Secrets for a great wedding reception
When organising a wedding reception, like in everything, less is more. From the traditional confetti throwing outside the church to the dancing at the reception to round off an unforgettable day, the secret of a great wedding reception rests on knowing how to cleverly balance a smooth, relaxed day with fun activities.
There’s no point in planning millions of different activities like an action-packed holiday, since many will purely appreciate the fact that they have been brought together to share a special moment with family and friends. And everyone will be happier seeing you happy, relaxed and enjoying rather than running round like a madwoman!
The wedding reception: doing it yourself
If you are one of those people who are naturally gifted when it comes to entertaining and very resourceful with it, and the idea of rolling up your tuxedo sleeves or hiking up those ivory skirts doesn’t put you off, the joys of organising your own wedding reception can be all yours!
However there are some pitfalls to avoid all the same:
- Don't wait until the last minute. Many months before the big day, write down all the ideas for activities that come into your head and that you’d like to look into organising: party games, video show, live music, games for the kids, fireworks, throwing the bouquet...
- Don’t forget that you will be “slightly” unavailable to your guests on the day, and will be in between kissing, hugging and congratulations, while the photographer is hurrying you into the umpteenth pose and the caterer is waiting for your signal to clear away. You just won’t stop!
- Don’t think twice about enlisting the aid of your family and friends in the preparation of suppliers and don’t scrimp on those little extras which can really make a difference (helium for the balloons, a caricaturist or band booked in for a couple of hours...).
- Don't mess up the music. If you’re not getting a DJ in, it’s worth planning your playlist a few months in advance. Here, ideally you want to be able to count on a few people in order to make sure that the job of the DJ gets done (the sound track should give everyone a good night!). If you are planning eight hours of music, make sure to alternate between disco, slows, pop, rock and house… and you should just about nail it!
Wedding reception: keep the children happy and occupied
If you are naively imagining that the twenty or so lively children, toddlers and babies present on your wedding day can be taken care of by a faithful cousin, forget it. Unless of course, your cousin has a qualification in organising children’s activities, a lot of experience running summer camps, with a super hero’s energy and stamina!
If you can manage it financially, then get some professionals in! There are event organisers who specialise in activities and supervision of children during weddings, offering good programmes and guarantee inexhaustible staff, accustomed to running around.
It’s up to you how to put together the kid’s activities at your wedding reception, according to your budget and also your requirements in terms of hours and the number and ages of the children.
The hired staff, of course, are not going to be the same if you want someone to look after babies from 6-36 months (babysitters) or if you need young children from 3-10 years old taken care of (children’s entertainers).
If the children are over 5 and already know each other, they will often get on with playing together and will occupy themselves easily. In this case, you just need to bring in a couple of good energetic babysitters, who can supervise the children to avoid any little injuries (or fights!).
You can organise work/play spaces for the kids, a toy room, or buy read- to-go wedding activity bags/boxes – all of which won’t set you back a fortune (visit the Event Smiles or Busy Bags websites). When choosing the venue for your wedding reception, make sure you also have access to room for tired children to go and have a sleep, away from the excitement of the festivities, since everyone knows that an irritable toddler can put a damper on everyone’s party!
This children’s organisation will be really appreciated by the parents, who can then really enjoy the day – making your wedding reception really memorable for all your guests, big and small!
- Sophie Peyronnet, Editorial and communications director at the French Mariée Magazine
- Fabrice Matanda, director of Kids Events
- Amandine Tiberghien, organiser of the Paris Salon du Mariage
Copyright © 2011 Doctissimo
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