9 Things to Not Overlook When Planning Your Reception

An outdoor wedding reception decorated with pink florals.

Your wedding reception takes a lot of careful planning, and for that reason it’s easy for a few things to slip through the cracks. Make sure you don’t overlook these items that are sometimes last on the list!

1. A Do Not Play List

While you’ve likely spent a lot of time picking out special songs you do want played at your wedding, you’ll also want to provide the DJ with a list of songs you don’t want played. If you don’t have any you have a strong feeling against, then this isn’t necessary. But, at the minimum, it’s something to consider.

2. Extra Seating

A wedding lounge area with vintage furniture and a large sign that says

It can be tough to remember that people will naturally float around during your reception, so you’ll want to have a few extra seats to account for this at your reception. That way, there’s no game of musical chairs when people mingle from one table to the next. You may also want to consider ensuring there is some good “lounge” space for guests to enjoy themselves in. This will allow them to be away from the dance floor comfortably.

3. Vendor Meals

Your vendors will need to eat too, as they’re going to be starving from the hustle and bustle of your big day! Make sure to account for this with your venue so that their meals are set and ready for them when the time comes.

4. Potential Vendor Overtime

Speaking of vendors, you may want to check with them to know if they’d be open to doing more time at your event at the last-minute if need be. They may be especially true for your photographer and entertainment. With that being said, it’s good to know ahead of time if this is even an option.

5. The Right Lighting

A wedding reception table underneath twinkle lights.

The lighting at your wedding reception is something you’ll want to ensure you have set before the big day arrives. Having this right lighting—whether it’s twinkle lights, candles, or even uplighting—can really help set the mood and ensure that all of the decor you carefully chose has its moment to shine during the duration of your event.

6. Bathroom Baskets

It’s always nice to have bathroom baskets with little toiletry items for your guests to use at your reception. Simple things like spray deodorant, hair ties, mints or gum, bandages, and Advil are great items to have in these baskets so guests can use them if they’re needed.

7. After Party Planning

Some of your guests may want to keep the party going after the reception comes to a close. Make sure to have a general plan or at least suggestions for your guests. This could be as simple as scoping out the local bar scene so that you can pick a place to go with people if you choose to after your reception ends.

8. Comfortable Shoes

Baskets of white flipflops for dancing at a wedding reception.

You want to ensure guests dance the night away at your reception, and one great way to help with that is to provide comfortable dancing shoes. Have inexpensive flip flops in a variety of sizes in baskets at the front of the dance floor for guests to use so that they can keep going all night long!

9. Packing Items Up

There will be a bunch of items you’ll need to retrieve from your reception once it’s over. Your guest book, gifts and cards, your bouquet, and even the top layer of your wedding cake are all things you’ll want to grab once the party is over. Make sure to assign a point person for this so you don’t have to worry about it. Ask someone from your wedding party to take care of it for you before your big day arrives so you’ll know that it’s set.

Your wedding reception is bound to be tons of fun, and covering all of your bases in planning it means you’ll be able to enjoy every minute and be in the moment on the big day.

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