Hooray! The ceremony is over, you’re married, like actually MARRIED (congratulations!) and it’s time for the bit your wedding guests have been looking forward to the most. The reception. Now’s the time to get your entertaining heads on and keep those lovely guests happy. Read on for the wedding reception details we think are essential for ensuring your friends and family have the BEST time.
Keep speeches snappy
Speeches can be the absolute highlight of a wedding and we’re by no means suggesting you cut anyone short. But we’ve all been to those weddings where speeches just seem to go on for hours. Keep them short and snappy and your guests will be happy.
Splash out on an open bar
It’s pricey, yes. But if you’re going to spend a chunk of budget anywhere, we highly recommend putting it behind the bar. Your friends and family will love not having to worry about drinks costs and they will also love you for being so generous.
Give favours people will use
Favours seem to (ironically) be falling out of favour with modern couples, as they have a tendency to be ignored and create waste. Let’s face it, sugared almonds in organza bags probably aren’t going to be treasured. But if you’re super thoughtful, you can provide your wedding guests with a sweet gift that will be loved and used. Our recent faves include little seed packets so your guests can grow their own flowers in memory of the lovely day they had at your wedding. Or these personalised enamel mugs – who in their right mind would leave one of these behind?!
Don’t let them get hungry
Nobody wants a bunch of hangry guests at their reception. Weddings include some inevitable standing around, which coupled with early starts and a few bubbles can equal some very hungry tummies. Keep them full with pre-dinner snacks and midnight feasts and your guests will be very grateful. In London? Let your guests graze from delicious, beautiful spreads by the marvellous Bord Food.
Have a plan for the kids
If you’re inviting kids to your wedding, it’s a really good idea to have some plans in place to keep them entertained. If you just do one thing, put together some activity packs for their table places, filled with colouring pencils and books, bubbles and other fun things. And see this post about kids entertainment for lots more ideas.
Think about the seating plan
Make the most of your seating plan and your wedding guests will be forever grateful. You might be tempted to introduce friends to other people you think they’ll get along with or even do a bit of matchmaking. But trust us, your uni friends just want to catch up and your family want to see each other. Don’t force anything and they’ll all have way more fun.
Give them somewhere comfy to sit
Not everyone will be on the dance floor all night. If they are, we salute them. But some of your guests will appreciate a cosy area where they can enjoy a chat and a drink. Cushions and blankets go a long way.
Stock the loos with supplies
Create a little bathroom essentials kit for the toilets at your venues. If any of your guests need anything, like a plaster for a blister (new shoes + dancing = ouch), sanitary products, some extra hair grips or deodorant, they won’t be caught out. It’s little touches like this that your wedding guests will remember.
Throw in a bit of surprise entertainment
The best fun is had when no one’s expecting it. Welcome your friends and family with a surprise Mariachi band, hire a mini petting zoo for the kids, have your drinks served by stilt walkers. Something a little bit out of the ordinary will be really memorable and provide some laughs/amazement/joy!
Play some hits
Yes, by all means ask your DJ to play all your favourite songs. But it’s a good idea to include a few wedding classics or pop hits to get everyone dancing. You can even ask guests for song suggestions when they RSVP to your invite – that way they’ll feel really involved. Watch them flock to the dance floor when they hear their song.