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Five Wedding Reception Secrets From The Pros
by: Michael Kabel

If anyone ever has the time to count, they'll probably discover the exact number of details that go into making a wedding reception successful. We estimate it's probably somewhere in the hundreds, though when all is said and done it might be even more.

With so much to remember, it's no wonder that some little short cuts and time-saving methods get left overlooked. Yet there are ways to "super charge" your reception so that it's even better than you might expect. Presented below are five such tips, to help you get more than the reception of your dreams.

Don't skimp on the food and the drinks.

You want your wedding feast to be as lavish as possible, right? Catered dinners are certainly expensive, but they're not a place to cut corners.

Work with your wedding reception venue or the caterer to include extra portions of the food, additional bread, or more salad in addition to the entrees. Also, make sure there's plenty of cake and dessert for everyone. Finally, stock the free, open bar with enough wine and spirits to keep everyone happy for the duration of the reception.

Personally thank as many guests as possible.

As we explained in our article on the five wedding reception "mines" elsewhere on this site, you're basically the celebrity host of your reception. Your guests will feel delighted (at least) to spend a few minutes congratulating you on your wedding's success.

Don't leave the reception early, and don't plant yourself behind the head table. Getting out and mingling will mean a lot to everyone. At the end of the reception, let everyone know your leaving. They'll want to throw birdseed.

Provide for the kids.

A child's table is an old tradition for family get-togethers like Thanksgiving. But it's also a great idea for wedding receptions. It lets the adults enjoy their meal while the kids have fun. You can also provide a kid's menu too - chicken tenders and macaroni and cheese, for example, served with lots of fruit juice.

After the dinner, they can watch a movie in a spare room of the reception hall, using the venue's multimedia equipment (most keep these sort of things handy for business presentations.) Just make sure an adult is there to watch over them.

Personalize your wedding favors

A personalized wedding favor is the difference between a guest favor that's simply appreciated and a unique wedding favor that's kept as a souvenir for years afterward. The personalization might include you and your fiance's names, the wedding date, your new family name, or all of the above. It's available on all manner of wedding favor gifts, from candies and coffees to more elegant items such as compact mirrors and glassware.

Keep in mind that personalization sometimes takes longer to arrive than conventional favors.

Planning your reception with these tips.

Any of these tips put together will make your reception a little better – though all five will work five times as well. As with all plans, it's a matter of timing and preparing in advance.