Wedding Article


The Reception

By Jett Pe Benito

A wedding goes beyond the ceremony itself. The reception is an integral part of the occasion and should not be taken lightly. In fact, it should be treated with somewhat the same degree of importance as the wedding ceremony.

Trailblazer wedding coordinator Rita Neri, owner of The Wedding Store, gives insights on what to remember when planning for your reception.

Planning

Neri stresses that you cannot simply just plan for the reception and not take into consideration the whole wedding. Six months before the wedding is what she gave as the ideal period for preparing the whole thing. She stresses that when planning, everything from the ceremony to the venue to the caterers down to the reception's very end should be planned together.

The Venue

When it comes to the reception venue, a lot of things have to be taken into consideration, says Neri. For example, it is important to know if the place has its own in-house caterer or if they have the necessary technical equipment. Even things as trivial as when the air-conditioner should be turned on or the type of flowers to be used should also be considered. Other important things to take note of are the corkage fee, the areas to be used, the time element or period of the whole activity and of course, the working relationship of your suppliers and how they will utilize the venue to achieve the best results.

According to Neri, hotels remain to be the top venue as these places have most of the technical equipment and personnel needed, parking is not a problem and there are facilities for special purposes such as for handicapped individuals. Most importantly, most of the hotels, if not all, have hosted wedding receptions.

Anecdotes

Neri says funny moments abound during receptions. "There was a time when a fire broke out because one of the table covers caught fire. Then there was also one incident where a fight broke out between two waiters. Also, I worked in one venue where a glass door suddenly fell to the floor. It was good thing nobody got hurt. " She recounts, "One time, rats were scampering about and I'm not talking of small rodents here but rats."

Neri says such incidents pop up every now and then so it helps to have alert people helping out and contingency plans. "Even having mouse traps ready," she says in jest.

Tips and Trends

Neri favors receptions done in the evenings for the classy and dramatic ambiance since people tend to dress up more at night-time. As to decoration trends, it would either be minimalist or an overabundance of elements. She shares, "Candles are always in because they create an intimacy where there is none." She also suggests using vases to hold not only flowers but candles and stones. Also, couples should always put the guests' enjoyment in mind, be organized, and to select ceremony and reception venues that would pose the least amount of problems.

Timeline

Neri shares this timeline of a traditional Filipino style-reception (also in her book, The Essential Wedding Workbook for the Filipina, 1998):

  • A receiving line is held at the beginning of the reception.
  • The emcee announces the entrance of the wedding couple into the ballroom. The wedding party may be announced.
  • Food is served.
  • The best man offers a wedding toast, followed by the fathers of the bride and groom. Other guests may also offer their own toasts.
  • The couple cuts their wedding cake and drinks champagne.
  • The couple releases the wedding doves.
  • Unmarried ladies are called to pull the cake charms or favors from the cake.
  • The bride tosses their bouquet to her unmarried female guests and members of the entourage.
  • The groom removes the garter from his bride.
  • The groom tosses the garter to his bachelor friends.
  • The one who caught the garter places the garter on the leg of the lady who caught the bouquet.
  • The bride and groom formally thank all those who attended the wedding.
  • The couple gets up to dance. The parents of the couple and the members of the entourage may also dance with the couple and among themselves.