Step 9. Plan the Wedding Reception Decoration
Think about how you want your wedding reception venue decor to be, including the decoration colour scheme, the lighting, the seating and tables arrangement, the wedding cake, outfit colour matching of outfits of the couple and their wedding party’s (bridesmaids and groomsmen), the flowers, etc. The reception decoration is basically about the look and ambiance of your wedding and a big part of your wedding style. And, it’s not just about the colour scheme. So, keep the decoration minimal and simple (rainbow colours are not elegant).
If you’re having a combined trad plus white wedding reception, you’ll have to decide on the theme of your reception hall or outdoor venue. Is it going to be an all-traditional vibes decoration or a neutral, white wedding vibes decor, or partly trad decor and partly white wedding decor? That decision is up to you. However, just make sure that the venue decoration colour combination is not clashing.
HINT: Fewer colours in a venue decoration colour combo are easier to manage and also less likely to clash if you’re not sure what will work. It’s a good idea to get your inspiration of what the venue will look like from looking at other people’s wedding reception pictures. From there you can pick the picture that most represents the vision or idea you have about how your reception should be decorated.
We recommend that you sit with your wedding decoration vendor to brainstorm ideas for wedding venue decoration, but it also helps if you have a small idea of what you like – such as: how you want the seating arrangement to be in your wedding hall (rectangular tables? sets of chairs around a round table? or how? Where will the bride and groom sit?
Step 10. Plan the Reception Music/ Entertainment
Would you want to have a DJ or music band, or both? What other forms of entertainment can you afford to thrill your guests with – comedian/ traditional dancers/solo singers? There’s no right or wrong here – let your personality shine through your choice of wedding reception entertainment, while ensuring to keep a balance with what your guests are likely to like.
Useful Wedding Reception Music Tips:
- If you’re on a budget, DJs are cheaper than live bands. Also, it is not necessary to have both on-ground. A good DJ is better than a sloppy music band, any day. However, you choose to entertain your wedding guests, know that a bad DJ/ band will dull your wedding reception mood and make your guests want to leave early. Don’t be stingy when it comes to getting a professional DJ that will keep your guests up and dancing. Do everything you can to keep the mood in your reception festive.
- Compile your wedding Do-Not-Play-List-of-Songs. These are the songs you or your guests would be embarrassed or displeased to hear in your reception. Think of your guests – you know them – and know the type of songs they will not want to listen to or dance to. Write them down and give to your DJ. I was at a wedding where most of the guests are from the couple’s church and the bestman and Pastor were always getting up to the DJ’s table to ask him to change some songs that came up. This happened very frequently that it was noticeable to the guests and made the dance floor empty, and the wedding boring. So, that’s why it is advised to make a Do-Not-Play-List.
Step 11. Plan the Pictures (Wedding Reception Planning Checklist)
In what forms do you want to keep your wedding day memory?
Based on your budget, can you afford to have both wedding photography and video coverage, or only photography? Wedding photography is another area where we advise couples not to be stingy – work around the budget you have to get a professional wedding photographer to cover your big day. We’ve heard many stories of couples who ended up having no pictures or very blurred photos of their wedding day – don’t make that mistake! Here are more tips for making your wedding picture-perfect.
- SEE ALSO: Order of Photographs Checklist for Wedding Day Snaps
- Top Nigerian Wedding Photography Mistakes to Avoid
- True Story: How a Photographer Ruined a Nigerian Wedding
Step 12. Research and Choose Wedding Vendors
Who and who (or what companies) will help you put together the different areas of the wedding reception – such as the MC, the DJ, the caterer, the cake baker, the venue decorator, the makeup artist, etc.
There’s a lot of logistics with wedding receptions, and you require other people (wedding service providers/ vendors) to help you translate your wedding dreams into a reality. The good vendors always get fully booked early, so start researching for (who to hire) from at least 6 months in advance. The best way to find wedding vendors is by asking around for the reputation and quality of the local vendors near your wedding reception venue. Good places to contact when looking for a wedding vendor include asking hotels and other wedding service providers to recommend reputable wedding vendors they have worked with in previous wedding events.
- Where and How to Find Good Wedding Vendors in Nigeria
- Search/ Find Wedding Vendors or Venue In the State/ City of Your Wedding
- Tips to Find and Pick a Good Makeup Artists
Step 13. Decide How and Who to Coordinate the Wedding Reception Party
The wedding day is labour-intensive and you (bride or groom) cannot be there, except if you want to miss your wedding and regret it later. You should plan your wedding so that you can attend it like the VIP guest. You have to keep your wedding day for yourself, to totally enjoy all of it. Get someone (NOT YOU) to coordinate the wedding reception tasks in the last weeks leading to your wedding day. That person’s role will also help put out a few fires and last-minute confusion.
If your budget can afford it, hire a wedding planner for the coordination role. If not, find one or two capable friends or family members to help you out.
- Wedding Day Coordination Planning Checklist (to Guarantee That Your Event Runs Smoothly Without You Involvement)
Step 14. Design the Wedding Reception Program
It’s a good idea to create this with your wedding MC, but be sure to let him/ her know how long/ short you want the event to be. And it’s best to incorporate ideas from one or two wedding receptions you’ve attended and really like. Here are a few helpful posts on this subject:
- Same-Day Trad and White Wedding Program of Event Sample and Tips
- Yoruba Trad Wedding Program of Events Scheduling Tips
Step 15. Decide What the Wedding Souvenirs Would Be
Wedding souvenirs should not be a do or die affair – if you give your guests good food and entertainment, they’ll feel special even if you didn’t give them souvenirs. However, if you have a budget for wedding souvenirs, go for it, but know that a perfect wedding souvenir doesn’t have to be expensive.
Wrap up: Get Started with Planning Your Wedding Reception
Your wedding reception should be about giving your guests a nice time, and that starts from knowing these facts – wedding guests hate to be kept waiting and they also hate a very long reception. So, be sure to be on time at your wedding reception (no Nigerian time thing) and keep your wedding reception not too long. Finally, find time to relax in-between your planning and take things easy. If at any point, you find yourself feeling stressed and overwhelmed, take a deep breath and follow the advice we outlined on how to deal with anxiety and stress when planning a wedding.
That’s all on how you can plan a memorable wedding reception in Nigeria. I made sure that the checklist has everything you need to remember to do and put in place. So, I’m counting on you to do the legwork and execute the tasks inside the ‘reception plan’. Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed reading this post, help us share it with others on social media. Also, consider subscribing to our NaijaGlamWedding newsletter and also follow us on social media to get our bite-sized Nigerian wedding planning tips and latest aso-ebi styles.
There you have it – our Nigerian wedding reception planning checklist for you. I hope you like it, and I also hope it keeps you organized on what and what to do every step of the way. You can print out this post to refer to and check off completed tasks.
Now, it’s your turn to me. Where are you in your wedding reception planning journey and what things have you already completed? Comment down below to tell me. Also, is there any helpful tip(s) I didn’t add? Feel free to add it down there in the comments section sown below.