Wedding Reception Essentials: What and Why

Wedding celebration is not a simple occasion as it seems to be. It varies depending on the culture of the couple and of course, their budget. To proclaim and celebrate their love for one another, some couples are willing to spend hundreds of thousands of pesos while others make the most out of their hard-earned money. For the couple that is browsing a checklist of what you need to buy or prepare before your big day, don’t forget that what matters most — after all the enjoyment and kilig that you will feel on your wedding day — is how you worked through it as lovers.

It’s true, it will be somehow stressful for the couple and their guests if that special day wasn’t planned thoroughly. A well-prepared wedding makes the mind at ease and be able to appreciate what’s happening at the moment, not only for the couple but for the family and friends as well. Skipping the gown, rings, bridal car and other symbolic prerequisites for the ceremony itself, we will look into the essentials of a wedding reception that makes it memorable to your beloved guests.

Throughout the events we’ve experienced, here are the important elements that you actually need to consider when organizing your dream wedding.

1. Rooms

Two major reasons why each of you should have a nice, spacious, and separate room: convenience for your family and entourage, and reduces stress drastically. It will be less hassle for everyone if there’s a place where they can dress up, do their hair and makeup, and even have a meal before the ceremony. Assembling in one place would also give the best opportunity for the official photographer to capture the couple’s preparation whilst having the feeling of being nervous yet super excited.

By providing your family and entourage with private rooms, you will surely remove their worries on where to do this or that and to avoid the rush of preparing in the morning. It will also be favorable especially for friends and those relatives who will come from a far place since they’ll have a pleasant area to relax before the ceremony.

What is greater than starting your day waking up with a big smile at a cozy and comfortable room on your special day? Take note that the beauty rest is as important as the honeymoon!

2. Ceremony Venue

Whether it’s in the church, beach, garden, judge’s room, pavilion, event hall, or any other place that you can suggest, the venue for the ceremony is ideally the first to be considered. Ideally, to avoid the hassle of traveling too far, it’s located near the place where you have done your preparation. It would also be nice if there’s a nearby reception area as well.

Usually, couples are married at their respective church. If, for some reason, you ended up looking for a church here in barangay Bagumbong in Caloocan City, you might want to check out Sto. Niño de Congreso Parish. Not only it’s the biggest one in here, but the nicest too! It’s phenomenal setting will make everyone teary-eyed as the bride marches towards the groom.

Besides the fact that you will be officially become one in the eyes of your loved ones, this is also the place where your sincerest vows to each other will be declared.

3. Reception Venue

Choosing the right venue is undeniably hard. First, it should be able to accommodate your expected number of guests and each of their unexpected plus one. An air-conditioned hall is preferable since more often than not, weddings are held at day time, that is, on the hottest hours of the day. Furthermore, during rainy season, having an enclosed venue is helpful. Finding a venue with the right size is like buying a t-shirt — it would be inappropriate if it’s too small or too big.

Panoramic view of the venue at Casa Gilmore

To know more about our venue, click here.

Next, make sure that your suppliers have enough space to set up their services. For example, the caterer should have a wash area for their dishes in case more visitors show up. While for a photo booth, it requires to have an adequate amount of space just in case different groups queue up for their turn to have a picture. In general, the supervisor of the venue must be considerate and be able to adjust whenever unforeseen circumstances arise. It’s critical that the venue allows to be redecorated to respect the couple’s choice of theme.

Needless to say, the venue itself should have a marvelous ambiance.

4. Host

Have you ever heard of the online game Dota? The goal is simple — conquer the enemy’s base. In this game, a team is composed of two roles namely support and carry. The supports help the team to gain strength while the carries literally carry the group to victory.

In any event, the host acts as the carry, that is, the success of the affair depends on how they have handled it. From the opening remarks up to the part where words like “Let’s get this party started!” or “Thank you all for coming, have a good night!” are mentioned, the entertainer’s basic agenda is to:

  • share the couple’s journey starting from how they met
  • amuse everybody to avoid idle moments
  • make sure that the program is completed on time with ease
  • be able to connect with the guests
  • acknowledge the couple’s family, guests, sponsors and suppliers

It’s highly recommended that you watch your candidate’s performance videos so that you’ll have an idea about how they communicate with their audience. The important characteristics of hosts are witty but not annoying, confident but not arrogant, fluent and well-mannered when speaking, sensitive and respectful to each other’s feelings. Above all, hosts must be energetic because they act as the fuel of the party.

