Wedding receptions: the ten commandments
It’s here, the big question has been popped: you’re about to be married to your better half. As you gear up to hold one of the biggest days of your life, you’ve got to tell yourself to take it step by step; as the excitement builds, remember to breathe. Above all, don’t try to manage everything on your own, right now. To help you with the job at hand, we’ve drawn up a list of pointers on how to organize a successful wedding reception: let’s call them the wedding reception ten commandments.
1. TAKE THE TIME TO THINK / MAKE A LIST
The first step in organizing a wedding, naturally, is to think about all the details. Before you start anything, ask yourself the following questions:
-What will be the ideal place for the wedding?
-What kind of theme will tell our story best?
-How will our dream day unfold?
-What kind of costs will we be looking at?
-Who do we want to invite?
Taking some time to think about everything will get the task of organizing off to a great start. Start making those lists!
2. SET A DATE
And now, WHEN ARE WE GETTING MARRIED? How far away will it be? Will it be a fall, winter, spring or summer wedding? Every season has its own particular charm and its own particular requirements. Think about it: which season says wedding to you?
3. DRAW UP A BUDGET
Drawing up a budget is an inevitable part of the process, but it can prove to be a real puzzle. How much do you want to spend on the dress? The flowers? The photographs? Go with your priorities. If the dress you’ve decided on is more expensive than the one you initially envisaged, you’re going to have to make adjustments to some of the other details.
4. CHOOSE THE PLACE
Indoor wedding or outdoor wedding? In the city or in the country? At home or in a reception hall? But that’s not all: you’ll still have to determine if the place has everything you need. Does it have a fully functional kitchen? A dance floor? Does the rental price include tables and chairs? Is there enough parking space for all the guests? Is the hall close enough to the ceremony?
Many hotels, including the Hôtels Gouverneur, offer turnkey wedding packages, providing a practical solution at low cost.
5. FIND A THEME
There’s one thing you have to remember when determining a theme: hold a wedding reception that reflects your personality.
Once your site is chosen, imagine it decorated. Follow your style and preferences. And don’t be afraid to shop. There are so many possibilities out there. Be creative!
6. DRAW UP A GUEST LIST
Knowing the number of guests you’re inviting will help determine the type of reception you’ll have. You can choose to invite the whole clan or only the people you really want to have there. And get ready to answer a pressing question: “Do I get an invitation to the wedding?”
7. CALL ON THE PROS
We won’t sugar-coat it: organizing a wedding reception can be a scary ordeal. Entrust some of the details to the professionals. Hire a photographer and a make-up artist. In hotels, the banquet teams can be a great help: you deserve a little time to breathe during the build-up to the big day and especially on the big day itself.
8. LEARN TO DELEGATE
Don’t take too much on your shoulders, and learn to ask for help. Your best friend or sister will probably be delighted to help you organize everything. Have fun creating the announcements together and shopping for the decorations. On D-Day, it’s essential—and oh-so-much simpler—to have an ally on site, on your side, so you can enjoy the day to the fullest.
9. DECIDE WHAT TO DO WITH THE RUGRATS
This subject—a potentially delicate one—deserves careful thought. Many choices are available to you in terms of “managing” children on your wedding day. Either you say yes to the presence of the children of all your guests (and assume full responsibility for them) or you specify that your wedding will be celebrated by adults only. Or you can choose to invite the children in your family only (your nieces and nephews and all the little cousins). Are there going to be several children on site? Why not call a babysitting service? The kids will be distracted, meaning there will be one less thing to manage that day.
Everything won’t necessarily go as expected. But if you’re properly prepared, you’ll keep the stress to a minimum and be able to enjoy your day to the fullest.
Do you have any wedding planning tips of your own to share with brides- and grooms-to-be?