There’s nothing we want more than a successful, upbeat wedding reception, so we put together a Wedding Planning Checklist in Raleigh, NC. This reception starter checklist will help you get things rolling with planning the party of the year! Start here to create a list of goals so you can pace yourself and have a perfectly planned wedding reception that you can enjoy, too!
Wedding Planning Checklist in Raleigh
Once you’re engaged, the questions start coming! When are you getting married? Which venue are you using? Will I be invited?! The first thing we suggest is to actually enjoy those first days or weeks of being engaged! Try to focus on what vision you see for you and your fiance on your wedding day. From a hotel reception to one near the beach, spend time with your partner discussing how you can mend each of your visions into one perfect celebration of your love!
Along with picking the right date, finding the perfect venue is the other major cornerstone, and be prepared for top venues to have limited availability. Many times, your date will be dependent on what the venue has available unless you’re looking at background reception. Setting the date and venue early on will help you claim the season you’re wanting!
When it comes to wedding venues, review if you prefer an all-inclusive venue which typically is less work on your end or a location where you can bring in your own catering or rentals and have more flexibility in some of your vendor options.
With an elegant wedding reception, the theme doesn’t have to be as detailed as perhaps a theme around a tv show, movie, or other pop culture trends. The theme can help you and your vendors understand the mood and vibe you want for your event. For example, themes like a rustic farm, wild & whimsical, or luxurious glamour help begin painting the picture for your wedding vendors to understand your ultimate goal.
Picking this overall theme early in the planning allows you to make decisions later on down the road. If you need some inspiration to get you started, Pinterest is full of ideas to get you started!
People make the party! Build your list to include your guests of honor and their loved ones, and everyone else you want to be there, but be sure you’re thinking about space limits and your budget. These should dictate the size of your guest list, and from there you can narrow down your list from “everyone!” to something more manageable.
Once a guest list is created, now you need to let them know about the big event! Are you designing something on your computer to print, hiring a designer, or even sending a paperless invite? Based on your budget and aesthetic, you’ll need to pick one then begin the process of creating an invitation that reflects the theme you’ve chosen, so your guests know what to expect.
Make sure it includes everything your guests need to know — you can use the “5 Ws” here: Who, What, When, Where, Why! Make sure you send invitations well in advance, (6-8 weeks before the wedding) and include an RSVP card, stamped envelope, and due date.
A picture is worth a thousand words and so are the memories you make at a wedding. With so many of your friends and family gathered together, it is the perfect opportunity to capture some photos of everyone. Hiring a photographer ensures that you will have these memories forever and that you are included in them, too! For a roster of vetted professionals, check out our photographers in the Raleigh area.
Whether you are dancing the night away or having an enchanted beachside dinner, each reception has its own unique way of encouraging guests to enjoy themselves. There are endless ideas for party fun and mapping out what that will be is an exciting part of the planning process. Maybe you’re thinking of a giant ball pit, a high-energy DJ to keep the crowd dancing, or perhaps guests will hop in a photo booth for some glamour shots — the choice is yours!
Food can be the highlight or the disaster of an event, so make sure you get this one right and hire a professional caterer. Also, ensure a proper guest count is collected early enough so the caterer knows how much food to prepare to make sure nothing runs out (nothing kills a party faster than hungry guests). Finally, avoid any unpleasant allergic reactions or issues by making sure you know which guests have dietary needs so you can plan accordingly.
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Creating your wedding planning checklist in Raleigh is a big job, but it doesn’t need to be overwhelming. By making a plan to start and then working one thing at a time, you will find yourself a master party planner in no time. For any questions you have, Ask Complete Weddings + Events to get our expert help on wedding planning in Raleigh!