Wedding Venue Reception Checklist: Your To-Do List

Looking for the perfect checklist to ensure you have everything you need to plan your dream wedding reception? The Rocky Mount Event Center has compiled a checklist that covers all of the various aspects of preparing your wedding reception.

First Steps

  • Build a Budget – The first step in the process is deciding on your budget. This impacts nearly every other step in the process.
  • Pick Your Date – Once you and your spouse have decided on a date, you can begin your planning in earnest.
  • Write Your Guest List – Brainstorm with your spouse about a potential guest list. This will help you to narrow down reception venue options and clarify budget requirements.
  • Decide on a Wedding Planner – If you want to make the planning process easier, a wedding planner can be incredibly helpful. If you want a wedding planner, get them involved as early in the process as you can. They will often have connections to vendors and venues that can be incredibly helpful.

Find Your Wedding Venue

  • Make Appointments to Visit Potential Wedding Venues – Make an appointment to get a tour of your potential wedding reception venues. This way you have a facility expert available to give you the details you will need.
  • Book Your Chosen Wedding Venue – Work with your spouse and planner to find and book your chosen wedding venue. Ensure your venue has the capacity you need while remaining in your budget.
  • Book Vendors, Caterers, Entertainment, and Photographers – If your venue doesn’t include any of the specialists you will need for your wedding, it is important to book these people early to ensure they are available on your date.
  • Order Save the Dates – Order your save the dates once you have your final guest list. It is generally a good idea to send these out at least 9 months in advance of your chosen date.

Begin Designing Your Event

  • Choose Your Wardrobe – It is time to start making decisions about your dress, tuxedo, and wedding party outfits. Give plenty of time for your party to get measured and tailored so everyone looks their best.
  • Plan Your Decor – Choose your wedding colors, flower choices, and other decorations. If you opted for a wedding planner, give them the direction you are hoping for and they can provide you with choices within your budget.
  • Hire Your Florist – Bouquets, boutonnieres, and decorative flowers all need to be selected and planned with your chosen florist. We would recommend giving your florist at least 6 months to prepare.
  • Make Meal Decisions – Work with your caterer to decide on the meals you will have for your guests. Ensure that you offer different options for those with food allergies or dietary restrictions.
  • Order Invitations – Now that you have the details in place it’s time to design, order and send off your wedding invitations. Give yourself plenty of time because these can take a surprising amount of time to finalize.

Final Decisions

  • Book Transportation – If you are going to need shuttle service from the ceremony to the reception, book a bus early to ensure guests don’t get stranded.
  • Choose Your Songs and Playlists – Work with your band or DJ to create a playlist or songs that you would like to have included/excluded from your reception. Include your selections for your first dance, daughter/father dance, etc.
  • Place Your Decor, Wedding Favors, and Reception Stationery Orders – You will want to have these decor items order with at least three months to spare. Give yourself some extra time for any DIY crafts you have planned.
  • Send Your Invitations – Again, these should be sent out with at least three months to spare to give guests time to ask off work and make travel arrangements.
  • Plan Your Seating Chart – By this point, most of your guests should have RSVP’d. As they confirm, it’s time to begin planning your seating chart.
  • Assign Toasts – Ask your maid of honor/best man if they plant to give a toast so you can coordinate your schedule.
  • Reach Out to Venues to Solidify Details – Many wedding venues will require a final reception headcount a few weeks before the event, so get in touch to let them know.

The Final Month Before

  • Touch Base with Your Wedding Party – Moving from your ceremony to the reception may require details like wardrobe change, makeup reapplication, and group photos. Plan ahead with your wedding party so they know their specific ceremony schedule.
  • Complete Any DIY Decoration Projects – Finalize any of your DIY crafts and decorations so you don’t have to rush to finish projects at the last minute.
  • Spend Time With Your Wedding Planner for Final Details – Your wedding planner will likely have some final details to go over with you before your ceremony begins. Give them the time to finish their job and ensure everything goes smoothly.

The Day Of

  • Enjoy Your Special Day – You have put in the work at this point. Don’t ruin one of the most important days of your life by stressing about anything that goes wrong. Every wedding has things that don’t go according to plan. Relax and enjoy!

Make Rocky Mount Event Center Your Wedding Venue

If you are looking for the ideal wedding venue for your special day, come visit Rocky Mount Event Center. Our banquet room is perfect for weddings large or small, and we have the facilities to host any request. Contact our team today to learn more about our wedding venue!