It’s easy to get caught up in wedding planning and lose yourself in all of the details. Many brides are so exhausted by the time they finalize the ceremony details that they forget what is important to accomplish during the reception. Oftentimes, the formality of the ceremony can sap the fun out of reception planning.

The reception is the portion of your celebration to let your hair down and visit with all the guests who have traveled miles to witness your union. It is the time to celebrate your first dance as a married couple. It is the time to kick back and embrace this new chapter and possibly your new name.

Eat, drink and be merry

Enjoying some great food and beverages can set the perfect mood for your celebration. Take your favorite meals into consideration when sitting down with your caterer. Some couples prefer a myriad of finger foods to keep guests picking throughout the night. Tapas style dishes including meats and veggies or fruit kabobs can be simple and tasty.

Have fun — a DIY pasta station or salad station can help guests create a meal to remember. A create-your-own pizza station or ice cream station will give guests delicious options and keep things easy for them bride and groom. Just provide some staples and let your family and friends create their own culinary magic.

Signature drinks

Creating a signature drink ahead of time with your bartender can be a fun way to treat your guests to something new and exciting. Consider embellishing your concoction with fruit, olives, fancy umbrellas or personalized toothpicks to keep things extra special.

Personalized glasses

Having personalized glasses can be an extra useful memento for your guests to use and take home. This is an appealing option for green brides who don’t want to add to the styrofoam nightmare in our landfills. Using disposable plastic wine and beer glasses can also add a lot of extra garbage to your event. You can avoid all of this with some cool glass beer or lemonade mugs and stainless steel mugs.

For a thoughtful touch, you can tie a ribbon with each guest’s name around his or her mug handle or wine glass stem. You can incorporate a thank you note or your wedding date or a poem to personalize even further. Guests will be responsible for their own glasses and can take them home afterward.

Dance the night away

Hire an approachable DJ who is open to requests and keeping the night going. Have some songs pre-requested and some plans made to keep the night flowing smoothly between slow dances, line dances and shake-it-till-ya-drop tunes.

Portable hot tub rentals

Some couples are not into loud dancing. This is fine and something to be honest about during your planning. If you’re having a smaller wedding with close friends, you may opt for an outdoor recreational idea instead. Sipping some celebratory wine in a hot tub can be fun and relaxing.

Fire pit relaxation and stargazing

Maybe you’d prefer to say “to heck with it all” as far as traditional parties go. If that’s the case, good for you! Consider having a memorable night full of personal interaction and insightful conversation. An outdoor fire pit, some comfortable chairs, blankets and a hot chocolate or hot apple cider station are a great recipe for relaxing and engaging with your family and friends during the reception.

Whatever your ideal reception looks like, it can be done at Swan Manor. Between our stately manor house, carriage house ballroom and manicured grounds, the wedding reception of your dreams is possible at Swan Manor. 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.