How to Throw the Ultimate Wedding Reception

Want to throw a wedding reception your guests will remember for years? If your goal is to create a party that everyone can’t stop talking about, you need three key elements. Read this to find out more:

Wedding Reception Music

The importance of hiring a good DJ/ Master of Ceremonies cannot be overstated. They control the tone of the entire event. Make sure that you get someone that is highly recommended and has raving reviews. It’s worth it! Other things to keep in mind:

  • Create a timeline for the big day, and give a copy to the DJ. It will help them to let the guests know when to move from one activity to another. These include mother/son, father/daughter dance, cake cutting, and favorite songs.
  • Create an excellent playlist. Let your DJ know in advance any songs that you want to play at the wedding reception. (And don’t forget the list of songs you’d rather not hear.)

Reception Food

This is another essential thing that guests love. However you decide to organize the food, remember that you should feed them a main course if the guests are present for more than an hour or two. Hungry guests = cranky guests. Here are a few suggestions for food:

  • Appetizers – these are appropriate if you’re having a more extended reception, or your wedding photos are going to take a while. It keeps people entertained.
  • Drinks – decide if you’ll serve alcohol, a signature drink, or if you’re sticking to wedding punch. 
  • Main Course – if your reception is during the evening or is several hours long, this is appropriate.
  • Desserts – the most obvious one here is cake. Make sure to have enough for each guest to have a piece. As alternatives, you can also opt for cupcakes, brownies, cookies, or cake pops.


Any good party keeps the guests entertained by planning plenty of things for them to do. Of course, the main event is the ceremony. But what about the reception? There are several activities that most wedding receptions include. These are:

  • First Dance
  • Father/daughter and mother/son dance
  • Dinner
  • Cutting the cake
  • Speeches
  • Happy couple’s exit

However, here are some other ideas that you may not have thought of:

  • Dance for the bridal party
  • Advice cards
  • Photobooth
  • Song requests

Bonus Advice

If you want to wow your guests, be appreciative of them. They all took time out of their lives to celebrate with you, so it’s time to thank them. You can do this by including a small party gift for each guest. To make this even more fun, have guests enter a contest or raffle to win a larger prize, like a gift card. And remember to send those thank you notes!

That’s It!

Your wedding reception will be a party to remember when you include good music, food, activities, and of course, presents! Make your wedding special for everyone involved by thinking about things your guests will love and then adding those into the event. Have fun planning!

Alex Loredo is a freelance writer. She utilizes her knowledge of events and planning to create content that motivates and inspires. She writes for Thrive Global, Adventures and Coffee, and more. Alex specializes in events, hospitality, and planning topics. When she isn’t writing, she can be found reading, baking, or on a never-ending quest for the world’s best cup of coffee.

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