Tips to Setting up the Reception Room

• Watch the backgrounds when setting up your cake table.  Don’t let the memories of your wedding cake photos be forever documented with a door in the background that has a sign saying “MEN” on it! 

• When possible, avoid setting the food tables flat against the wall. That way your guests can go down both sides for faster service.

• Space your food and drinks stations apart for better traffic flow and to avoid bottlenecks that hold up the lines.



• Food tables should be as close to the kitchen area as possible, not on the opposite side of the room or across the dance floor area.  For safety reasons, you don’t want people carrying hot pans of food, hot water, and serving trays through a crowd of guests.



• DJ’s should be located far from the food tables.  Again, for safety reasons, carrying heavy items and hot pans of food over and around an area with lots of power cords, wires and equipment is not a good idea.



• Avoid allowing the DJ to place his very large (loud!) speakers close to the cake table.  A fellow cake decorator tells the true story of a DJ who set up the speakers on each side of the cake table, pointing in toward the cake.  The vibrations from the speakers caused the cake to shake and vibrate ever so slightly, but enough to cause it to topple just as the reception started!



• Be aware of any electrical access the DJ and caterer will require, such as for chocolate and punch fountains, coffee pots, carving stations, etc., and ensure that tables are close to outlets.  If this is not possible,  alert your vendor to the need for extension cords.  Be aware:  some equipment comes with a warning NOT to use extension cords (such as punch fountains).


• When setting up guests tables, allow a main aisle -- not just for fire safety reasons, but for the comfort of your guests as they walk through the room.  Tables should be far enough apart so guests are not bumping into each other every time they move their chairs.



• Coat racks should be available for guests to hang their coats, but do not place them right inside the door.  This causes the doorway to be blocked as people stop to hang their coats, preventing others from entering and leaving. 

• If a facility requires you to obtain liquor liability or wedding day insurance, check with your own insurance agent first.  If your agent is unable to secure this coverage for you, we suggest you check with www.wedsafe.com, a company that specializes in wedding day liability insurance. If you will be having an open bar, we strongly recommend liability insurance.

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Wedding photos courtesy of Ira Lippke Studios