Wedding Reception Checklist

Planning a wedding reception may have been an overwhelming experience. However, wedding reception checklists help systematize things, resulting in a well-organized reception.
Priya Johnson Nov 20, 2018
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A wedding is believed to be one of the most important occasions in a person's life. In fact, if organized properly, a wedding becomes memorable not only for the wedding couple, but also to all who attend it. However, to do so, one has to take care of several tiny details.
Every wedding is unique and different, with the reception being the highlight of the wedding, which needs to be carefully handled. There are no definite rules and steps to conduct a reception. It's a time when people can use their creativity and make the event extra special.
However, besides creativity, maintaining a certain order will ensure the smooth conduction of the event. Wedding reception checklists are wonderful tools to help keep things organized during a reception.

Rough Guest List Preparation

Once the couple has been engaged to be married and the wedding date has been finalized, a guest list is to be prepared. The guest list will set the outline for the rest of the reception arrangements.
The reception site or budget cannot be finalized, unless the approximate number of guests attending the reception is clear.

Budget Creation

According to the guest list data, the wedding budget is to be prepared.

Reception Venue Selection

Selection of the reception venue is the highlight of the wedding reception checklist. The venue must be such that, it is close to the place where the wedding is being conducted. This makes it easier for the guests, who then don't have to travel far for the reception.
If the venue does not offer chairs, tables and other furniture, then make arrangements for those as well. Make a floor layout for the tables and seating area at the reception site.

Theme and Color Scheme

Weddings and receptions following themes and color schemes, add beauty and style to the entire event.

Decor Decision

The color scheme and theme will define the decor at the reception venue. An event designer can help with the decor.

Second Outfit Decision

Several brides prefer to wear a second dress at their reception, so as to have two looks on their auspicious day. Moreover, if the bridal gown is too grand and uncomfortable to dance in, then changing into a more comfortable outfit would help.
If one does not want to go in for a second outfit, then the wedding gown designer can design a two or three-piece bridal gown. These bridal gowns comprise two or three parts, which when worn together appear like a one-piece gown, and when separated forms a wedding dress. So a grand bridal gown can be turned into a short dancing dress within minutes.

Entertainment Planning

The reception party will need a band or DJ. Arrangements regarding the booking of a band will need to be made. A song list comprising favorite songs must be given to the band or DJ.
Many couples love their wedding receptions to be interactive, and choose to have games. The games responsibility can be given to a friend or relative who could take care of the same.

Caterer Selection

If the chosen reception venue does not provide catering facility, then arrange for a caterer. Carry out a food-tasting session and choose the menu for the reception dinner. One will have to decide if the meal is a buffet or a sit-down meal.

Out-of-Town Guest Arrangements

For the out-of-town guests, hotel arrangements need to be made. Make sure the hotel is close to the wedding and reception area, so that they don't have to travel far.
Commutation facilities for the guests, from the hotel to the wedding site and to the reception venue, needs to be kept in mind. The travel arrangements must be made, and a travel agency should be contacted for this purpose.

Wedding Cake

Take advice from friends, regarding the availability of the best wedding cake in your region. Researching on the Internet will also help. Place the order well in advance.

Final Guest List

Changes can be made to the rough guest list, and the final guest list can be prepared. The wedding invitations or save-the-date cards should be mailed to the guests well in advance.

Dance Lessons

If one wishes to have a more professional first dance, then dancing lessons is a good option.


If one wishes to have professional video footage and photographs taken, then a photographer will have to be booked.


The flowers required for decorating the wedding site, reception venue, wedding car and bridal bouquet must be arranged for. A florist needs to be contacted and booked for the same.
The reception flowers must be selected in accordance to the theme and color scheme. One can even opt for floral centerpieces if desired.

Wedding Favors and Accessories

Cake topper, confetti, toasting flutes, scented candles, fancy napkin holders, and various other wedding accessories, can be ordered as per personal choice. Wedding favors can be homemade or even ordered.
However, if you are planning to make them, you need to consider how and when it will be done and who all will be helping.
Planning a reception is not only exciting for the couple, but also for their parents and close relatives. The entire wedding reception planning can be a joyful experience if done in a systematic manner. Maintaining a wedding reception checklist can simplify the reception requirements a great deal.
Once all the items on the checklist have been carried out, the bride, groom and parents can relax and enjoy the wedding day. Nevertheless, there's no perfect family and squabbles are bound to crop up. Just take it all in the stride!