Choosing the Right Wedding Reception Venue
You may now kiss the bride!”
There is no doubt a wedding ceremony is unforgettable. But what happens after the service is over? The reception! Usually, the wedding planner, MC or venue manager is in charge of keeping things in order. For this reason, providing them with a wedding reception timeline is a must.
Intimate wedding reception ideas – it is about you two, everything else is less important.
Select the Right Size Wedding Venue
Bigger isn’t always better. While many envision weddings to be grand, over-the-top affairs, going with a scaled-down approach offers unique benefits and opportunities. Take advantage of all the perks that go along with a more intimate gathering with a few tips for how to have the wedding of your dreams without a Kardashian-sized guest list.
Here we are at the start of a new year and a new decade! It’s crazy for me to look back and think that we’ve been at this for well over ten years and I am still as passionate about wedding photography as day one, albeit with a lot more experience and confidence now! At the end of each year, I like to give you all a look behind the scenes!
Saying “I do” at Boutique events group is an elegant and luxurious affair.
Smaller Wedding Venues
A smaller wedding means less stress on you as the wedding host. Consider the bride with an extensive guest list who must spend a big part of her night going from table to table, attempting to make sure every last guest feels welcome and unique– and exhausting herself in the process.
A shorter guest list can take this stress off of you, promote a more intimate tone, and grant you the ability to spend quality time with those closest to you. The result is not just less stress, but better memories– for both you and your guests.
Consider the Seating Arrangements
Finalizing your seating arrangement usually comes toward the end of your wedding planning process. By the time the flowers have been ordered, and the down payments have been made on the cake, and the venue, the last of your guests, should have sent in their RSVPs. The tricky thing is that you and your groom will have to find time to sit down together and plan this out because of only the two of you – and your folks – know the personalities of the entire guest list.
Your wedding reception is one of the most significant parts of your wedding night, and it is what the guests are going to enjoy most. They are going to dance, mingle, eat good food, and take fun pictures.
I descend from a long line of “traditional” wedding receptions limited to three ingredients: dancing, eating, and drinking. Anything beyond that was considered too much flavor. “It’s a wedding, not a circus,” my mom would scold.
Bride & Groom Entry
This is the time for the couple to be introduced and celebrates being introduced. You should pick your favourite party song and strut your stuff!
So why not create a space just for the rug rats, complete with babysitter supervision, kid-friendly foods and play stations, all contained within an electric wire fence? (Just kidding about the last part—barbed wire will work just fine).
This is where the MC (DJ, wedding coordinator or family member) gathers all the guests and ushers them into the reception hall where the party will take place. Guests can also drop off their wedding gifts at the appropriate table.
The challenge with finding venues that suit a smaller wedding is making them seem full while hosting a lower number of guests. You can use creative ideas to expand your space with decor and arrangement.
Denise and Scott chose to have a small wedding and reception with their close lifelong friends and family members. It was the perfect reunion and celebration of love for these two lovebirds!
One specific way to use arranged table assignments, in addition to a regular table, is family style. This calls for larger meals at which your guests can sit beside whomever they want. This seating plan could very well suit a wedding going with a more rustic or charming feel.
After you have made your amazing grand entrance, all eyes are going to be on you, and it is a perfect time to go straight into your first dance as a married couple.
Remember those funny drawings you had made of yourself when you were a kid at Sea World? It turns out they’re still amusing. Hiring caricature artists to sketch your guests will give everyone a good laugh—plus, watching an artist draw is like watching a magic show. Just put up a disclaimer that sensitive guests should not apply.
Following their groomsmen and bridesmaids, the bride and groom enter the venue. (Usually, this involves a silly dance depending on the theme of the party.)
Along with vast spaces, many sites also offer unexpected accommodations that are perfect for more intimate celebrations. Consider areas that are often overlooked, like smaller ballrooms. The Lumber Exchange has an abundance of spaces for all wedding sizes
We loved being a part of Amanda and John’s wedding day! Not only are they genuinely kind and big-hearted people, but their family and friends are too!
Guests are seated. No food is served during this time, but the DJ is creating the perfect ambience for the bride and groom’s unforgettable entrance.
