Are you interested in planning a wedding reception without a ceremony? If you're already married, eloped, or had a small ceremony, in this article, we give you tips on how to host a reception only wedding for your family and friends.

Tips For Planning A Reception Only Wedding

The process of planning a reception is similar to that of planning a typical wedding. The main distinction is that the wedding reception is treated as “the main event," complete with its own guest list and arrangements. You still need to consider critical variables that will contribute to the success of your event.

Set A Wedding Reception Budget

Couples' top concern is always their budget. This is one of the reasons why many couples choose a smaller wedding rather than a major event. When planning a reception only wedding, your budget should naturally prioritize food and the wedding reception location. This will be determined by the number of guests invited.

Other expenses to consider when planning a wedding reception include:

  • Photos/Videos
  • Drinks
  • Flowers
  • Decor
  • Music and Entertainment
  • Hair and Makeup
  • Cake and Sweets
  • Invitations
  • Transportation

Set A Date

Decide on a date for your wedding before you begin searching for wedding reception venues. Take into consideration that many venues are booked a year or even two in advance, so you may need to adjust your date selection based on the availability of your preferred wedding reception location or be prepared to change venues. 

Select A Venue

Determine whether your wedding reception will be held inside, outdoors, or a combination of the two. If you want to have an outdoor event, you must factor in the likelihood of rain and have an inside backup plan.

Seasons are also an important consideration, even more so if you're on a limited budget. Planning your wedding reception in the winter, for example, towards the end of January, can save you money if a venue offers off-season pricing.

Create A Wedding Reception Guest List

One of the deciding factors of the number of guests invited to a reception only wedding is the budget that you have set. When deciding who to send invites to and whether to allow a plus one, keep in mind that catering and the amount of wedding reception venue space will increase the cost. 

Determine Seating Arrangements

If you're planning a formal dinner, seating might become a bit of a problem, so it's important to start planning table layout and arrangements soon after determining your venue.

The bride and groom may sit on a raised platform at whichever location is designated as the front of the room. The bridal party joins them, and they all face the rest of the room. This is less common than it formerly was, since arranging the table among the guests has gained acceptance and a more modern vibe.

Parents are often seated next to one another, or they may have their own family and friends at their tables.

Consider utilizing place cards to assist guests in determining their seating arrangements. It is not required, but it may be quite beneficial.

Hire Catering and Vendors

It is important to find the appropriate vendors for your reception. Everything from the vendors that you select from the catering to the beverages, décor, hair, cosmetics, and even transportation should ensure that the event is memorable. Some wedding reception venues even make it easy by providing a preferred vendors list.

Regardless of the vendor you use, here are some pointers on how to locate the best one:

• Seek advice from friends and relatives, or do internet research.

• Look at these businesses' websites or social media pages, and read online reviews.

• Make a brief list of people that interest you and contact them. Don't forget to inquire whether they can handle the requirements of your reception.

• When conversing with possible suppliers, keep in mind how outstanding their customer service is since you will be coordinating with them before, during, and after the event.

When selecting vendors, it's critical to choose one who can give the right entertainment for your style and music tastes. Choose a wedding band or DJ that can deliver music that complements your theme. 

Keep in mind that the cocktail hour should have a distinct atmosphere from the dinner itself, which your entertainment provider should be aware of. A sound engineer should be present to ensure that all of the microphones and speakers are operational for a smooth and entertaining event.

When selecting your wedding reception menu, some guests will always have food limitations, so be prepared to give vegetarian, gluten-free, and other alternative options as required.

It's a good idea to have requested allergy information from attendees in advance. Typically, a cocktail event would include snacks and appetizers and vegetarian and non-vegetarian alternatives. If you are planning to have a formal sit-down dinner, determine the number of dishes you want and compare it to your budget.

Reception Only Weddings At Cooper's Ridge Event Venue

Traditional wedding ceremonies are giving way to reception only weddings, which are becoming a more pleasurable, hassle-free, and exciting option. If you're a couple interested in this option, Cooper's Ridge Event Venue can create the perfect design for your event, complete with setup and breakdown services. We have a large bar with a variety of packages and local vendors to suit your budget. Choose from our custom add ons to tailor your experience to create your perfect wedding reception. To schedule a tour, contact us today!