Here are two hosts which presumably belong at the top, namely, Ms. Jam Saquilayan of Host Jam and Mr. Gibo Trampe of FLIXY Event Management. The genuineness of their smile tells how passionate they are in what they do. Also, their captivating mood ignites any party and you’ll never get bored when they begin.

5. Food

“Barriga llena, corazón contento”.

Spanish Proverb

When translated to English, the quote is equal to “A full stomach makes a happy heart.” Aside from being there to celebrate with the couple on their special day, the guest’s satisfaction also comes from savoring every bite! If you intend to hire a catering service, it’s necessary for you to do food tasting, ask photos of their setups, and most importantly seek reviews from their recent clients. This is needed because the contentment of your visitors is in their hands.

There are many catering services all over the country. Some of them probably serve the same dish or use similar setups. But when it comes to elegance and reliableness, not to mention the distinct flavor it offers, Janet’s Quality Catering Services is among the best.

In addition to the main course, finger foods can be served too! Shown below is a buffet prepared by Chris & Zel Kakanin Buffet. Just by looking at the photo, you’ll certainly want to try their product.

The meal is indeed an integral part of any event. From the appetizer down to the dessert, it must be planned and prepared wholeheartedly. Either hiring caterers or some relative of yours to cook for the wedding, it should be noted that the deliciousness of food is supplemented by variation. You don’t want your visitors to remember your wedding as an “all-pork-nuptial” or “chicken-galore-wedding”, do you? The best way to feed your guests is to serve them, if possible, a little of everything.

6. Music

If the food is yet to be served and the host is off the mic, what could a guest do besides scrolling through facebook’s feed or chatting with a friend? It’s none other than listening to music. Did you ever wonder why selecting high quality equipment with a knowledgeable disc jockey is necessary?

The main reason to have a nice sound system is that it sets the mood of the crowd. Without a doubt, there was a time in your life that one of your favorite songs was played and all you wanted was to sing and dance with it. The louder the sound, the more impact it has. However, keep in mind that increasing the volume of a low-grade equipment sometimes result to noise which causes discomfort. For sure, everybody will enjoy having a meal while hearing pleasant music. Don’t hesitate to spend when it comes to your visitor’s entertainment.

Hiring a professional band should be considered as well since nothing beats live music. It will also be advantageous if a wise disc jockey is present because the adjustments of the sound won’t be a problem at all. Wise in a sense that the DJ should have the ability to recognize the crowd’s mood, to play appropriate songs depending on the current scenario, and should be able to make the guests feel more connected with the event.

7. Photographer

A nice way to reminisce is by staring through a photo. But what are we seeking in that certain picture? It’s the feelings that we want to remember at that moment in time. Hence, we must capture this priceless instances with the help of a true artist.

Let’s take a look at one of the finest from the Philippines in this industry. Shown below is a documentary created by Habi Collective Media which tells the love story of the first couple who had their wedding at Casa Gilmore Events Place.

Gudo and Lanie love story by Habi Collective Media

See how unique it is? This video is doubtlessly splendid! To view more perfect films like this, check out Habi Collective Media’s facebook page here.

Concepts of works like music videos, short story, documentaries and same day edit are being marketed throughout different social media websites so it’s up to you what you’d like to have. Photographer’s packages vary hugely depending on client’s demand. The cheaper the better of course but make sure it’s of the best quality. Again, look for reviews from recent customers to know your prospect’s performance before choosing one. After all, the couple must take the best shot.

8. Lights

In the field of movies, we can analogize lights to the films that were underrated. This implies that not all of us can see its true beauty. Here are notable examples of how lights can change the appearance of a venue. Let’s start with a setup of center stage by B7Rain Lights and Sounds, followed by a comparison photo by RQ Sounds Light This and a romantic light setup by Audionpac Lightsnsounds. Be careful not to be blown away by the brilliance!

Synchronizing it with the vibe of the song that is being played, light creates its own paradise that would uplift our perception of the moment. Ask your light rentals if they have a device called digital multiplex (DMX) which acts as the controller of lights. With a DMX, lights can fade out and smoothly switch to another color during love songs and can suddenly start flickering whenever the beat drops. The rate might be expensive but it would be the one that would bring your event to a whole new level.

