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Planning your wedding reception

The wedding reception will probably be the largest expense on your budget list. If it will be a great success or just “another wedding party” depends on how well you are planning it.

First of all you need a reception site. When booking one you have to take in consideration how many guests you will have, how formal/informal the wedding is, how “large” is your budget. Regarding the money there are two types of sites: the ones (restaurants, hotels) that have a fee per person, here including food, beverages, table, parking and so on and the others (clubs, halls, private homes) that will provide you only the space and you have to take care of the rest.

Then decide if you want a full meal or a buffet style. If you've chosen a restaurant or a hotel as your reception site you will have to choose the menu and beverages. You may ask for a special course if you want, although they normally don't do one. Just to be sure double check that the hotel hasn't made another booking for that day (sometimes this happens and then you'll have to move to a small room, not the one you've paid for).

Otherwise you have to hire a caterer. He/she will take care of food, beverages, serving the meal and cleaning up the place after the event. You have to be sure that your reception site has cooking equipment and enough refrigerating space. When choosing a caterer ask for references. Check on his/her work. Ask to see pictures from other events or even better, pay him/her a visit when he/she is catering another wedding.

Regarding the meal you can go for the traditional three courses style (starter, main course and sweets) or for succession of multi-courses served at miniature size.

As for the beverage, you have to be sure that serving alcoholic drinks is permitted at your reception site. Then order the beverage according to meal courses, your guest preferences (if possible), time of the day when reception is held.

Remember that also the photographer, videographer and the band have to eat/drink something.

As a sign of your appreciation for their presence at your wedding, you may offer to your guests party favors. These are little gifts such as matchboxes, cocktail napkins, candy, wine/champagne bottles should be marked with the initial or the name of the bride/the groom and the wedding date. 

If you've planned everything in detail, your wedding reception will be a big success!

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