• Holly Lenihan

Useful Tips For Your Wedding Reception

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Your evening reception can be whatever you want it to be. Whether you'd like a full on party with music and food, or a simple meal with the ones you love; it's your day, so the choice is yours.


If you're having a religious ceremony, then the reception will need to be elsewhere. Some great ideas for reception venues are pubs, restaurants, village halls, or even a loved ones home. Wedding venues can also usually be hired for just the reception part of the day, rather than the ceremony as well.

That being said, if you aren't having a religious ceremony, your entire wedding can be at the same place. This is very convenient for your guests, and you could cut costs as you wouldn't need to worry about transportation if you're already there.

Another budget friendly option is to get married at a registry office with a few close friends and family. You could then go on to the reception elsewhere. Village halls are a great venue option (speaking from the UK here) - they're reasonably cheap to hire, and are usually a blank canvas for you to decorate how you like.


Depending on what sort of reception you'd like will alter the timings, but at my wedding (in the UK) the day went as follows:

  • 1.30pm - Ceremony

  • 4.00pm - Dinner & Speeches

  • 7.00pm - Evening Guests Arrive & DJ Starts

  • 11.00pm - Home Time

The timings were pretty much perfect, and were what the staff at our wedding venue advised - they're the experts, so they will absolutely help you every step of the way.

Is everyone having a good time?

There are a few things to think about when deciding what sort of reception you'd like. Although the choice is completely yours, it's a good idea to make sure that there is something for everyone to enjoy (and if you're not worried about this, I salute you - do what you want!).


Dancing the night away with your loved ones may sound incredible to you, but perhaps not so fun for Great Aunt Miriam; maybe a venue that will cater to both the partiers and the observers could be a good solution. Many venues nowadays have various speakers throughout the venue, so you could have a quiet end of the room with the music turned down for those sitting, but have the music loud at the front for all the ravers.


Another thing to consider is food, and when you'd like it to come out. If you have a quiet crowd who would all like the night to end at a reasonably early time, then food coming out late won't get eaten. Similarly, if you're having a long reception with non-stop dancing, your guests may want something to nibble on after all that partying.

At the end of the day, it's your day

It genuinely is up to you how your day and evening pan out - there is no right or wrong answer. Usually guests are happy as long as they are fed and watered, but other than that it is up to you. Discuss with your partner what sort of ideas you both have, write lists, make enquiries and as ever, shop around. And remember - do what YOU want to do!