The reception comes with its own tricky balancing act though, with timings to consider, figuring out how much food and drink will be needed to last the duration and how to squeeze in those family and group photos without missing out on all the fun!
Clare, one of the event planners at Huntsham Court, has put together her essential tips and advice to help make sure your reception goes without a hitch.
The wedding reception is the time between the end of the ceremony and just as your guests finally sit down to enjoy the wedding breakfast.
But how long should this last?
Getting that balance right is vital – you need to give your guests enough time to embrace long lost friends, catch up with family and allow yourselves enough time to have those all-important wedding photos taken. You don’t want this time to be rushed, but you also want to avoid dragging it out and leaving your guests feeling frustrated.
Ahead of the big day itself, make sure you have discussed the photos in detail with your photographer so you don’t waste precious time deciding what, where and who is in each shot. You don’t want your guests hanging around for hours while you take yet another series of photos and more importantly, you need time for a glass or two of fizz yourselves and a moment to catch up with friends and family before you all take your seats.
Have plenty and spare
Make sure you have plenty to drink and enough canapés for the reception so guests are happy and relaxed, with plenty to sip and snack on. Your caterers will need to know your thoughts on quantities for canapés and how much you anticipate your hungry guests will need. You’ll want enough to tide your guests over till the wedding breakfast, without filling them up before the main event. A good way to create a steady flow of nibbles is to ask your caterers to stagger the platters of canapés throughout the reception.
The same applies when it comes to drinks during the reception. On most occasions, your caterers will be more than happy to serve trays of fizz during the reception and top up glasses throughout, but if you want to stretch out the drinks on offer without splashing out on more champagne, why not look to alternatives such as icy buckets of beer with bottle openers handy so guests can help themselves. Add in a table where there are pre-mixed bottles of Gin and Tonic with an array of garnishes, plus a water and soft drink station for those who want to stagger their drinks throughout the day. This way you are providing variety and enough to cover the reception without needing to open the bar!
Don’t forget you!
It is a common mistake seen at countless weddings, the couple have been so focused on their guests that they leave themselves out of the equation! There are far too many occasions where the happy couple come back to be with their guests and hungrily anticipate some canapés themselves, only to find out there are none left! To make things worse, the champagne has been thoroughly enjoyed by everyone and there isn’t a drop left for the newlyweds.
Make sure the caterers keep some canapés to one side for you and ensure someone comes and finds you with a glass of fizz ASAP. You’ll appreciate the gesture, you’ll enjoy the drink and having a flute in hand only adds to the wedding photos.
The key to success
At Huntsham Court, you are allocated a wedding planner to help you with all the planning details for your special day. They will work with you to ensure that all goes to plan and runs smoothly. Your event planner will assist with suggestions about timings, staffing and suppliers as they are familiar with the venue and knows what works. The final decisions are always yours but do listen to their suggestions as they will ensure everything runs as efficiently and fuss-free as possible.
Your planner is keen to make your day is special and run seamlessly, with their expertise they will know what works in order to achieve that. The right number of experienced staff will ensure that everything runs to time and you are left to thoroughly enjoy your reception and day without worrying about any of the final details, knowing everything is in safe hands.
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