With so many choices to make, it is easy to get overwhelmed and allow the details to fall through the cracks. To help avoid that and ensure that you and your guests have a great time, here are some tips and ideas to help guide you.
Choose the right reception type that is right for you.
BREAKFAST OR BRUNCH - Food is fruit, bread and other breakfast foods. Reception usually begins around 10 or 11am.
Advantages: Inexpensive. You can leave for your honeymoon on the same day.
Disadvantages: Less time for you to get ready. Hard for guests who need to drive a long distance.
LUNCHEON - Food is sandwiches, salads, pasta and fruits. Follows a late-morning wedding.
Advantages: Inexpensive. Allows for driving and getting ready time, but early enough that you donít have too much time to get nervous.
Disadvantages: If you've got a band or DJ for dancing, many guests may be less likely to get up and "boogie" during the day.
TEA RECEPTION - Food is finger sandwiches, nuts, chocolate and cake. Reception is usually held between 2pm and 5pm.
Advantages: Least expensive. Great for a large guest list and a small budget.
Disadvantages: The guests arenít offered a full meal
COCKTAIL PARTY or "APPETIZER ONLY" RECEPTION - Food is hot and cold appetizers, passed around or on buffet tables. Reception is usually held between 4-7pm.
Advantages: Still in the evening, can be formal or informal. Usually less expensive than a dinner reception.
Disadvantages: The guests arenít offered a full meal, even though it is dinnertime.
DINNER RECEPTION - Food is served as a sit-down meal, a buffet or in food stations. Meals vary, but usually several dishes are offered and a cocktail hour precedes the formal reception. These receptions begin anywhere from 6 to 9pm.
Advantages: The most common time for a reception. Guests are often in "party mode"; ready to dance the night away. The most formal.
Disadvantages: Typically the most expensive reception type.