Expert advice: reception planning

Tips + Advice // by QB

Want expert intel on creating a memorable reception? We asked our wedding industry pros for their top tips on how to plan, personalise and pull off one of the biggest parties of your lives…


Make all of your decisions as early as possible…

“…so you have no stress close to the day. Choose your menus, decorations, music list and anything else possible at your venue well in advance — crossing a few more jobs off the list!” Kate, Ocean View Estates


Have a flexible timeline

“Your formalities can be done in any order, you don’t have to follow a set rule. Also, leave a little bit of flexibility in your reception timeline and go with the evening. Just remember, it’s your special night.” Rebecca, Twin Waters Weddings. 


Celebrate your perfect date

“Is your reception on the same day as another special event? Consider including it in your running! Brisbane Riverfire is a perfect example. If your venue offers views of the fireworks, then include these! It will look like your city has put a show on just for you.” Kelly, Summit Restaurant


Bring your first dance forward

“One thing we love to do a little differently (especially for our couples who only have their photographer booked for a short duration) is to have the first dance on our front lawn at sunset. It also makes for some amazing first dance pics!” Emma, Spicers Clovelly Estate


Pre-empt the photo bomber

“For the cutting of the cake and/or first dance, a lot of couples are now asking for unplugged moments (that is, no mobile phones). However, there is always someone caught in the background holding up their giant iPad! Consider sneaking into the reception room prior to the reception starting to take mock photos of the first dance or cutting of the cake.” Kelly & Carol, Hotel Jen


Remember to take a moment

“Be sure to take a moment at some point during the evening to reflect on your amazing reception as well as the guests who have filled the room. This will truly be a special moment between both of you after all the hard work you have put into this special day.” Mimi, Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Gold Coast


Snip your speeches

“Speeches notoriously run overtime, which generally pushes back the rest of your schedule and cuts into precious dancing time at the end of the night. To avoid this, give your speakers a time limit – and I highly recommend not opening the floor for anyone else to get on the microphone. This can go on and on and on…” Stefanie, The Landing at Dockside

Looking for a venue for your reception? Check out our helpful directory here