Like Sawyers on 5th, Dylan’s, and the River Room. Utilize design to make an ample space feel small by getting creative with seating and table layouts, or adding a lounge area. You can still be extravagant with your space for a small wedding, using spaces like the Fountain Room, a stunning, nine-story atrium filled with natural light and rustic grandeur.
One thing I loved about Amanda and John’s wedding was that she paid attention to the details. Just because you are having a destination wedding, doesn’t mean you can’t add your personal touches and make it unique. Amanda made sure their wedding day was exactly how they wanted it and added personal touches to her reception decor!
Negatives include the inconvenience of having to get in and out of the chair, as well as the restrictions your guests will have regarding who they can speak with. Because of the type of table, your guests will generally talk to those directly beside or across from them only.
Check out Boutique events group Wedding Venue for your ultimate wedding reception.
Venue Hire Time
We’ve included a five-hour reception timeline and answered seven typical reception and party questions to keep your unforgettable night running smoothly.
It’s fun to look at our outtakes, photobombs, and silly poses when we stand in for light checks. It’s also a glimpse into what you too can expect if you have us photograph your wedding, elopement, or portrait session.
A wedding planner won’t know that Aunt Sally loves her sister, Clara, but hates her brother-in-law, George, so you’d better seat Clara in the middle. Or that your friend Sharon was dating Ron when you sent the invitations six weeks ago, but they broke up and now Ron has a new girlfriend so Sharon You see what we mean.
But for the couple, the wedding reception can be a bit scary, because they want it to run entirely correctly and smoothly. That is where coming a set timeline comes into pace! To help you out, we have prepared a sample wedding reception timeline and some other helpful tips to get the party started.
Thankfully, weddings have evolved. Yes, they’re still about the sacred union of a couple, but they’re also about showing guests a perfect time. Today, a good time is more than a hayride or an organized line dance to the “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” or “Cha Cha Slide” (kill me now). Here are five fresh ideas to keep your guests from ducking out early, or snoozing in the corner with Aunt Edna (who was exhausted by the Electric Slide).
During this time, the couple is usually taking their wedding pictures in a remote location. The wedding party, parents and close family members are included in the photos as well.
We’re going to make sure your dress looks perfect, that your flowers are just right, that your family photos are done quickly and efficiently, and inevitably, we’re going to get in each other’s shot from time to time!
So just how do you go about figuring out who sits where at your wedding? Let’s start with some basics to get you started.
Use the time when your guests are mingling with each other after the ceremony to take some good, formal family photos. The bride and groom are usually not able to attend the cocktail hour, but it’s an excellent time for your guests to relax and enjoy some drinks before they go into the main reception.
Give your friends a chance to give back. Place cards on tabletops asking for marriage advice or answers to playful prompts like, “What should we name our first child?”, “What was your first impression of my spouse?” or “Share your best memory from today.” Enjoy these as a couple after the wedding, or wait until your first anniversary.
Cocktail Hour at Your Wedding Reception Venue
Your guests are slowly exiting the ceremony and moving their way to the venue or reception location. The cocktail hour is a great time to have your guests mingle, eat some hours d’ oeuvres and wind down before the party gets started.
Another factor that will lessen your big day stresses that a more intimate wedding reception means a more manageable, flexible budget. This, in turn, will allow you to infuse your big day with more attention to detail and more customizable experience for you and your guests.
To all our 2020 couples, thank you for trusting us to capture your wedding day! It means the world to us, and we have been honoured to be a part of it. We wish you nothing but love + happiness in your marriage.
The first thing to decide is whether you want to assign tables simply, or if you want to assign specific seats to your guests at particular meals. Assigning schedules means less work for you and usually doesn’t require the creation of individual place cards. It also means that your guests will have the opportunity to choose who they sit beside.
Your wedding coordinator and DJ are going to get all of your guests rounded up and seated in the reception hall. So that they are ready for the party to start. They will help your guests find their seats if that is necessary, and all of the special announcements are going to be given during this time.
Does Your Wedding Venue Allow for Children?
When you’re a kid, there’s nothing more awful than going to an “adult party” where people stand around talking and drinking. And when you’re an adult, there’s nothing more annoying than kids playing tag on the dancefloor or using the tandoori chicken skewers as swords.