9. Hair and Makeup Artist

For a moment, feel the beauty of a goddess. Hair and makeup artists (HMUA) are indeed what you’ll need on your wedding day. A little bit of brush here and there will make guys ask you how you doin’.

HMUA charge depending on the number of people to be glamorized. It’s important for the artists to communicate well with you because it’s how they would understand what you want to look like under cosmetics. Take a look at how Ms. May Alba of Kolorete Ni May and Mrs. Sheina Obejero of SPO Makeup Artistry transformed these gorgeous princesses into queens. As we can see, they’ve applied cosmetics flawlessly — not too little nor too much.

Isn’t it nice to look stunning for the duration of the event?

10. Souvenir

Give the guests a gift that symbolizes the reciprocation of the gratitude that you have felt when you celebrated your special day with them. Any souvenir is always appreciated, provided that it represents the couple. For example, a decanter — for all the cheers you’ve made — would be a nice item to give to the friends who gave respect to all the bottoms up! Well, it could be a water or juice container for nondrinkers. The unique and simpler it is, the better.

Crafted giveaways are also a thing too! In today’s time, art is a fundamental concept where most of the people are trying to learn through experience. Craft stores appeared and offer different kinds and qualities of product that are ready to be exported for your wedding day. Never hesitate to ask Google about it. Here is an example of a personalized key chain created by My Little Leather.

While for The Cactus Tita, they offer adorable plants and stylish kitchenware. What a cool gift to give!

11. Bar

People love to chat in general. How can we make a conversation more interesting? Of course, by renting a mobile bar! Don’t worry, it’s rare that someone gets drunk from the booth since the drinks are limited. The rate depends on the beverages that will be served, the location of the event, and the number of hours you’ll be using their free-flowing feature.

Mobile bars differs mostly on presentation. If you want a countryside theme, you may want to consider suppliers like the Kampai Cocktail Bar. Their rustic bar design would definitely bring you that kind of ambiance. Shown below are photos of a well-known mobile bar in the Philippines which is the Mixed Mobile Bar. The appearance and flavor of their drinks will make you forget to “drink moderately”. Even celebrities hire them! You can check out their website here.

Wedding parties last four hours on average — including eating time. During the program, most caterers don’t serve any liquid refreshment except water. Thus, it would be nice to have a bar so that the guests will have something to drink while the program is going on and if they intend to stay a little longer for the after party. Are you one of those couples who have friends that desire to be tipsy whenever they see the squad after a very long time?

12. Coordinator

Like the catering services, wedding coordinators offer an all-in wedding package which means they will supply almost everything that were written here. What’s great in this kind of deal is that it won’t be difficult for the couple to find suppliers. Imagine having meetings with different people at different times to talk about the menu, theme and decorations, sound and lights equipment, photographers and coordinators, hosts and venue rental. Sounds a lot of work, right?

Sometimes, hiring coordinators might be out of the budget but getting one would save you a lot of time. Its convenience is what you pay here. For the couple who wants to have a do-it-yourself wedding (which is cheaper), appointing and distributing tasks to close relatives and friends is not a bad idea at all. If ever you need a wedding coordinator that is kind, cooperative and reasonably priced, you may contact Ms. Lai Valdez of LAI’s ARTi Party Needs & Events.

Note that…

It may take a while to look for outstanding and inexpensive suppliers but doing so will make you and your guests satisfied. Moreover, if you picked the right supplier, lots of money can be saved which surely most of the newlyweds need after the occasion.

Now that we know what are the necessities of a wedding reception, we can see that it revolves around three concepts — convenience, entertainment and memorabilia. As long as these three ideas are balanced and well-ordered, couples won’t be troubled at all. Categorizing the elements discussed above according to what they mainly contribute, we have:

Convenience Entertainment Memorabilia
Ceremony venue
Reception venue

For the couples out there who are designing their reception, take it easy. Embrace the excitement caused by planning. Also, respect your partner’s needs and compromise with their wants. Don’t let budget dictate your fulfillment. Therefore, always remember it’s your journey that brings meaning to the wedding.

Congratulations and best wishes in advance!

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