April 10, 2023  •  8min read

From Rings to Reception: A Wedding Reception Checklist

Wedding reception checklist

Even though your focus for a wedding reception should be to let loose and have fun, many things are involved with putting together the best party for your special day. From the large to the small, the items for a wedding reception checklist can vary widely, but each has a big role in creating a fantastic celebration.

Don’t panic, as your vendors, including your caterer, florist, venue, and planner, will assist you with sourcing and arranging these items to ensure a day you’ll never forget!


An event rentals company, along with your caterer and wedding venue, will offer many essential items on your wedding reception checklist that you might need to look into. Remember to give these professionals an accurate headcount once you have your RSVPs to ensure they’ll have the right amounts of every necessary item.


Whether it’s the rainy season or not, you may be hosting a tented reception, or perhaps you’ve prepared them if bad weather is in the forecast. Either way, a reputable tent company will make sure you choose the right tent, as there are many options for your event. Depending on your venue, you may also need kitchen tents, generators and more. Tent companies can also help you install dance floors if you’re hosting an outdoor or tented wedding.

Staging for Band 

If you’re hiring live wedding bands or wedding DJs to entertain, they may need a stage to perform on. Some reception venues already have built-in stages, while others may need to build one. Get your florist to help decorate the stage. 

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Tables & Chairs

There are endless guest table options, from simple round tables to long banquet tables – you can choose one table style or mix it up! This also applies to chairs. Don’t forget that you’ll need more than only guest tables and chairs; you’ll need to prepare escort card tables, buffet tables, and so on. Your venue manager or planner can help you select the correct tables. 

Bar Supplies and Area

If your reception venue has its own bar, you’ll likely have all the essential accessories ready. But if you don’t, you’ll need to work with your caterer, bartending company or rental company to ensure you have everything from barware, straws, lemon and wine wedges and many more. 

Wedding Decor

Decorations will bring your wedding reception to life! This is why it’s important to choose the right one. Whether you’re going for modern, classic, rustic, romantic or something completely unique, your wedding planner, florist or rental company can help you choose the perfect decor for your big day.


From welcoming your beloved guests to pointing them to the restrooms or adorning the guest book table, signs serve multiple purposes; to decorate and offer information to your guests. 


Centerpieces are essential decors that add color and texture to your guest tables. It all depends on the theme of your day; whether it’s full of colorful, lush arrangements or more of a minimalist style. Your florist will ensure that every table is well-decorated while offering vessels like bowls, jars, vases, and more.

Floral Arrangements for Tables and Guest Book

Every table, from your guest table to the bar to the buffet, should be decorated with beautiful decor. Get your florist to look at a seating chart and placements of your reception venues to help them choose the right floral arrangements that can be featured.

Table Accessories

Adding unique accessories like lanterns, vintage pieces, geodes, and other accents to your reception tables can help bring your wedding to life. Get your florist to help you source these or you can hit the nearest markets or other wedding decor retailers and find them yourself.


You’ll likely need more stationery handles than your wedding invitations and save the dates! From escort cards to menus, stationer can help you create a cohesive theme for all your paper products. These items also serve an essential purpose: informing your guests to ensure they’re comfortable throughout the event. 

Escort Cards or Seating Chart

These cards can help direct your guests to their tables. Seating carts or escort cards are usually created after the RSVPs are in, so make sure to enlist your stationery or calligrapher way beforehand.

Table Numbers and Holders

Name signs or table numbers are great ways to show off your creativity. Remember to add the holders if you prefer paper table numbers so your guests can see them easily. 

Menu Signs, Cards, and Coasters

What’s on the menu? You can offer them on the menu cards at every place setting, a sign at every table or a bigger sign for guests so they won’t miss it once they enter your reception. Personalized coasters with beverages help to avoid water rings on your venue’s furniture.

Other Important Details for The Wedding Receptions Checklist

It’s best to source and purchase these wedding reception items well before your big day – so don’t leave them until the last minute! Ensure these items are part of your wedding reception checklist to avoid stress in the days and weeks before your event. 

Guest Book and Pens

Whether you’re going for a classic or a unique guest book, remember to offer several pens in case one runs out of ink or gets lost. 


Instead of your guests handing you their cards and gifts, set up a gift table with a card box where they can drop off their presents easily. 

Wedding Favors

Whether you’re buying favors or prefer a more DIY vibe, wedding favors are a nice gesture to thank your guests for coming to your special day. If you’re having a candy buffet or other treat set up for your guests to take home, make sure to talk to your rental company about serving these pieces at the event. 

Final Thoughts

Remember to plan ahead and don’t wait until the last minute to organize everything. Also, keep in mind that this wedding reception checklist focuses on the reception; you may need additional items for other events throughout the day, like the ceremony. Work with your planner, venue, and florist to ensure you have everything you need for your wedding ceremony.

Guntur author at Bali Wedding
Guntur has been writing tips and tricks for weddings in Bali since 2020. He has written everything from preparing a pre-wedding in Bali to the best wedding dress and makeup you should choose for a wedding in paradise.

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