The bride and groom are arriving from their photo session and preparing to enter the venue as newlyweds. If the wedding party plans to enter the hall along with the bride and groom, they should be lining up at this time as well.
Are you a fan of surprises? If you’ve always wanted the dramatic reveal of a surprise wedding, having a limited, more manageable guest list will allow you to pull it off, making your big day feel both romantic and spontaneous.
Consider the Weather
Due to some rain showers and wind earlier in the day, they opted for an indoor ceremony, but we were lucky to be able to sneak outside for a few minutes to do bride and groom portraits before the rain came down again that day!
On the other hand, assigning specific seats will ensure that the VIPs of your day will get special treatment and a view fit for VIPs. Also, if a plated meal is being served, and you’ve offered a choice of two entrees, arranged seats will make it much easier for your servers to provide your guests with the correct dish.
Make Sure You Eat on Your Wedding Day
Make sure you grab some food and enjoy the wedding meal you selected! If you want and feel like it, you can also make rounds and greet your guests before your return to your table for the toasts.
Playtime isn’t just for kids; everyone enjoys a spirited game of bocce ball, croquet or cornhole. You can treat your guests to a hula hoop contest and ring toss, as well. There’s a lot of opportunity for personalization here: “Mr. & Mrs.” cornhole boards and hand-painted croquet mallets and balls. These also make for a great wedding keepsake.
After the grand entrance, the couple is now the centre of attention! Here, they will dance their first dance as husband and wife. Some couples choose to also include the mother and father of the bride and groom dances immediately after their first dance so that timing can vary.
Hosting a smaller wedding will allow you to skip what isn’t essential to you, and opt for activities that everyone will enjoy. You can easily remove some of the additional activities that large weddings include from your budget as you will be spending much more one-on-one time with each guest.
Destination weddings can still have all the elements of a traditional wedding, plus they give your friends and family a great getaway weekend! It’s a win-win for everyone 🙂
There’s also the option of a completely open seating plan in which you allow your guests to freely choose not only which tables they sit at, but also who they sit beside. The upside here is that there is little if any effort on your end. The downside is that the first half-hour of your reception can become chaotic, and some awkwardness may ensue.
Let Boutique events group Wedding Venue help you create the most magical day of your life.
While your quests are finishing up their meal, you should have all the toasts. A good rule of thumb is to with the Best Man and Maid of Honor toasts, and anyone else you have asked to toast can come after them.
As an artist, my husband chooses restaurants based on if they have paper-covered tables on which he can doodle. Give your guests a place to create, too. Tabletops and blank canvases prevent idle hands. Invite the right people (i.e. artists), and you could walk away with beautiful originals for your walls.
Now that the wedding party has arrived, all guests should remain in their seats for upcoming speeches.
This will enable you to splurge on things that might not otherwise be an option, such as a more extravagant dinner option, live music throughout the night, or a pristine photographer. With a smaller group, you can genuinely personalize every aspect of your wedding day.
After the getting-ready, Amanda and John chose to do a first look before their ceremony. Amanda also had a first look with her dad, which was super special and sweet too!
Traditionally, a head table is set up. It’s long and straight with the bride and groom seated in the middle, flanked by the rest of their wedding party. If your wedding reception is relatively small, you can sit the spouses or dates of your attendants beside them.
This is the part that the quests like the most. You should start the dancing session with an upbeat song that will get everyone in the room moving. Add some slow jams in between bursts of high energy songs.
We hope you picked up a fun idea or two for a wedding reception that breaks the mould. Remember, when you book any of our vacation rentals for your Savannah wedding, we’ll give you a unique coupon code (that means it’s a wedding invite friendly) that gets your bridal party 5% off their booking. Mention this deal when you contact us, and we’ll set everything up!
The bride and groom are seated at the head table.
Father of the Bride or Groom: Usually the father of the bride gives a welcoming speech thanking everyone for attending. However, some couples prefer to do this themselves.
There’s also often a “table of honor” for the parents, grandparents, any siblings not in the wedding party, and the wedding officiant and his or her possible spouse or guest.
The cake cutting ceremony is going to let your guests know that the party is coming to an end, and it should be done about an hour before the end of the reception. After the bride and groom cut their pieces of cake, DJ should lay some slow songs while your guests enjoy their dessert.