Wedding Receptions have evolved over the years in so many ways. Gone are the days of punch and finger sandwiches served in the church gathering hall followed by a simple exit of thrown rice in a shaving cream covered car.
Today you can find most wedding parties arriving via stretch escalade and dancing the night away to the hottest DJ or band in town surrounded by beautiful décor, flower arrangements and professional event lighting. There is usually a wedding coordinator with a lapel mic making sure all problems are handled without the bride and groom ever becoming aware of an issue to begin with. Other weddings are a bit more scaled down, smaller, simpler but always elegant. Take for example the wedding and reception held in a beautiful grove of trees on the family farm with a simple dance floor surrounded by quilt covered hay bales and a string of bare bulbs throughout the trees.
Many of our brides today are so talented and with the extra help of Pinterest, they are also very DIY. We see everything from beautiful handmade signs that give the perfect amount of personal touch to jellies and jam cooked and canned by the bride and groom just for their guests. One thing all of today’s weddings have in common is the goal of being beautiful, personal and memorable no matter the size or budget.
And to each couple, there are usually one or two things that matter most to them for their reception. Some want the best music around in order to dance the night away. (Should we get a band or a DJ?) While others are wholly focused on the menu. (Hmmm sushi would be great, but should we go traditional?) And still others just want the venue to look phenomenal. (Should we hire a designer?)
There are a few things we have seen in the past that can make a huge impact at your reception. Brides ask for our input all the time so here’s our 2 cents.
DJ or Band? – We say either one. Bands can make a huge impact because of their live performance, upbeat style and ability to personally interact with the crowd, while other prefers to hear music in their original form via a DJ. A good DJ can be counted on to not only read the crowd and play the music that everyone seems to be enjoying, but usually has a wide variety of music at their fingertips as well, as opposed to bands that only play certain styles or genres. No matter which you go with, always get references and make sure they are familiar with playing at wedding receptions. There is a big difference in hiring someone familiar with the ins and outs of wedding timelines and coordinating with other vendors than someone who just plays for the local high school dance.
Food – This one is pretty obvious, but the food can be really memorable- good or bad. Of course you want great food so ask around to friends who have been to weddings recently or especially other wedding vendors. We’ve been to a lot of weddings and have tasted a lot of food so we can usually recommend a good caterer. Just ask! And there’s no harm in shopping around and asking for sample menus and tastings.
Event Lighting – To photographers this is a no brainer. What do photographers love? Light! And when that light comes in different forms and colors in your venue, it makes a HUGE impact. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a ballroom or under a tent, investing in professional lighting will truly highlight your venue and make it extraordinary.
There are so many things to consider when planning your reception. So no matter if you’re going for a stylish reception at the trendiest spot in town, an elegant evening at the country club, or a backyard party spent beneath the stars, remember to focus on the things that matter most to you. In the end, you’re still walking out with that special someone who made all the planning worthwhile.
Today we share with you some of our favorite photos from wedding receptions that highlight the lighting, the location and of course, the fun!
~ Craig & Lindsey