Some people might tell you that there’s no way to effectively plan each and every moment of your special day, but the truth is that by using a few organizational techniques and proven methods, it is possible to fully stage a wedding reception to ensure that everything goes as planned. There is a lot to consider when planning a wedding reception.
From choosing the wedding entertainment to planning out traditional events and moments throughout the evening, it can sometimes be overwhelming. But one of the best tips for Massachusetts brides is to get organized, step back and look at the whole day as if you were writing out a script to a show. This will help keep you on-track and focused so you won’t forget anything important.
Choosing the Venue
You can’t begin making your plans until you know where you will be hosting your wedding ceremony and reception. When choosing wedding reception locations near Pawtucket, it is important to choose a place that will offer all of the space, amenities and opportunities you need to accomplish all of your goals. Once you choose a wedding reception hall and have a place in mind, you can begin to focus on the space of the location and plan the day’s events.
Here are some areas to consider:
- area for the wedding entertainment – the band or DJ
entrances and exits to be used throughout the evening for the bride and groom
- locations of restrooms, elevators, stairs and other amenities for guests and the wedding party
- optional extra space for the wedding party, children, family of the bride and groom, etc.
- area for the bride’s table
- space for the wedding cake
All of these locations need to be taken into consideration for photos or videos to be taken by the wedding photographer; for ease of use in high heels and dressy attire; and to ensure that there is enough space available for all the guests to have a good time. In addition to considering space, you will also need to ask the wedding reception hall specific questions in relation to your wedding entertainment and decorating options, such as:
- parking arrangements – is valet available?
- portrait opportunities – such as a garden or elegant backdrop for photos?
- restrictions – against use of candles or specific types of decorations?
- wedding planner – is one provided or can we hire our own?
- included costs – gratuities, extended reception, parking, etc.?
- space – will there be another reception there at the same time in another room?
Getting Down to Business
Now that all of your questions have been answered and you know what to expect from your choice of wedding reception locations near Pawtucket, it’s time to get down to the planning. To stage a wedding reception, you need to know all the details and be prepared to get very organized. Your focus now should be on making your reception as fun as possible for your guests and ensure that you have plenty of time to enjoy and participate in as many traditional activities and events as possible.
The first step is to get help. Your maid of honor and bridesmaids should be willing to work with you to ensure that your special day goes off without a hitch. Don’t just say, “I’m going to need some help” and expect they’ll know what to do. Take the girls out to lunch and spend an afternoon talking about your plans, write down the duties you need them to perform and make sure they understand the importance of being a part of the wedding party. You can also elicit other volunteers outside of the wedding party that you trust to help your special day go off without a hitch. Create a contact sheet and make sure you make copies for all involved.
The second step is to create a floor plan. You will use this to outline everything that will go on at the wedding reception. Start with special items, such as the location for the wedding entertainment, the cakes, the buffet tables, gift table, the receiving line, beverages, the guest book, the location of the bouquet toss, the garter retrieval and anything else that is important to the traditions and culture of your families. Many of the duties surrounded with coordinating the movement of your guests to these locations at the appointed times can be performed by your bridesmaids and other volunteers.
The third step is to create a timeline. Using your floor plan and list of chosen events during the wedding reception, you need to create a list of the things that will happen and when you want them to happen. From the entrance of the bride and groom at the reception hall to the moment when you wave good-bye at the end of the evening, you want to stage a wedding reception properly from start to finish. Include preparations, such as getting ready, getting to the church, driving from the church to your wedding reception locations near Pawtucket and getting to the hotel or airport after the wedding reception is over.
The fourth step is to create checklists. These will be used in addition to the floor plan and the timeline and will include everything that you will need to bring to the ceremony or reception, details about your budget, seating plans, ceremony text, the rings, your marriage license, honeymoon plans – and information about who will be helping you to handle each area to ensure that it is all handled effectively. You will also want lists that help you plan the menu and beverages during the wedding reception, a list of photos you want the photographer to take, a list of people who will be giving toasts, plus a playlist for the band or DJ – including the first dance, father-daughter dance and music during special moments. Another list for the flowers, decorations and any other wedding entertainment or vendors you might be using during the reception.
Tips for Massachusetts Brides
If you want to truly stage a wedding reception to ensure that your special day includes everything that is important to you and your groom, it’s a good idea to take advantage to scheduling, list-making, appointment-setting and other organizational tools on the computer. Programs such as Google Docs, which allows you to save your lists online to be accessed via your laptop or smartphone, can help you stay in control and on top of your wedding reception plans.
For wedding reception locations near Pawtucket, consider venues that have been specially designed for the purpose of hosting a wedding reception, such as The Crystal Room in Milford, Massachusetts. Don’t waste your time trying to “make over” a generic hall or other venue, when you can have all the amenities, opportunities and services available to you in one specialized location.