I Do: List of Things to Consider When Throwing a Wedding Welcome Party

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welcome board for a wedding party
source: pinterest.com

At its core, a welcome party serves as the initial opportunity to greet guests for the wedding celebrations to come. Think of it as a wedding warm-up, where couples can get creative with their overall vision by opting to throw unique events that can take many forms.

Whether you choose to host this affair as a replacement for a traditional rehearsal dinner or prefer to tack it on to the end of the rehearsal as an extended party, here is some expert advice on how to incorporate a welcome party into your wedding weekend.

The Decor is Everything

wedding party decorated with welcome board and flowers
source: pexels.com

The décor is one of the most important aspects when planning your wedding welcome party. Any wedding reception décor checklist would be incomplete without the use of welcome boards. These signs serve as functional décor pieces that add beauty and help set the mood for the day. They also let visitors know they’re in the right place, especially if your wedding welcome party is taking place at a large venue where there may be multiple ceremony locations or events happening on the same day.

You might wonder how to choose a welcome board. First of all, pick out the right size. How big a wedding board should be depends on your space. A large and striking sign is ideal if the welcome party will be held outside in a spacious area. Conversely, for a smaller indoor venue, such as a church lobby, a more compact tabletop sign would be more appropriate. Experts often suggest an 18×24″ print because it’s noticeable without taking up too much room in a compact area, though there’s always room for expansion.

In terms of material and style, there is a wide range of options to suit every décor taste and preference. Acrylic welcome boards are among the most stylish and versatile. They can be left clear or painted on the back to match your wedding colour scheme. For couples who prefer traditional wedding styles, a wooden welcome board is ideal. You can stain, paint, or use driftwood for a rustic look. Chalkboards are a classic option, and a large chalkboard propped up on an easel or sandwich board can be quite charming. Mirrors offer a touch of elegance, and after the wedding, you can remove the lettering and use the mirror in your home.

Create a Vision

The next big step in planning a wedding welcome party is to determine the impression you want to leave with your guests. This vision may be influenced by cultural factors, personal passions, fears, and dreams. Above all, ensure the welcome celebration embodies your couple’s identity. It introduces the weekend and sets the mood for the festivities to follow.

Put Together the Guest List

Invite as many people as you can to the welcome party; it’s a terrific way for attendees to meet and become acquainted before the wedding. The welcome party serves the purpose of breaking the conversational ice so that the wedding day will feel more like a warm meeting of friends. Your guest list will also help you identify and select a venue that can accommodate your number of guests.

The Devil is in the Details

To stay on track and within your budget, compile a list of all the nitty-gritty details. Commonly overlooked items for a welcome party include audio and visual needs, such as entertainment and microphones for toasts. You probably don’t need amplification for a small gathering, but more than fifty individuals in a room can create more noise than you might expect. Plan for success to ensure no one misses the jokes or heartfelt moments.

When planning a destination wedding, don’t forget to account for arrival information. The welcome party is intended to greet everyone to your celebration, so schedule it for the day guests are set to arrive. Factor in enough time for everyone to settle down and get some rest before the celebration by considering every aspect of the trip, such as hotel check-in and time zone adjustments.

Decide What to Serve

The food you serve and how you present it will influence the atmosphere of the gathering. If you are planning to invite all the guests to the welcome party and make it a dinner, do something different than what you have planned for the wedding. If the wedding will feature a formal plated dinner, consider having food stations, family-style service, or a buffet for the welcome party. Alternatively, serve one-bite canapés or favours for a dessert reception, and have them passed around on trays or set out on an accessible buffet if the welcome fête is held after the rehearsal dinner.

Have a Back-Up Plan

Remember that the welcome party is just the start of an extremely hectic schedule, even though it will surely be an amazing kickoff event. Always have an exit strategy so you can get a good night’s sleep before the wedding. Hair and makeup will be knocking on your door bright and early, and you want to look and feel your best.