After the I Do’s: The Party!
After The “I Do’s”
It has been a long day of pre-wedding prep, all leading up to the moment when you finally got to say “I do.” Now that the official first kiss as husband and wife has been exchanged, it is time for the real celebration to begin.
By the time you get to your reception, all stress and pre-wedding jitters should have faded away. As the bride and groom, your main focus now should be on having fun. Make sure all important details have been arranged ahead of time, and that someone else is in charge of helping things to run smoothly.
Incorporating photos of your courtship into your reception can elicit laughter from your guests, providing a few conversation starters as well. Pick out some shots not just of the two of you, but also some candid’s of you and your guests over the years. Have these photos either blown up into posters you can scatter around the reception, or use them in a digital slide show as guests begin to trickle in.
Make sure music is playing from the moment the first guest arrives, keeping the tone lively and upbeat until it is time for you to take your first dance as a couple.
Having an open bar will help your friends and family to let loose. Consider also arranging some kind of dessert buffet for your guests with a sweet tooth (and any children in attendance) to enjoy. A cookie decorating station or a coffee and hot chocolate stand with syrups and whip cream might serve to titillate guests of all ages.
We may want to get a few more photos of you two at sunset, but for the most part I will be taking candid photos during the reception – getting images of your guests truly enjoying the party. I will be out on the dance floor with you, and capturing photos of the moments you won’t ever want to forget. Your only job is to have fun; I will make sure we get the story.
Try to remember to take some time to enjoy the food you so lovingly picked out for this reception. With so many friends and family around wanting to share their congratulations, it can be difficult to make the time to eat. Steal a few bites every chance you get, and make sure someone packs you a picnic basket of food to bring back to your hotel once the party is over. You may not feel hungry in the middle of the chaos, but you will be happy to have it once the two of you are alone.
Personalize your centerpieces for each table, and consider doing the same with the favors you get for your guests. A bottle of wine with a customized label or a box of your favorite sweets with a heartfelt note attached are both ideas sure to excite your friends and family after the party is over.
Above all else, remember to have fun. Today was your day, and this is your party. Eat, dance and laugh like you have never laughed before. Spend time bonding with your friends and family, but don’t forget to come back for lots of kisses with your new spouse.
The “I do’s” have been exchanged. Now is when the real fun begins…
Jennifer Dery is an internationally known photographer based in San Diego, CA.
She specializes in documentary-style story telling that emphasizes the emotion and connection of everyone involved.
View more work on the website: jenniferdery.com