How To Set Up Your Wedding Reception Venue

20/11/2023

There's undoubtedly plenty to organise when it comes to planning a wedding. Not only do you have to contend with balancing multiple suppliers and services, but you also have to make sure that your wedding venue is ready to go and able to accommodate everything you need on the big day.

One of the most important aspects of any wedding venue is the reception area. It's where you and your guests will spend most of your time celebrating, so it's essential that the space is set up correctly and looks the part. From getting the festoon lights up and the table decorations sorted to making sure that the sound system is working and the dance floor is ready for action, there are lots of things to think about.

But with limited time available and so much else to organise, it can be tough to know where to start when it comes to setting up your reception venue.

With that in mind, here's a quick guide on how to set up your wedding reception venue so that everything runs smoothly on the big day.

Start By Talking To Your Venue

Regarding the logistics of wedding set-up, the best place to start is with the venue. You need to ask them crucial questions such as when you can access the space to start setting up, what time they close the doors at night, and whether there are any restrictions on what you can and can't do in terms of decorating the space.

Ask if they have staff available to help and whether they will be able coordinate suppliers or if you need to do that yourself. It's also worth clarifying what furniture and equipment they will have on-site so that you can plan accordingly.

Once you've got all the essential information from the venue, you can start thinking about how you will transform the space into a magical setting for your wedding reception and plan the logistical side of things accordingly.

Liaise with Your Suppliers

Armed with the information provided by the venue, you can start to contact your suppliers and give them a better idea of what's required on the day. This includes delivery times, set-up times, and any specific requests you have.

For example, if you've hired an outside catering company, you need to make sure that they are aware of when they can access the kitchen and whether there are any restrictions on what they can use. The same goes for florists, decorators, and anyone else who will be setting up in the space beforehand.

Organising everything in advance will help to ensure that there are no stressful last-minute changes or surprises on the day. Some of the wedding services might be supplied by the wedding venue, which obviously helps to make life a lot easier!

Create a Schedule – Giving Yourself As Much Time As Possible

With the information gathered from the venue and having liaised with any outside suppliers, it's time to create a schedule for everything. From the set-up of the tables and chairs to the laying of the dance floor, write everything down and give it an allotted set-up time. Then double it.

You need to give yourself extra time because things never quite go to plan, no matter how much you've prepared or how well you know the venue. There will always be last-minute changes or unforeseen delays, so it's important to have some contingency time built into the schedule.

Once you've sorted your schedule, make sure that everyone involved is aware of what needs to be done and when, including the venue staff, suppliers, and anyone else helping out on the day.

Do As Much as You Can In Advance

The best way to make your wedding set-up as enjoyable and stress-free as possible is by doing as much as you can in advance. For instance, if you've got ornate napkins or special cutlery that you're using for the meal, set the tables in advance so that all you have to do on the day is pop the plates down.

If you're DIYing any of the decorations, such as making your own centrepieces or putting together homemade table runners, try and make them up well in advance of your wedding date, so all you have to do is bring them and position them. Not only will it take the pressure off on the day, but it will also give you more time to enjoy the wedding set-up process and ensure that everything is perfect.

Enlist Some Help

One of the best ways to ensure everything runs smoothly on the big day is by enlisting help from friends and family.

A quick note: it's always best to hand off these important tasks to either professionals or people you can trust – giving clear instructions for their tasks. Otherwise, you might have to deal with the added stress of having to micromanage everything during the day to ensure it's perfect, which is the last thing you need.

If you can delegate some of the tasks, safe in the knowledge they will be done correctly, it will free you up to enjoy wedding prep such as hair and makeup a lot more.

Don't Forget to Plan for Clearing Up Post-Wedding

While no one wants to think about the logistics involved in packing everything away at the end of a wedding event, it's crucial to have a plan in place so that you're not left with a huge logistical mess to deal with come the next day.

The best way to do this is by designating some family or friends to lead the clear-up operation. Their job is to ensure that everything gets back into its rightful place, such as any hired items that need to be returned to suppliers and any personal items you brought along with you. This way, you can enjoy your wedding night and leave the most stressful tasks to others.

It will help if you also communicate with suppliers regarding timing windows for picking up, disassembling, and removing hired items. This is particularly important if you're using a wedding venue with other events booked for that evening or the following day and you've got tight turnaround times to stick to.

Recap: Wedding Set-up Doesn't Have to Be Stressful

Setting up your wedding venue so that it looks exactly as you've always envisioned doesn't have to be a stressful process. With these tips in mind, you'll be able to approach your wedding venue set-up with confidence and ease, knowing that everything will run smoothly on the day.

Just remember to give yourself plenty of time, plan ahead as much as possible, and don't forget to delegate!

 

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