It goes without saying that the most important part of your wedding day is the ceremony as it is what joins you with your future husband in the presence of your friends and family. Your reception is the time for everyone to just relax, have a good time and celebrate the beginning of your new life together. Because many receptions are similar in terms of food, music, the order of things etc., it is easy for it to fall down on the list of priorities in terms of planning. However, here are some interesting things to think about…
Sometimes, brides toy with the idea of changing outfits for the reception for a variety of reasons and, of course, the decision is an individual one and completely up to you. If your gown is heavy or cumbersome, you may be more comfortable in something that is lighter and easier to move and dance in. However, a second ensemble is obviously an additional expense and your wedding day is the one time in your life that you will wear your dress. Also, photos will be taken of you and your new husband at the reception and you have to consider, for example, whether you want the tangible memories of your first dance to be of you wearing something other than what you were married in. Also, most brides take photos after the ceremony which leaves the guests waiting for a period of time and you should consider that changing clothes and reworking your look will add to that.
Wedding toasts are typically done after the first course has been served, usually beginning with the best man followed by the maid of honor and then the parents as well as anyone else you choose. Speeches should be both funny and sincere yet they should not include information that your other guests will not understand references to nor should they be too long as, in conjunctions with the others, guests can sometimes lose interest. Keep in mind that you may choose not to have a sit-down dinner at your reception and just hors d’oeuvres instead in which case, toasts are usually done during the rehearsal dinner.
While music should be a personal preference based on your likes and that of your husband, food is an element of the reception that the guests should be factored in to as, on average, receptions last approximately four hours including the cocktail hour (if you choose to have one), first dance, meal, toasts and cake cutting so overall, ceremony and downtime in between included, your wedding will be about six hours. That timeframe will be extended if your wedding and ceremony are in different locations and, most likely, people will get hungry. While meat is the focus of most wedding courses, it is always nice to have vegetarian options as some of your guests or guests of your invitees may not eat meat and it’s possible that others may prefer something lighter at the moment. It is important that there are things that everyone can eat and/or finds appealing as you don’t want anyone to go hungry.
Additionally, something to remember is that the number of wedding guests does have an effect on the cost of the reception as it goes without saying that the cost increases with each person regardless of whether you just have appetizers or a sit-down meal or buffet. That is certainly not to insinuate that you should limit who you invite due to the cost of food but it is a factor to consider as typically, people are not invited to the ceremony and eliminated from the festivities afterwards. For some brides, in fact, the type of reception is determined by the number of guests and allowance in the budget and for others, the number of guests is a deciding factor in how many people are invited depending on the importance of the after party on the list of priorities.
Receptions signify a celebration in honor of your union with your fiancé but, because they are one of the few elements of your wedding that can easily be planned in accordance to an age-old schedule does not mean that they should lack in attention or consideration. After all, there are many elements that go into receptions that can and should be individualized based on your budget, who you invite as well as personal preferences and you don’t ever want to look back on your big day and wish you had given more time and consideration to any aspect or that you had done anything differently.