Did you know that, on average, weddings now cost over $33,000?
If you’re spending the equivalent of a nice new car or a year of college tuition on a wedding celebration, you’ll likely want to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch!
The reception is often the most expensive part of the wedding and also has the most details. This wedding reception checklist will help you make sure everything gets done and the day runs smoothly.
1. Set a Budget and Expectations
Your budget will dictate most of your event decisions, so it’s important to do this first. There’s no sense in looking at wedding venues if you don’t know how much you have or want to spend.
You’ll also want to think about your expectations. Do you want an evening reception with a full meal? An earlier reception with cocktails and appetizers? A morning ceremony with a wedding brunch or lunch?
What you want will guide the shortlist of wedding venues you put together to visit.
2. Pick a Venue
Once you know what you want, start visiting potential locations. Many places will post prices online, so you can see determine ahead of time if it will fit into your budget. When you choose your venue, make sure you are clear on all of the details and the contract you will sign.
Know what is/isn’t included, when payments are due, what you can/can not do, and what services the venue provides.
3. Plan the Food and Drinks
Your venue or catering company will most likely provide you food and drink options within your budget range. Whether you’re doing heavy appetizers, a buffet, or a sit-down meal, you’ll have to select all of the different items you want to serve.
This is one of the most fun parts of wedding planning: you’ll get to taste all of the different foods you might serve! It’s also wise to ask your venue or caterer about options for vegetarians, vegans, or guests with allergies or other food intolerances.
Ask your guests to indicate any food restrictions when they RSVP so you can accommodate their needs.
4. Plan Decorations
The style of your venue will play a big role in your decor. If it’s a large, neutral space, you’ll have a lot more options (but work to do) for decorations. Think floral arrangement, uplighting, candles, and more.
One way to save money and double up on decor is to bring vases so that your bridal bouquet and bridesmaid bouquets can be displayed at the reception. Scour sites like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and wedding boards to find gently used decor to save yourself some money.
5. Work With a Coordinator
Your venue will most likely have a coordinator that you work with, but you might want to consider hiring a wedding coordinator who can help plan and coordinate the entire day.
He or she will make sure everything happens as planned, put out any fires, and take the stress of the event off of your plate.
A Wedding Reception Checklist for the Ultimate Type A Bride
Use this wedding reception checklist to make sure you’ve thought of all the big stuff when it comes to wedding planning. While things can, and most likely will still go wrong, if you do your best to plan ahead, you can minimize any issues!
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