It’s your party: Tips on how to plan for your reception |

It’s your party: Tips on how to plan for your reception

For most couples, their wedding reception is the biggest and most elaborate party they’ve ever had perhaps the biggest they will ever have.

For others, a casual get-together is preferred. Naturally, every couple wants this occasion to be as perfect as possible. With some thought and a lot of planning, you’ll have a day to remember.

The most important elements of your wedding reception will be the site, the food and drink, and the entertainment. Think about what kind of mood you want to achieve. How many guests do you expect? At what time of day will you have the reception?

Craig residents Debbie Stark and T.J. Montgomery will have their reception at the O.P. Bar & Grill in Craig. The reception will take place on the boat behind the restaurant.

Some sites, such as banquet halls, hotels and restaurants, offer an on-site caterer who will work with you to coordinate the menu, although you will still have to arrange for a band or DJ as entertainment.

A band will be playing at the OP, which will provide the entertainment. TJ and Debbie knew that they would want good entertainment. Delbert Knez, owner of the O.P., arranged for the entertainment.

You can opt for other settings, such as a historic venue, inn, boats and the like, but you’ll probably need to hire an outside caterer. You may also need to make arrangements for everything from the dishes to the waiters or even a dance floor. And remember, if you choose a hotel or other site with on-grounds food service, you will likely be required to use their food service.

TJ and Debbie opted not to arrange for a caterer or food service, because of budget restrictions. They will provide mints and nuts and champagne, but guests will be encouraged to order food from the O.P. No matter what route you choose, it’s important to carefully examine all contracts. Find out exactly what is covered by all fees, and whether there are any restrictions or hidden costs. Check, too, on the provisions for cancellations, and ask whether there are lower rates for certain times of the day or year. When working on a strict budget, asking the right questions will save money and hassles. When meeting with a caterer, it’s important to ask for references. Most caterers also will arrange for you to view the set-up for another wedding. Discuss the cost options for various types of meals: buffets, sit-down dinners

and luncheons.

When planning your budget, remember that a buffet or hors d’oeuvres reception is usually less expensive than a seated meal. Also consider that lunches generally are more moderately priced than dinners, and you may wish to plan your ceremony to take advantage of that.

You’ll also need to consult with your caterer about whether alcohol is included in the package. Pricing policies vary widely. It’s worth looking into whether you can provide the liquor which you can buy at a discount outlet and then have it served.

Once you’ve finalized the food and drinks, it’s time for entertainment usually a band or a DJ. Once again, word of mouth is a good way to find suitable prospects.

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