You’ve planned the ceremony to a T, maybe even hired a wedding coordinator to handle the early portion of the day. But did you know at least half of the wedding coordinators we’ve worked with leave during the wedding reception? Planning a great wedding reception doesn’t require much more work than the rest of the day but seems to be where most of the planning falls down.

oceanbleu wedding reception

It’s so easy to get carried away and go broke with the wedding reception! Here are a few things to keep in mind, some that cost nothing at all and some that may be a reason to rearrange your budget. The most important thing is to keep in mind, this is a time to share a part of you with those you love. Inject personality wherever you can! Thoughtful doesn’t mean expensive.

During your cocktail hour we’ll be setting up lighting for the reception, photographing the details you chose, and might even have time to use the restroom. To ensure we accomplish all this, please know we need a minimum of 15-20 minutes to photograph the reception area and 5 minutes of the room empty to get an overall scene. It’s best to let your contact at the venue know we need this time so it’s not a surprise to them.

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Professional lighting goes a lot longer in budget than flowers. Elaborate flowers might not be in your budget, but lighting can easily make up the difference. Most DJs offer lighting packages for a small upgrade and some venues already have it built in. Dollar for dollar, you’ll get a higher return with lighting.

wedding reception lighting as decor

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Speaking of DJs, decide now whether you want your reception entertainment to be very visible or not. Some bands and Djs make a big deal about emceeing the event and become a part of everything, often jumping onto the dance floor. Others stay behind their booth or on the stage and just play music, barely guiding the reception events. Which is Most important to you? And if you’re looking for somewhere in the middle, make sure you’re hiring someone that is good at both parts of the job. A hopping dance floor is great for photos at your wedding reception. DJ Moe did a great job of keeping the dance floor packed at a Gorge Crest Vineyards wedding.

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We have more great tips for planning your wedding reception, so keeping reading Part II!