When you are getting married, there are quite events to plan out in great detail. Wedding receptions are important events because they present you to your friends and family for the first time as a married couple. The first thing to remember is that you cannot book a location until you know your wedding's date. And since many popular locations are booked solid for as much as one or two years in advance, you may have to work to make sure you can have your wedding reception where you want to.
You also need to decide whether you want an indoor or an outdoor event. The time of year is certainly a factor, and you need to keep in mind that even if you're schedule for summer, it could still rain. Make sure you have all your bases covered in case of rain or other inclement weather. If you choose to have it indoors, make sure you choose a location that is large enough to accommodate both people and tables.
Budget does play a role in your planning. Although the ceremony itself can be expensive, the gathering afterward is typically the biggest expense. Figure out how much you can spend, and stick to it. There will be a flat fee for the location itself and then a per-person fee for food. Sometimes paring down your guest list is a good idea. You can also save money with winter weddings, and some locations offer discounts if you book for a Sunday instead of a Friday or Saturday.
Deciding what kind of gathering you want also plays a part with cost and location. A sit-down dinner requires more space while a cocktail-style gathering or buffet is simpler. Pros of a sit-down dinner include the fact that it is well organized, making it easier to give speeches and plan for moments such as cutting the cake. Of course, it is also expensive and for some people it may seem too stuffy and formal. Conversely, a cocktail gathering allows guests to mingle more casually. It can be hard to get people to all pay attention during important moments, but the casual air is still far preferred by many couples.
Creating your seating chart is also an important part of planning wedding receptions. Take care not to sit people by one another if they do not get along. Elderly guests should not be seated by noisy areas. Also take consideration into whether or not you want a children's table. Children could sit with their parents for easy supervision. If you have a children's table, consider including someone old enough to keep them under control. Seating can be time-consuming, but it is important to do it right.
Also, decide whether or not you want to have a receiving line. Some feel they are too formal while others want the chance to personally thank each guest for coming. Keep the size of your guest list in mind when making this decision. You also need to decide whether you want to be announced as a couple when you arrive. Planning wedding receptions should be enjoyable. They should reflect who you are as a couple and provide you with many fond memories for years to come.