Customer advice, help and tips, wedding entertainment ideas

How to plan a stress-free wedding reception (Complete guide)

couple dancing at their wedding reception

Planning a wedding reception can be stress-free and fun when you know exactly what you need to be doing and in what order. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry! That’s where we come in. The Warble team have written this super easy-to-follow guide for all the things couples need to consider when planning their own wedding reception.

So, let’s get started.

Let your imagination run wild

The first thing you need to do when planning a wedding reception is to have a clear picture of the theme or wedding style you are going for. How are you supposed to plan a wedding reception when you have no inspiration or reference points? Therefore, the first thing you need to do is let your imagination run wild and start looking for sources of inspiration.  

So, look at wedding magazines, blogs or even Pinterest. Get inspired and let the ideas flow. Try collating these images and references in a folder. Whether that be in a physical folder or a board of Pinterest, having this nearby will ensure you never lose track of your wedding reception ideas.

Create a realistic budget

The easiest way to save when planning a wedding on a budget is to know realistically what you can and can’t afford. So, when defining your budget be sure to cover all your current bills and expenditures in the plan. Make a list and prioritise it based on the amount you would like to spend for each item on the list.

Finally, be sure to remember to leave a little leeway. Because, by leaving 10% of your budget on the side for an emergency you are sure to be prepared for the unpredictable.

Book the venue – send the invitations

The next thing you need to consider when organising a wedding reception is booking the venue. Finding the perfect venue for a wedding reception requires time and patience. It is unrealistic to think that the first venue you come across will be the one. Although, that would be ideal! 

However, there can be real fun found in arranging appointments to view the perfect space. It is at this point couples begin to see all their wedding ideas and plans come together. A real pinch-me moment.

Finally, when you have both the ceremony and reception venues all arranged and booked, you can begin to send those all-important RSVP invitations.

60+ MUST ASK Questions For Your Wedding Venue

Organise the key elements of the evening – suppliers

Arguably the best part of organising a wedding reception is deciding on suppliers for the evening’s finer details. So, whether that be the wedding cake, the décor or even the caterers. There is always some fun to be had. Even more so as here is where couples get to put their stamp on the day completely.

If you’re going with a festival themed wedding, for décor think rustic wood furniture and haybales all around. For food, look to hire a street food vendor who can hand out the food straight from a quirky minivan. It’s the little things like this that will make the wedding unforgettable for guests.

With a list of endless possibilities, the fun part is designing a space with all your wonderful ideas and slowly but surely watching your evening reception come to life.

wedding decor

Photo Credit: Mia Photography

Sort the seating plan

The first step to arranging a seating plan is understanding the venue set-up. Have a chat with the venue host to gain some insight into their recommended layout. The venue will know exactly how to best utilise their space.

The trick to planning the right seating plan is mixing up the tables. Remember not to place a family on each table as guests will lose the chance to mingle with other people. On the flip side, you also don’t want to place people on a table where no one knows each other. It’s all about balance.

Decide on the menu – and the wedding cake

Before the evening’s antics get well underway, guests will need some fuel. Since your budget should already be established, it should be clear how much there is to spend on the catering.

Not only will the budget dictate the menu but so will the number of guests. More guests mean more mouths to feed so if the budget is small, it might be worth considering going for a cheaper cost per plate.

The next thing to consider is the serving style and how that fits in with your wedding theme. For example, if you’re hosting a rustic boho themed wedding, the perfect catering choice would be a big BBQ where guests can go up and order what they like. The beauty of a BBQ is that there is always something for everyone.

One final thing to remember is that everyone has different dietary requirements. Be sure to consider each one of your guests’ needs. Draft a spreadsheet with all your guests’ names and next to their names write their requirements. Now you will be able to clearly see if you need to make any additional arrangements for your guests. Oh, a final note. Don’t forget the drinks!

wedding cake

Photo Credit: Mia Photography

Entertainment – DJ, live band etc

Now what’s a party without live entertainment? Hiring a live wedding band or even a DJ is an essential part of planning a wedding reception. Hiring a professional musician who has years’ experience performing at live function events will know exactly how to get the party started and the dance floor filled, ALL NIGHT LONG.

At Warble, we have some of the best wedding entertainment to book up and down the UK. So whether it’s a saxophone player needed in Cheshire or a rock & pop wedding band to perform in London, we have the perfect entertainment for any location!


For more wedding entertainment ideas and help in booking the perfect acts for your event, visit Warble Entertainment.

Published by Warble Entertainment, where entertainment lives.

Comments are closed.

Looking for wedding inspiration?

Drop your email below and we’ll send you some of the very best wedding entertainment ideas, direct to your inbox