There are two components to a successful wedding, the wedding ceremony and the wedding reception. Both have their own unique challenges and both offer the bride and groom the scope to really make a statement about who they are, and what their core values as a couple represent.
Choosing the Wedding Reception Venue
Finding the right venue for your wedding reception is going to be at the top of your Wedding Planning ‘To Do’ list. Right up there with choosing the location for the wedding itself, and picking out the wedding dress. Gone are the days of just finding a hall close to the church and hanging up some bunting, tossing confetti over the happy couple and tying some tin cans and a ‘Just Married!’ sign to the back of the wedding car as they drive off on their honeymoon. Sydney wedding receptions in the 21st century are all about theme and style and personal expression.
Naturally you don’t want to hold your wedding ceremony in Sydney’s Northern Beaches and the reception all the way out west in Penrith or down south in Campbelltown, as the distance between the locations is excessive, so the proximity of the venues you choose needs to be practical.
Budgeting for Your Wedding Reception
Budget naturally comes into play when booking a reception venue, but so long as you’ve budgeted ahead, money shouldn’t prove to be too much of an issue, as standard venue hire prices are on a sliding scale, so there’s always something suitable within your price range. And ultimately it’s less about the room, more about how you decorate and theme it. Whether you hold your wedding reception in a ballroom, a nightclub or the roof of a hotel, chances are you’ll have a central space for the guests to sit and eat, possibly a raised area or stage for the bride, groom, bridesmaids and groomsmen, a bar and a dance floor for all those relatives you haven’t seen for years to really make fools of themselves doing the ‘Robot’ and the ‘Macarena’.
Theming Your Wedding Reception
With the location sorted out you have to start thinking theming and decorations. Luckily for you, you’ve stumbled across Sydney’s #1 wedding decorations company, so you’ve come to the right place!
Most people start decorating their reception based on how they themed the actual wedding ceremony itself. An outdoor beach wedding for example might translate to an under the sea themed wedding reception. A red carpet Hollywood style wedding under the rotunda at Balmoral might translate to a reception themed with the bride and groom’s favourite movie posters on the walls, and a room full of movie memorabilia and waiters dressed as characters from the films the bride and groom like best. But whatever theme you chose, always keep in mind that the reception is about having fun. About people letting their hair down. So never be afraid to commit to your theme and really go to town on the decorations.
Having Fun With Your Wedding Guest Book
Weddings are about bottling personal memories, and the wedding guest book is a great way to do this. You can of course go for the traditional wedding guest book, where everyone writes a little something to the bride and groom. But we are in the 21st century, so using technology (especially when it’s ubiquitous and cheap) such as video to get a more 3-d person-to-person style message makes a lot of sense. So think about maybe setting up a little video booth (like the old fashioned photo booths) where guest can record a short private message, either one at a time or (as is often fun) as a couple. You can even double up and have the actual guest book in there too, so they can also leave a written message. You can then encourage guests to leave follow up messages later in the evening (when they’re slightly less sober!). These make for hilarious viewing when you finally get to compile all the wedding footage edited together later.
Hiring a Wedding Band
Once the all important speeches are over, and everyone cuts loose on the dance floor, your choice of wedding band will really come into its own. There is no right and wrong when it comes to choosing a band to play at your wedding reception. But this is the one part of the evening when the bride and groom might consider what their guests prefer, rather than what they themselves prefer. This sounds slightly counter-intuitive, as its the bride and groom’s big day, but hiring your favourite local heavy metal band, because you like it hard and loud, might not go down so well if the vast majority of the guests spend the reception with their fingers in their ears. Or hiring a rapper who tosses expletives around like their going out of fashion, might not strike the right cord if there are a lot of families and children present. Similarly, hiring that four piece string quartet because you love classical music, may not be the right choice if you’d like people to be up on their feet dancing the night away.
The go-to for wedding bands is of course the cover band. And there are many, many cover bands out there who play weddings all the time. So finding one to play yours, won’t be a problem. If you’ve seen the movie ‘The Wedding Singer’ for example, you’ll know that a cover band playing retro 80s or early 90s songs will get people singing along and shaking their booty, better than anything else. But ultimately, gauge the music to the audience. Because that’s the one part of the evening where it’s about them, not you.
Things to Remember When Organising Your Wedding Reception
In conclusion, remember that theme drives the wedding decorations you chose. And that the decorations should make a personal statement. Always commit to the decorations and the theme. Pay close attention to tone, colour palette, lighting, mood and decor. Keep the music up-beat and varied. Never skimp on the food you serve, and have a variety of choices. Make sure it’s an open bar, and that the waiters are friendly and attentive. And don’t skimp on the wedding cake!
Remember these things and your wedding will be fondly remembered for years to come.