The Reception was the Best Part
If you’re getting married, and have a million things on your mind to make the day perfect, the last thing you want to worry about is what the guests are doing. But guests are the ones who will make your wedding day special. You invite them to witness the occasion, to remember the day with in years to come, and most of all, to enjoy the party.
The best thing about a wedding, from most guests’ point of view, is the reception. The ceremony is all well and good; after all, it’s the point of having a wedding in the first place. But the reception, with food, drink, perhaps dancing, probably joking, and lots of laughter and pictures to remember it by, will be the highlight of the day.
From choosing a venue and caterer, to hitting the milestones of toasts, gifts, congratulations and cake cutting, a great reception is the way to go for the majority of newlyweds and their friends. The best receptions reflect the newly married couples’ personalities and preferences, involve a key group of people in an organized way so that the bride and groom can spend the time enjoying themselves and their guests’ company, yet leave everyone feeling happy about their contribution to such a special occasion.
Most brides and grooms are far too busy as the wedding approaches to actually plan and coordinate the details of the reception. Traditionally, the primary party planning and organizing fell to the mother of the bride and/or groom, and the maid/matron of honor and the best man.
Times being what they are, the four individuals who traditionally planned the reception may or may not be up to the job. They may barely know one another, or live in cities far from the wedding and reception location. They may not be that organized themselves, in spite of the traditional roles they are asked to play in the wedding party. The budget for the party may be a proverbial shoestring, after the dress and tuxes are selected, the room is rented, and the rings are bought.
Whatever the reason, there are many things you can do in advance to make sure your special day is still special after the last toast has been raised and the last guest has departed.
Remind yourself constantly to dream your dreams, but be realistic. Do this every day and several times a day, if you have to. There’s no reason to overextend yourself and your family, plus your entire circle of friends, chasing an ideal that will not make your wedding one bit more meaningful or memorable. You want to remember your wedding day for all the right reasons!
As the song says, “Fairy tales do come true, they can happen to you, if you’re young at heart….” Keep it simple, and keep it manageable. Make sure that your vision of the perfect wedding matches up, essentially, to what is feasible given your resources and the time allowed for planning. If your ideal reception takes place on a cruise ship or in a country club, but your friends and your budget are better suited to a picnic in the park (bearing in mind that an elegant picnic in Central Park is very different from an organized potluck in your neighborhood), then go with what is realistic! There is nothing so disappointing as to find out too late that the ideal cannot be met, and there is no time to make other plans.
Wedding guests are usually very forgiving. The main things are to make people comfortable and to set them at ease. There are reception mainstays, such as the cake cutting, but aside from that, it’s all about what makes the bride and groom a great couple.
Don’t forget that no one can control the weather. If your heart is set on an outdoor wedding but the day turns soggy, then at the very least have a contingency plan for the reception so you don’t spend the whole day dripping wet or slogging through mud. That’s a good way to lose most of your friends in a hurry.
The same goes for wind, cold, too much sun or humidity, and uninvited guests such as mosquitoes, ants or bees. You’d be surprised at how many couples try to completely ignore Mother Nature, only to find that it can’t be done.
By Kathy L.