Tips for planning a wedding reception include limiting the number of events, being flexible about the band or DJ's song choices, and basing the venue on the number of guests. The couple should plan a dinner that fits the wedding's style and budget.
Traditional events for a wedding reception include the wedding party's entrance, toasts, the first dance followed by the parents' dance, cake cutting and the couple's exit. The couple should avoid adding too many extra events, as it interrupts the guests' opportunity to dance and have fun.
The couple should choose a list of a few songs and provide it to their band or DJ beforehand, so they hear the songs they want. However, they shouldn't create a song schedule for the whole reception. Bands and DJs base their music selections on the crowd's energy to keep everyone entertained. They can't do that if they aren't able to choose any songs.
The number of guests should determine the reception venue size to ensure there's enough space for everyone. A rule of thumb is 25 to 30 square feet per guest.
A traditional reception meal is a sit-down dinner. Other options include a buffet, a cocktail party with hors d'oeuvres, or a barbecue. Buffets allow the couple to offer multiple entrées. A cocktail party with hors d'oeuvres tends to be less expensive than a sit-down dinner. A barbecue is a casual choice for an informal wedding.