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Make Your Reception Special

The wedding reception is the first time you formally receive your relatives and friends as a married couple. Properly planned, it becomes one of the most joyous parties you and your groom will ever host. It can be as simple and demure as cake and punch in your home, or encompass a glorious five-course dinner and dance.


  • Decide your guest count, budget and what kind of location you would like, THEN begin looking for a venue.
  • The services of a professional consultant or coordinator can greatly enhance and expedite the planning of your reception.
  • When looking at sites, be sure you are looking at comparable costs. Some facilities include tables and chairs, others don’t. Be sure to find out what the total costs will be.
  • Reserve your reception spot well in advance, 12 to 18 months in advance.
  • Designate one table each for the wedding party and the parents.
  • Station the bar well away from the buffet or food service area so there won’t be any congestion.
  • Possible locations include meeting halls, hotels, restaurants or clubs. Churches sometimes have their own halls. Gardens and historical mansions also make for wonderful receptions.
  • Visit the reception site and map out how you’d like it set up. Consider grouping furniture to stimulate conversation without obstructing traffic flow.
  • Be sure to find out what limitations the venue has regarding other vendors. Do they allow only certain caterers?
  • Check out the parking. Is it free? If not, consider ordering parking passes and include them in the invitation. Arrange to pay only for those redeemed.
  • If you select a hotel, ask if for a discount on guest rooms for your bridal party, you and your new spouse and out-of-town guests.
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