We often think of wedding receptions as daunting and expensive affairs, but that really doesn’t have to be the case. With a little forethought and creativity, you can come up with wedding reception ideas that will leave a lasting impression on your guests without pulling your hair out or breaking the bank. So how do you begin planning your dream wedding?
The first rule to keep in mind is this: Wedding receptions are all about the happy couple! Sure, you’ll get plenty of wedding reception ideas from your family and friends, but remember that it’s your day. You don’t have to cater to what anyone else wants or expects. This can be a challenge if you’re a people-pleaser, but everyone should understand that you’re under a lot of stress and cannot use all of their thoughtful ideas. As long as you’re having fun, they will have fun.
VENUES AND DECOR FOR WEDDING RECEPTIONS
As far as wedding venues go, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Sure, hotel ballrooms and banquet halls are nice and there’s nothing wrong with a traditional venue, but they can be extremely rigid as well as expensive. There are a wide array of other types wedding venues available. How about the local zoo or museum? Many of them offer great wedding packages. This can be a great option because they can also take care of selecting a caterer, DJ, and baker for you. Although the most cost effective way is to hire your own wedding staff.
If you’re on a tighter budget, think about renting a shelter at a local park for an inexpensive but lovely outdoor reception. I recently attended this type of wedding and it was lovely. The couple had an outdoor reception with plenty of sun and plenty of opportunities to make it their own. I will caution you that although this option is more budget friendly, a plan “B” has to be in place in case of inclement weather and that can be quite frustrating.
Once you’ve chosen one of the available wedding venues, you’re going to need to think about decorating. Websites like Pinterest can be a great source for wedding reception decoration ideas. Try to pick something that suits your interests and reflects your personality. Some things to keep in mind as you assemble your wedding reception decoration ideas are: What’s your budget? What’s the size of the venue? Are you using a wedding Theme?What are your colors? Think about wedding receptions you’ve attended that have stood out as memorable. What made them special? For example, at another recent wedding we attended, they used dinosaur toys as cake toppers. Just a cute whimsical idea that reflected their personalities. All the guests commented that it was a great little touch, and they’ll always remember when they think of that wedding reception.
One last little touch to think about are your wedding centerpieces. Despite the name, this is not always a central detail on most couples’ minds. Your wedding centerpieces will set the tone for your reception. Do you want something traditional or unusual? Simple or elaborate? If you’re a crafty person who enjoys DIY projects, your centerpieces will be a great opportunity to shine. For one of the weddings I planned, the bride spent months painting recycled wine bottles with their wedding colors, and on the big day, they placed three or four on each table filled with assorted seasonal flowers. This made a lovely centerpiece that was both personal and inexpensive.
PLANNING YOUR RECEPTION
All too often, one partner takes over the wedding reception planning, so if you’re starting to take on too much, don’t hesitate to ask your partner for their wedding reception ideas. And on the flip side, if you see that your partner is starting to make all the planning decisions, be sure to offer your own. Your partner will likely find the planning stressful, so if you step up to offer your own wedding reception decoration ideas, or suggested venues or wedding centerpieces, it will not only allow you to express yourself but will also take a load off your partner.
Focus on making the reception what you want it to be. Stick with your budget, be receptive to your partner, and pick a venue and decor that speaks to you. The best wedding receptions are the ones that reflect your personality, not the ones that fall into a cookie-cutter design.