JOIN THE PARTY

Now the formalities are out of the way, it’s time for the grand finale. Here’s how to make your wedding reception one to remember, writes Meagan Rooth

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Photo: Karina Jade Photography

Loving vows have been exchanged and your union has been officially made in front of loved ones. Newlywed photos have been taken and guests have rolled into the reception venue.
Crumpled notes containing hilarious and heartfelt speeches are being memorised, the menu scrutinised and everyone is sizing up the dancefloor. It’s time to celebrate.

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Photo: Enchanted Wedding Photography

Don’t wait, set a date
The most popular wedding reception venues are booked out years in advance, especially for the traditional Saturday evening festivities. So if a classic occasion is what you’re dreaming of, get in quick after the proposal. In Victoria, wedding season spans November to April. If you can’t get a Saturday, consider Sunday.

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Photo: Nikole Ramsay Photographer

Get creative
These days, receptions come in all shapes and sizes. Along with traditional venues, cute cafes, restaurants and bars are offering creative post-ceremony options. Farms, homesteads and vineyards also have the capacity to host stunning celebrations. And if you stumble across a location you love, look into the possibility of pitching a marquee or tent and hire a gourmet food van and mobile bar.

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Photo: Steph Brown Photographer

Make it your own
Personalise the space with decorations and props reflective of your individual style. Continue the theme of the day through to the reception, whether it be a seating chart, colours of table linen or statement floral centrepieces. Get crafty with the table setting and leave thoughtful place cards, sweet happy snaps and love notes for guests to discover. Sentimental touches displayed throughout, such as photos, can also be a lovely visual expression of your relationship.

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Photo: Smitten Wedding Photography

Feast of love
The time and location of your reception will dictate the food. Formal sit-down dinners are a timeless, orderly option. Popular venues usually have a professional kitchen ready to whip up your menu of choice. For more casual affairs, you could consider gourmet buffets, themed food stations, picnic hampers and mobile vans.