When planning a classic wedding reception for well over 200 guests, it might seem like a good idea to think big. But the truth is that the best approach is to think small. Learning how to manage such a huge guest list without anyone feeling bored, left out, or forgotten can be a challenge. But, there are strategies that you can employ to overcome these common issues that will help you to throw an amazing wedding reception in Milford, MA that will keep your guests talking about it for many weeks after you come back from your honeymoon.
The Big Guest List
Who is on your guest list? Do you come from a big family? Are you close with all of your cousins? Are there are a lot of children that you want to invite as well? Some couples restrict family guest lists to adults-only so they can include close friends, co-workers, and neighbors. However, if you are planning on a big guest list, you can invite pretty much anyone you want.
If you already know that your guest list will be more than 200 people, take the time to create a budget. Most venues that you will find for your Milford wedding reception charge per person. Sometimes there are discounts for children under a certain age, so make sure to ask. Knowing in advance that venues charge “per head” is an excellent way to get your budget in order.
BONUS TIP: Make sure to factor in extras that won’t be included with the per person charge, such as the wedding cake, limousine service, flowers, decorations, officiant, the wedding dress, and anything that doesn’t come directly from the venue.
The fewer tables that you have at the venue, the smaller the group will feel, even if there are more than 200 guests. When choosing a reception hall, make sure to ask how many people can be accommodated banquet-style, which is the set-up traditionally used for wedding guest tables. Some tables seat up to eight guests, while others can seat up to ten or twelve comfortably. Make sure to ask about the options available so you can start making up your seating chart as soon as the RSVPs start coming in from your invites.
Remember that if you have 20 tables of ten guests or 25 tables of eight, you will need to create centerpieces and decorations for that many tables. If you can squeeze everyone into 20 tables, that’s five fewer centerpieces you will need to pay for at the reception. Setting up 20 tables instead of 25 tables will also make it appear less crowded, providing more room for guests to walk around the venue at your wedding reception in Milford, MA and mingle. Ask about table extras, such as the table for your cake, a table for gifts, a table for your guest book, and a sweetheart table for you and your new spouse.
Speaking of all those extra tables, one way to make a large crowd feel more involved in your celebration is to create “stations” throughout the venue. Make something fun for each person to do while they are there. Set up a photo booth with lots of fun props and customized photo strips for guests to take home to remember your special day. Create a unique guest book experience that allows guests to send a special message in a creative way. Space out appetizers, a fruit and veggie tray, a candy or treat table, and extra drinks like iced tea, ice water, and coffee for guests to help themselves before dinner is served.
Set-up a special place for gifts and create an interesting mailbox for cards or gift cards to be delivered. Tie it all in with your theme to make it even more fun and exciting. Invite guests to leave a message or suggestion to the newlyweds, such as “date night ideas,” advice, recipes, or quotes about marriage that might be beneficial. Put “ice breaker” games out on the tables and leave instructions on what to do. It is a great way to get everyone chatting while they are waiting for the next big thing to happen. Spread out your significant events throughout the classic wedding reception, tossing the bouquet, cutting the cake, first dances, and toasts.
Leave With a Bang!
Do something exciting as you exit the wedding reception in Milford, MA. Have a cool “getaway car” ready and do something fun as you leave. Most couples today have nixed the idea of tossing rice, birdseed or blowing bubbles, but you can be creative that gets everyone involved. For an evening reception, have the guests line up outdoors with flashlights, glow sticks, or light sabers to help “light” your way to the car. For a daytime reception, get everyone lined up to hug, high-five, or wish you well as you exit. Play some fun and popular music as you go to keep everything moving. It will leave everyone feeling like they were a part of your special day.
Visit The Crystal Room in Milford, MA
When choosing a reception hall, make sure to find a venue that can accommodate your big guest list and provide you with all the amenities that you require. Give us a call at 508-478-7800 to schedule a tour of our facility or to check on availability. We are located just a minute off the I-495, and our event coordinator can help you with all your plans for a beautiful and memorable Milford wedding reception.