How to organize your wedding reception: our step-by-step advice to prepare this event serenely.
You can make the choice of getting married in three minutes time in Las Vegas. Very easy, you will only need your alliances. Or to get married in a small committee abroad: romantic in Venice, symbolic in London if this is the place of your meeting, fun in New York if you are both fans of Woody Allen and Brooklyn Bridge.
If you opt for traditional wedding, this is the occasion for a beautiful party with family and friends. Obviously, this kind of reception is not improvised. You will have to take it very early and keep your cool because, it is inevitable, some annoyances will be on your way.
At least one year before marriage
Depending on your budget, think with your fiance about the type of wedding you really want. It’s time to follow your deep wishes and not let yourself be influenced. It is up to you to kindly explain to your parents that you are immensely grateful to them if they are determined to help you financially and logistically, that you will not shock anyone but that this marriage is yours and that you want to choose the modalities .
For the reception hall, if you go well in advance, you will be spoiled for choice: castle, restaurant, boat, everything is possible.
Have you found the place of your dreams? So ask yourself the right questions: is the caterer taxed? Is there a professional kitchen? Until what time can we reserve the place? (…) Nothing should be neglected.
Maybe you have the chance to have a family property and, for practical and sentimental reasons, this is where you want to get married.
Establishing the guest list is a delicate phase. You will have to respect a clever balance, to forget no one but knowing how to set reasonable limits. Decide in advance with your parents the number of people you want to invite (to twenty guests near) and stick to it. Make concessions if necessary, your parents will do the same and the drama will be avoided!
The wedding list
Please avoid the coarse wedding list in which less than 500 euros you find only a ridiculous butter knife! Even if you know that your guests are not to be pitied, for form choose gifts at all prices, it’s the least of the elegant ones. It is essential to thank all those who gave you gifts. To do this, immediately write a note to them.
If you have already been invited to many weddings, you must have your little idea on the subject. This is the best technique to find the best. Attention: the quality of the food is essential but it is also necessary that the service is up to the challenge.
In any case, all the caterers will make you taste their dishes so that you compose the menu yourself. Still depending on your budget, you will decide whether a cocktail reception is sufficient or if you prefer a sit-down dinner. Anyway, when the guests arrive, you will have to serve champagne and petits fours before going to the meal itself.
If the caterer has been imposed on you by the room, be vigilant and, once again, test the dishes that are proposed to you as well as the wine and the champagne. No one should have migraine the day after your wedding, or one could keep a bad memory of your big day!
Three months before
The caterer can take care of it, but distrust. If you’re more or less familiar with the ambiance you’re looking for, you can take care of the decoration yourself and ask your family or friends for ideas. Determine in priority a color that will be the dominant tone of the tablecloths, bouquets, centerpieces and candles. For a sit-down dinner, if possible, choose round tables that are more friendly to chat or get to know each other. On each plate or in the middle of the table, arrange a menu that you have attended the presentation with on the front page your names, date and place of marriage. Guests can store it as a souvenir. Think of the lights: even if your friends have to see what they are enjoying, try to give the room a subdued charm.
One month before
Table plans and speeches
The tabletop is a puzzle for the least intimate dinner.
Imagine what it can be for a sit-down meal of 250 people! With a little organization you will manage without too much trouble. Take a large sheet and draw the number of tables. You will try to mix families but not to compose tables exclusively of people unknown to each other. The idea is to encourage encounters but also that everyone is happy to find a parent that he does not see often … Try to avoid fugitives and to please. If your cousin has made you understand that your future sister-in-law does not leave him indifferent, it’s time to put them side by side.
Once you have achieved this feat, make a list for each of the tables (all must be numbered or named) and place it at the entrance of the room so that everyone can quickly sit in the right place. The only table easy to organize is yours: you will place your witnesses and your best friends – be careful not to upset anybody! (…) You will not spend much time at the table, but will go among the guests. Everyone will want to say a word to you and, on your side, you will check that everything is going well. Do not just joke with your close friends but spend some time with your grandparents and cousins that you do not see often. And above all, smile, you will be even more beautiful !!!
If you have opted for a dancing evening after dinner, do not forget the elderly people who probably prefer to chat. Find a location away from the dance floor where chairs and chairs and refreshments will be installed.
You obviously agreed with the disc jockey. To be sure to make everyone dance, do not choose electronic music that will appeal only to the younger generation. Opt for the disco or some French variety of the seventies or eighty: nothing like to make everyone want to join the track. But the first waltz will be for the bride and her father. If you are afraid of being ridiculous, train with your dear sire or, why not, take some lessons. This obsolete wink will charm all your guests.
Before the end of the evening, when everyone is partying, you have sent your bouquet to the crowd, take a moment to contemplate the show: be proud of yourself, you have succeeded in your bet, Soul in peace. With your outstanding organization, your wedding was truly the best day of your life.
Remember to book babysitters to look after the children, especially if there are secluded rooms in your wedding venue. The parents will thank you for enjoying the festivities even late at night. Do not forget to hire a photographer to immortalize this great day and give him your instructions. If you want to avoid these too classical photos where the newlyweds take poses a frozen nothing under a tree in bloom, do not hesitate to ask him original images, moving, type reportage.