If you’re not careful, one of the biggest money zappers of your wedding could be your wedding reception. With most weddings last year hosting some kind of dinner, the costs can really add up quickly. While many of you who know me understand that I see the wedding ceremony as the most important part of a wedding celebration, since the vows made in the ceremony are the whole reason everybody is there in the first place, the wedding reception is a celebration for you and your friends and family to take part of. There is no particular protocol for a wedding reception, in what needs to be served or even how long it should be. But for the past few years, the wedding reception has been one of the biggest sources of stress and planning for the bride and groom. With caterers, bakeries, the band or wedding DJ, florists, wedding favors, wedding centerpieces and separate wedding reception venues all having to play in together to create the perfect wedding reception, it’s no wonder the reception can be the most fun, and the most stressful. So if you’re planning a wedding and are stuck when it comes to your wedding reception, here are some common types of wedding receptions as well as some common traditions that take place during the wedding reception. Hopefully these will make your planning easier, and perhaps save you some money at the same time.
Types of Wedding Receptions
Of course, when most brides think of a wedding reception, they think of a beautiful and ornate room filled with magnificently decorated tables, fancy meals with charming wedding favors along with an open bar and dance floor. While this has been the norm for years, it could stand to reason why the costs of weddings have increased so dramatically over the years. Just know that while that is a popular style of wedding reception, it’s not the only options that are available to you. Another popular option for a wedding reception is a cake and punch reception, which is really a whole lot like it sounds. A cake and punch reception is typically served with afternoon weddings, and features some fruit and vegetable trays, favorite appetizers, the wedding cake and punch. Cake and punch receptions are typically standing room only and only last for an hour or two at the latest. A dessert and coffee reception is much the same, though usually in a wedding that is later in the evening. These types of wedding receptions are starting to gain more popularity as brides are looking for ways to save money while still having those close time with their friends and family after the ceremony.
Wedding Reception Traditions
There are of course some traditions at the wedding reception that many people look for and expect, so don’t try to get out of them all because people will be asking! While they come in no particular order, there is, of course the cutting of the cake. The cake cutting is always a popular photo opportunity and be prepared to serve your cake after you do it. There is also the throwing of the bouquet by the bride to the single ladies in the room to see who will be having the next wedding, and the throwing of the garter by the groom to the single men. Kind of a crazy tradition, but some traditions are just that way. Other traditions for the wedding reception that you may or may not follow are the speeches given by the maid of honor and the best man, along with any other people who’d like to get up and give a speech, the first dance with the bride and groom, the dances with the bride and her daddy and the groom and his mother are always favorites as well. Then, of course, there is the exit from the wedding reception to a waiting car to take the bride and groom to their honeymoon. You’ll need to pass out items you’d like your guests to throw, from rose petals or birdseed to bubbles or rice and the releasing of butterflies- brides are getting creative with how they end their wedding festivities.
There are lots of different decorating ideas for wedding receptions, themes and colors, centerpieces and flower arrangements that it can take everything the bride and her family has to plan the perfect party. Just be sure to do your research to find the combinations that work the best with you, and remember that some of the extras that you may be looking for in your wedding reception may go unnoticed by your guests, so it isn’t necessary to overspend on your reception. For more great wedding reception ideas, be sure to check out some of my articles on planning a wedding reception.