After over 100 weddings, I can confidently say the most memorable nights are the ones that feel true to the bride and groom. When they have an atmosphere in which they come alive. You won't be able to please all your guests (or even family) but everyone will be much more comfortable if you are enjoying yourself. Trust me.
Here are my tips to start planning a wedding reception YOU will enjoy. Sit down with your fiance (and some wine) and think through these:
1. Where do you end up at weddings - are you talkers or dancers?
- If you're a dancer - think about that when you're shopping for your wedding dress (can you lift your arms? can you move your legs?), allocate more of your budget to the band, think about ways to spice up the dance floor!
- If you're a talker - consider long family style tables, maybe having an area where the music is quieter so conversations don't require yelling, or even cutting the band altogether and instead having light music. Hannah and Taylor (below) had an outdoor fire pit area with a full-service bar and cigar roller for guests that wanted to catch up and enjoy the night in a calmer setting.
2. Do you like being the center of attention or are you ready for people to stop looking at you?
- If you, like me, would rather not be on center stage, make sure your band or DJ know to look for a cue from you during the first dances. Three minutes doesn't sound like long until you are slow dancing in front of 200 people.
- You can also consider a private cake cutting - which really just means it isn't announced to everyone. This ensures your parents can actually see the two of you while your guests aren't leaving the dance floor. Note: every time your guests leave the dance floor, it becomes increasingly harder to get them back.
3. Do you want to do a garter and bouquet toss?
- Just because something is 'traditional' doesn't mean you have to automatically add it to the schedule. Think through whether these traditions have any meaning to you or reflect your personalities.
4. Do you have a way to make your getaway unique?
- From a vintage car in the family, a getaway boat or a moped, putting that exclamation point on the night is a fun way to make your day a bit more unique.