An image of a table at a reception with two decorated chairs

Planning Your Reception

Groom and Bride holding hands

Your wedding reception will be the culmination of one of the most important days of your life and will be your first opportunity to visit and interact with your family and friends as a married couple. There are many things to consider when planning.

When deciding on a location, remember that many churches do not allow alcoholic beverages or dancing. If these activities are not important or appropriate for you, then the church fellowship Hall or family life center may be your best choice for a reception. This would allow easy access with no additional travel for your guests. Catholic churches and wedding chapels generally allow alcohol and dancing on premises which again would allow all the wedding day activities to take place in one location. Be sure to inquire to confirm what is allowed.

Many brides are selecting venues other than churches for their wedding with a reception following at that location. These venues could range from country clubs, hotel ballrooms, historic homes, trendy warehouses, barns built or refurbished for events, botanical gardens, etc. The possibilities are endless! Check our Wedding & Reception Locations listings in the Bridal Directory for venues in your area. 

The location of your reception will directly affect whether you will be allowed to use an outside caterer. Facilities with their own kitchen and staff will want to include the catering charge in a package deal. Be sure to ask if outside catering is available if that is important to you.

Special attention should be given to whether you want a fully served sit down dinner or a buffet style service. While a sit down dinner is more elegant, it also requires more planning and creates a more formal atmosphere. The "mix and mingle" atmosphere provided by the buffet style service allows for less planning and a more casual party experience.

The entertainment that you choose could be the most important reception item of all. Everyone loves "live" music and a harpist, piano player, jazz combo or band can be used depending on your reception location and the ambiance that you wish to create. 

Hiring a Mobile Disk Jockey will typically allow you to have a greater selection of music choices and can provide an Emcee for your reception activities