Once your ceremony is finished and you and your new spouse are finally married, the last bit of your special day will be taken up by your reception. But since so much time, effort, and money can go into a reception and things can still go awry, it can be incredibly stressful to plan a reception, as you're always worrying if it will turn out okay. So what if there was a short list of things for you to consider that would make your reception more likely to succeed? If you're looking for a few tips and tricks that can guide you towards a fantastic and stress-free reception, then here's what you need to know.
Number Your Stars
Guests can make or break a reception – so be sure you know exactly how many are coming, and how many you can afford to come. Not only does feeding and seating your guests make up about half your budget, they also take up space (a good rule of thumb is to allot about 20-25 square feet per guest), so your venue will need to expand the more your guest list will. Culling your guest list with your spouse to be will help to not only bring your budget down, but also lower the chance of something bad happening because of a rowdy, vaguely-related guest – after all, will consistently drunk and loudmouthed Aunt Mathilda really add to your wedding experience?
For Your Entertainment
Entertainment is a big part of your reception, to be sure – bands vs DJs vs MP3 playlists, etc. etc. – but they're not something that should require a lot of energy on your part. Make the really big decision without your spouse to be (aka who will provide the music) and then hand off the rest of the decision making and planning to your trusted Best Man or Maid of Honor. If you're really concerned, have them pass the final decisions by you, but don't bother nickel and diming the music companies yourself; getting someone who knows you well to do it will ensure great entertainment at your reception without overly stressing you out.
Be Realistic About Your Time
As the bride (or the groom), you'll only have so much time and energy leading up to the big day, and the last thing you want to do is to be so stressed that you can't enjoy the reason that everything is happening – your marriage. Drop non-essential tasks, or at the very least delegate them to a willing friend, and then put them out of your mind.
Getting the birdseed for your guests to throw, making and placing some handmade 'thank you' cookies in personalized bags for the end of the reception, tying miniscule handmade bows around your tables' centerpieces – at the end of the day, these tiny details aren't worth the amount of stress that you'll get from focusing on them. What's important is that you're celebrating your marriage – so let someone else worry about the bows.