If you’re a detail-obsessed bride, read on. While you may have thought of absolutely everything — from personalized hangers down to the “I Do” shoe decals — we have a few suggestions that your wedding guests will actually take note of. These details are often overlooked at receptions in favour of the non-traditional first dance, framed family photos, novelty groom’s cake and custom cake toppers. While fellow brides may squeal with delight, wedding guests who can’t hear, eat, socialize or or get in two words with the bride and groom will likely be too disgruntled to care. That’s where these tips come in. The following guide will dish out the details that will make sure your wedding reception goes off without a hitch and that all of your guests are properly accommodated.
For starters, your wedding reception (and ceremony, if it’s in a different place) should be easy to locate. If you’ve devoted an entire Pinterest board to signage, you’re on the right track. This is one detail wedding guests will truly appreciate (bonus points for driving directions included in the invitations). If your wedding is slated for the warmer months, commence cocktail hour early with refreshments before the ceremony. Even if the ceremony is being held indoors, wedding guests may need to cool down when they arrive. Afterwards, ensure an ideal transition from ceremony to wedding reception by skipping the in-between photoshoot. Instead, take your pictures before the ceremony, so wedding guests don’t get antsy waiting to see you.
When guests arrive at the wedding reception, a heartfelt greeting sign (i.e. “Welcome! We’re so glad you’re here!”) or note tucked into each place setting will make everyone feel like a valued celebrant. An organized seating program will also earn high marks: eliminate seating cards in favour of a large seating chart and identify tables by number, even if they are also personalized with street names or holiday destinations. Food is always a biggie: a sumptuous vegetarian selection (instead of a basic crudite platter) and individual meals brought in for Kosher or Halal wedding guests will be another welcomed detail. Acoustics are important as well: wedding guests should be able to converse during dinner and energized to hit the dance floor afterwards. Don’t just rely on the band or DJ; take a more personal approach by recruiting a friend or family member to get people out of their seats.
Sky-high centrepieces are something else to consider: while they may look impressive, they can also interfere with conversation at your wedding reception. Smaller arrangements — either clustered together or spread along a lengthy banquet table — can be equally stunning, without impairing your wedding guests’ ability to socialize. To ensure the little details don’t get overlooked, provide signs to indicate who’s who in a vintage photo display or explain that your first trip as a couple to Mexico inspired the mojito bar. Last, but certainly not least, spend time with all of your guests over the course of your wedding reception. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, expressing interest in the people who have come out to celebrate with you will be more meaningful than any other detail you could think to include in your wedding.