How to Make a Smooth Transition From the Church to Your Reception Hall

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With the sacredness of the ceremony out of the way, the reception is the place where guests want to walk in and say, “Wow! Now we’re going to have fun. It’s time to celebrate!”

If you’re staying at the church for a while to finish taking photographs, don’t forget about your guests. They are already on the way to your reception site.

Considering the fact that guests tend to arrive for the wedding 30 minutes early, by the time the ceremony is over, they’ve invested quite a bit of time. Many have also traveled a distance to be there. Don’t rush through your photos before heading to the reception, but do be respectful of your guests.

Your coordinator, the reception site staff, or your attendants can help make sure the reception site’s tables are set up and the decorations are in place early the day of the wedding or the night before. Be sure to find out what time the band or DJ needs to set up, and make arrangements for someone to be there to let them in. If you’re using an off-site caterer and baker, you’ll need to make arrangements for someone to let them in as well, with plenty of time to set things up.

While they’re waiting for your grand entrance, your guests will be happy with light appetizers. Keep your guests there, having fun and satisfied. You don’t want guests thinking, “Well, I’m starving so I’m leaving.”

A coordinator can take care of the guests and prevent an awkward transition from ceremony to reception.  If you don’t have a coordinator, appoint someone to make sure that when people arrive at the reception, the music is playing, the bar is ready, the hors d’oeuvres are being served, and there is some sort of organization to it so people don’t arrive only to stand around waiting for the bride and groom to get there.

What’s the most important part of a reception? The visual impact is what people will remember.

Be creative with touches like uplighting, floating flowers or candles as centerpieces. Fresh flowers, candlelight and music add so much to a wedding, and they add ambiance to the reception site.

Another way to add ambiance is to rent a chocolate fountain. If the chocolate fountain is there, you’ve got a great party.  The chocolate fountain earns points for being visually appealing and also tops another important aspect of the reception – cuisine.

Food is one reason people come to a wedding, so don’t disappoint them.

There are lots of choices when it comes to food for your reception. Sit-down dinners tend to be most expensive since your caterer will need to hire more servers. Appetizers can be a less expensive choice, but not if they’re being served at meal time. Guests tend to fill up on them, making your per person price higher. When it comes to choosing between a buffet or hors d’oeuvres reception, it all depends on what you would like to serve. Often, a buffet can be the same price or less expensive than ordering finger foods.

To keep your guests happy, make plans to cut and serve the cake in a timely manner. Guests of all ages don’t want to leave before they enjoy a piece.