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Reception Best Things & Do-Overs

Here's what our brides had to say about their reception. It's filled with great advice about the "best things" and what they would do differently.

Do Differently: Table Seating Arrangements


I would have had table seating arrangements at the reception. Our reception area was fairly small and was divided into 2 rooms. I didn't assign seats because I didn't want people who got put in the corner to complain. Instead, I had guests wandering around trying to find seats and other guests with large parties insisted on sitting together and were rude to my friends. (Robin- August 19, 2013)

Best Thing: Having an Afternoon Ceremony


The best thing about our wedding was its time. We had a 2 p.m. ceremony followed immediately by a heavy hors d'oeuvres reception. We could not afford to provide a full lunch or dinner for our guests, so we decided to schedule our reception for a non-meal time. As it turned out, the hors d'oeuvres, champagne and wine, and cake filled them up. And having a late-afternoon reception meant that my husband and me were able to check into our hotel by 8 p.m. and truly have a wedding night. (Nancy- May 19, 2013)

Do Differently: Line to get to food was too long


Do Differently: Line to get to food was too long-would have had stations spread around the house- instead of one area for food! The caterer has worked at this site many times and I trusted her to make decisions. (Cathy- April 15, 2013)

Best Thing: Children's Table


The best was the children's table. We had about 20 kids (out of 114 guests) and has a "children's table" set up at the reception. On it was small bottles of bubbles, crayons and washable pens. I made black & white wedding themed coloring sheets (using clip art I found on the web!). That way, kids had a place to go do "kid things" and still be part of the party.

Do Differently: Hire a Professional DJ


I would have hired a professional DJ instead of letting a friend do our reception music. They had nothing from our requested play list. They didn't even have our song for the bridal dance, which was supposed to be very special for us. Always go with a professional who's working for the money and knows what he's doing. (Carina- October 21, 2013)

Do Differently: Dance Floor Outside


I would have had a dance floor put outside-the weather was so nice most people wanted to be outside! (Cathy-April 15, 2013)

Best Thing: Cocktail Reception


Best Thing: I had a cocktail type wedding as opposed to the traditional sit-down dinner. It was actually more expensive than a sit down, and the food was much better and more varied. I never expected that this type of reception would have such success. I would NEVER have changed my cocktail reception for a sit-down dinner... (Jackie- June 16, 2013)

Do Differently: DJ didn't play music we wanted


Do Differently: For the reception, I would definitely change the way I chose a DJ. I would have done more research and asked for a listing of music they offered. We filled out a detailed questionnaire listing very specific music choices, of which he played 10 of 40! We asked for jazz during dinner and there wasn't a jazz CD in sight! If I were to do it over again, I would be more rigorous about our music choices and simply state that if they aren't played, you don't get paid. (Heather- June 17, 2013)