5 Wedding Reception Must-Haves

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5 Wedding Reception Must-Haves

Wedding receptions are notoriously difficult to plan, with numerous vendors to direct and venue spaces to decorate. Understandably, couples can get lost in the planning process, and overlook the actual experience. By looking at the provisions from a guest perspective, couples can get an idea of what makes or breaks a reception. To get started, check all of the following boxes, for a night your guests will truly delight in.


Wedding Favors

Nowadays, it is etiquette to gift your guests a little something. And when we say little, it can be something as simple as a bag of candy or a bar of soap. A wedding favor is a token of your appreciation to your guests, for sharing in your day. Some people opt for a gift that is fleeting, such as sweets or candles, while others prefer one that will last. Ideally, you want to choose an item that is practical, yet guests can still remember you by. Consider gifting a small succulent, sunglasses, a blanket, or a small pot of honey, jam or jelly. For relevance sake, make sure to factor the season and your wedding theme into the decision.



A dance floor is a must, but so are other forms of entertainment. There are plenty of people who, due to age or personality, do not enjoy dancing. All too often, this leaves them to rely on the bar, or remain seated for the evening. To avoid these unfortunate scenarios, plan a few alternative forms of entertainment. You should always have an area for socializing, whether it be a bonfire or a makeshift lounge. Then, provide a few games, such as Cornhole, yard Jenga, or a deck of cards at each table. With a little something for everyone, less people will be heading for the door early.


Food Galore

Food is a wedding expectation, that you can never have too much of. And while food is primarily a fix for hunger, it is also a pleasurable way to pass the time while conversing. If your budget allows, appetizers pair perfectly with cocktail hour – and prevent guests from getting too tipsy, too early. Start with an impressive grazing table, for guests to munch on before the dinner service. If possible, keep it stocked for a better part of the evening. If the party goes well into the night, you can impress by planning a midnight pizza delivery. The basic toppings are all it takes to have guests oohing and awing over your wedding planning skills.


An Open Bar

Unless your guest list consists of strictly non-drinkers, then you should have an open bar at your wedding. This is not to say that you can’t set a strict budget or bottle limit, but it is proper etiquette not to make guests pay for their own drinks. After all, many people have to travel to a wedding and come bearing expensive gifts. If you have a limited bar budget, or prefer not to have excessive alcohol, consider limiting the selection. Beer and wine, or a handful of signature cocktails, always go over well.


A Solid Playlist

A dance floor isn’t worth much if you have a bad DJ. Make sure you hire a DJ who gets you, and understands what kind of music your guests respond best to. Initially they will request a few songs from you, to narrow down your taste in music. Once they have a solid idea, they will select songs that are similar, and are known to please a crowd. As the night goes on, a stellar DJ should be able to adapt their playlist according to the guests reactions.

At Pine Lake Ranch, we understand how the tiniest details add up to a memorable night. With our customizable wedding packages, you can cater to your guests, while accommodating a budget. Add on a security and bar package, an outdoor game package, or rent a fire pit and accessories. Contact us today to learn more about our venue, or to book your wedding date.