What is Absolutely Needed for a Great Wedding Reception?

By Scott Humphrey

The reception is the ultimate party of your adult life, but it has to be done right, and a big part of the after party experience is the place where you have it.  It is also quite possibly the biggest expense of your adult life aside from buying a home; except there are no 30 year fixed matrimonial loans, this stuff comes from the pocket or goes on the card.  With all your closest friends and family, you want to make it great.

The Big 3….or is it 4?

Since we’re splurging, let’s have at it, shall we?  What are the 3 big aspects that make or break a reception?

1.    Music – A great DJ or band it crucial.  Good music puts energy in the room, and it’s a party not a business gathering, so let’s jam out with some music that rocks.

2.    Food – I usually don’t expect a great dinner at a wedding, but if it is great everyone will notice, and if you’re dining with the most important people in your life give them a reason to sit and engage with each other instead of heading off to the open bar.

3.    Open Bar – OK, you do want guests heading to the open bar, just not during dinner.  Whether it’s top shelf or middle of the road, drinks make guests happy and loosen up the crowd.  A great bar and bartender can and will make it a party.  I have to say, a nice bar with granite countertops, an ice sculpture with a shot tunnel, and a bartender that make killer drinks can make any night.

4.    Décor – For me the location and look of the place definitely makes a difference.  Some places are OK, and others are amazing.  Outdoor settings can be beautiful as long as the weather holds, and are in most cases better suited to smaller weddings.  An all-inclusive hotel with all the amenities will no doubt have an elegant ballroom, and all your guests can walk to their rooms at the end of the night, which means everyone can party.

As I said, I like the granite and ice, but I would prefer to have an elegant and vital appeal to the place.  Lots of great floral arrangements, clean fall colors, and classic kind of look.  These are just the basics of what I feel makes a great wedding reception.  Of course everyone will have their own style when it comes to the location; I think we can all agree on numbers 1 through 3.  What do you like about wedding receptions?

BIO: Scott is a freelance writer for many blogs on a variety of topics, including event planning. When he is not writing, he is hiking the mountains of upstate New York.

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