I’m a little biased, but I really do think our reception was one for the books. And I know I’m bound to think that, but I’m pretty sure a lot of our friends do too. It was so. much. fun. And having one like that? It really isn’t that hard. We’ve participated in some great ones too, and they all seem to have a few of these things in common.
One. Choose the perfect location. We knew this was the spot from the moment we walked onto it. I could clearly imagine it all lit up, just the way I wanted. This set the stage for the rest of the perfect night.
Two. Pick decorations and themes that make you feel at home. I love reading, I love romance, I love fairytales, and I love happy endings. So my wedding? It had allll of that in it.
Three. Choose an easy to remember hashtag and have it written everywhere. Ours was on most tables, at various spots in the entryway, and most definitely beside our homemade photobooth. Speaking of, I highly recommend having one of those! I ordered props off Amazon and it was an easy fill-in for the cocktail hour!
Four. Have some fun with your first dances. My dad and I had our song picked out since I was like three, so dancing to that was a breeze. Brett and his mom enjoyed a faster pace song, which was certainly entertaining! If you can’t dance, don’t let that hold you back. It’s so much more fun to act like you can.
Five. Get the dance floor hopping as early as you can. I’m not a big dancer, y’all. I was a little hesitant about this part of the night. But I promise you, getting the dance floor going early is a guaranteed way to make sure your guests are enjoying themselves. We were lucky and had the best DJ in the High Country, and he played exactly what I wanted with only a brief description from me.
Six. Don’t be afraid to be the life of the dance floor. Those are the poeple you want to be and want to be with. Exhibit A and B: Brett’s awesome grandmother and our stunner of a young friend.
Seven: Play music everyone can dance to. Start the night with some Otis Redding, easy dancing songs. That gets a larger amount of the crowd up, and they’re more likely to stay up. As the night (or afternoon) progresses, let the song selection progress. Leave some room for crowd recommendations. Don’t ignore those classic, cheesy line dances that somehow get everyone on their feet.
Eight. Glow sticks. Glow sticks make everything seem like a party, and they were SUCH an inexpensive detail to add! We placed them by the bar (I believe) and they were definitely taken advantage of!
Nine. Make sure you are dancing too. What fun is a reception if you, the bride and groom, don’t enjoy it yourself? Get out there, enjoy it! Bounce around among friend groups, check in with your new spouse, but be sure that you are enjoying the party as well.
Ten. Funny toasts are definitely crowd pleasers. Our night had started, and our party was going. Why simmer that down with a tearjerker? Use the cry-fest speeches at the rehearsal dinner, and let loose on those embarrassing stories you’ve been saving up (about an overly neat boy and a clumsy, messy girl) to get your guests laughing. They’ll find it endearing, and it’ll warm their hearts.
Eleven. Really encourage your friends to go for the bouquet (or garter). No one wants that lame party where no one steps up. It’s always so much more fun for both the girls and boys and the guests watching to have a fight to the death for it:). Or you could just have horrible aim like me and have that one friend who goes above and beyond- Love you Marjorie!
Twelve. As the crowd slowly dies down, have group dancing activities to join all the groups together. Truly, this was one of the things that amazed me the most about our wedding. When looking through pictures, I find friends from completely separate groups dancing together the whole night! But really, look at this line – so fun!
Thirteen. Go out with a bang. There are so many beautiful ways to leave your reception these days. We chose sparklers because I’m huge on lights. I’ve also seen glow sticks be super cute, and of course lanterns.
Fourteen. Getaway in style. Truth be told, this was really Brett’s thing. We were wayyy too far out for a carriage, and neither of us are huge on sports cars. We picked something that fit us: a truck. It just happened to be a classic:).
Fifteen: At the end of the day, remember that this is solely a celebration. It’s a time set aside for you, and your spouse, and your family, and your friends to recognize that God has placed a love in your heart so strong, so encompassing and unconditional that it needs to be eternal and declared in his sight. A celebration! It is a catalyst of joy. Live it that way.