Find tips and advice on selecting your reception site and planning your wedding reception from top wedding experts and reception site managers

Time it Perfectly
Nobody likes an aimlessly dragged out day. Aim to start your reception immediately after your ceremony, with cocktail hour commencing as soon as guests arrive at the reception. Your out-of-town guests won't have anywhere else to go - and everyone will appreciate a perfectly timed and executed event.

Tami Cabrera Weinmann - Muddy Paws Cheesecake CO - Uptown Minneapolis, MN

Keep Inventory
As you collect items for your reception (toasting flutes, cake servers, programs, card holder, guest book etc.), place them in labeled boxes and create an inventory list. When you drop your items off at the reception location, you will ensure you have everything you need, and the site manager can easily determine what should be returned to you.

Juls Gunderson – A Spice of Life - Boulder, CO

Want to Cut that Guest List?
Having trouble cutting back your guest list? Consider this: If you would not invite someone to your home for dinner, why invite them to your wedding? If their address isn't in your address book, why invite them to your wedding? If you don't have their phone number saved in your cell, why invite them to your wedding? Remove any extraneous persons from your guest list, and invite only those to whom you have a close personal relationship.

Jo Ann S. Woodward - Schwartz & Woodward - Houston, TX

Lighting Sets the Vibe
Lighting determines the ambiance of any room, yet the majority of my brides do not even consider lighting in their overall wedding budget. Soft ambient lighting, pin spotting, or gobos can change a standard corporate ballroom into an evening of elegance and sophistication. Lighting changes everything.

—Michael Carcano - Carcano DJ Audio Visual & Lighting - Laguna Hills, CA

Set your Wedding Budget
To help determine your overall wedding reception budget - consider the cost of the average item on your registry, and use that as a guideline for cost per person. This will give you a price range wherein you can throw a great party. Find a wedding reception site that fits within that range.

—Currant Thymes Gourmet CafÈ - Greenville, SC

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