Congratulations on your engagement — now the exciting planning process begins. What do you foresee for your special day? Determining the overall tone of your wedding will help you decide on many of the details. One of the major decisions to be made is selecting the venue for your reception. You may want to consider finding a space that allows for various simultaneous uses. This allows your guests to enjoy different aspects of the reception as they mingle through the space.

Photo area

Consider including a fun photo area for your guests to take pics throughout the evening. If you are creating a funny picture space with costumes, props and such (which is awesome, especially if you match them to your reception theme) make sure there is enough room for your guests to get the most out of the experience. Be sure the venue knows about your plans and if you need any extra tables, chairs or podiums for set-up.

Also, people sometimes come home from weddings disappointed by the lack of good photo opportunities of the bride and groom. Plan for your emcee to announce when and where the best shutterbug spots will be to capture the cake cutting ceremony, first dance, etc. Giving your guests a bit of direction is often very well received.

Dessert buffet

People enjoy eating; however, they usually don’t want to be on display while they are indulging. Be considerate and practical when determining your venue layout. Having the buffet table directly on the dance floor might be too visible a spot and also could lead to messy spills. Ensure that you and your guests have enough discreet elbow room around the goodies to sample and mingle.

Ice sculpture bar

While your guest are enjoying your signature drink, why not make it a natural photo op. Be sure to take the height of your ice sculpture or sign into consideration when picking a location for this item. You don’t want to lose all of your hard work behind some low hanging chandelier or accidentally set up in front of a glaring window.

Cake table

Think of where everyone will be taking a picture and then decorate the area accordingly. Concentrating on key locations for candles, center pieces and flowers will dramatically cut costs.

Candy buffet

This is always a popular addition so consider having an area where candy is constantly available. Just remember that this will be a hotspot for kids to help themselves so maybe giant glass jars or other breakables aren’t the best option for serving. Consider the ages of your guests and plan for simple elegance. Ensure there is adequate room to create the self-serve ambiance.

Outdoor area

Offer an outside space where your guests can get away for a moment and enjoy the fresh air. Set up a bit of outdoor seating and decorate the area to give it some ambiance. Many brides like to carry their theme decor through to the outdoor space to keep everything seamless.

Whatever spaces you decide to create for your reception, Swan Manor can accommodate them. Between our stately manor house, carriage house ballroom and manicured grounds, the wedding reception of your dreams is possible on our grounds. Contact us today to schedule a meeting and tour. Call 704-776-2530 or use the contact form here on the site. We look forward to hearing from you.