekly e-zine. Get your *FREE report “5 Biggest Mistakes Brides Make that Can Triple their Budget.”