How to Plan A Wedding Reception that Doesn't Suck

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How to Plan A Wedding Reception that Doesn’t Suck

Photo by Aaron Snow

By Chasen Shaw

Chasen is a certified Wedding Entertainment Director and owner of PartyBox. He and his wife Leslee Layton are the founders of Let’s Revel.

How many wedding receptions have you been to that, frankly, sucked?

Be honest. There was music and food and a newlywed couple, but the vibe just wasn’t there. Guests were trying hard not to be seen as they slipped out. Those of you who stayed didn’t know what to do. It was awkward, and you were embarrassed for them.

If you’re like most engaged couples, you have probably decided what you aren’t going to do from those types of receptions, right?

What is the biggest fear you have for your wedding reception?

  • Guests will be bored.

  • Nobody will dance.

  • Everyone will leave early.

  • It won’t be fun.

When we ask engaged couples this same question, most say something like: “Our biggest fear is a reception that nobody remembers. Where guests are looking at their phone and wondering how much longer they have to stay.”

Here is the good news...you can fix the problem before it happens.

We’re going to let you in on the secret to a wedding’s success.

  • Guests will dance all night and stay to the very end.

  • Guests will remember your wedding as the best wedding they’ve been to.

  • You’ll have photos and video of everyone laughing and dancing, all the magical moments that happen in the blink of an eye.

What’s the secret?

You have to tell them and you have to show them.

It’s called “Expectation Management”.

When we ask engaged couples how their reception will be different, their answers are usually: More booze, more food, better venue, more fun things to do (distant 4th).

All of these things are good, but none of these answers solves the problem of a boring reception. Countless open bars and endless steak and lobster at The Ritz-Carlton isn’t going to guarantee guests have fun. But it is guaranteed to cost a lot.

The Real Solution is Connection.

  • Vulnerability.

  • Open up to your guests.

  • Show them the real reason they are there.

  • Entertain them.

It takes action. Accept that you will be the center of attention. Show and tell your guests what you want. You must prepare for the reception the way you prepared for your proposal or your dress, hair and makeup.

  • What will I say?

  • What will we do?

  • How will I behave?

If you want everyone to remember your wedding reception, wow them!

If you want your guests to laugh, cry happy tears, and connect with the love you have for each other, show them that love. If you want your guests to dance the night away, tell them. And then show them by being out on the dance floor with them.

Wedding guests are like sheep. Sheeple. They want to be led and fed and told what to do. That isn’t an insult. It’s human nature. So show them and tell them.

Your guests love you. They want to have a great time. They wouldn’t be there otherwise. So set them up for success. Show them that you not only spent money on the event, but you poured your heart into making this celebration a real reflection of who you two are as a married couple. Give them the reasons to stay and you will never stop hearing about how your wedding was the best wedding reception they’ve ever been to.

Read more: Click here for 15 Cost-Free Ideas for an Unforgettable Wedding Reception!


What is Let’s Revel?

Let's Revel is educating engaged couples on how to create the wedding experience they dream about but have no idea how to create.  Let’s Revel is soon to launch a web-based solution for engaged couples and wedding professionals frustrated by outdated wedding planning websites.  We are introducing a new opportunity to connect you with certified wedding pros. That means no scammy amateurs, no ghosting, less stress. Only the good stuff. The way the Internet was supposed to work. Click HERE to get the low-down when we launch.


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