LDS wedding reception details
Photo Courtesy of Joshua Gene Photography

Choosing a Wedding Reception Venue

From the traditional to the unconventional, today’s Latter-day Saint wedding receptions are being held at all kinds of places.

Backyards, cultural halls, or local ballrooms and event centers will probably always remain staples for LDS wedding receptions. But untraditional venues like museums, art galleries, dinner cruises, country clubs, hotels, and restaurants are now becoming popular reception destinations, as well.
When choosing a location, weigh the cost, atmosphere, and what services are included if you book it for your wedding reception. If it’s an outdoor location, make sure there are backup plans in case of extreme weather.

LDS Wedding Reception Decorations

Temple Square Hospitality Corporation
Temple Square Hospitality

Locations that specialize in doing wedding receptions (such as local banquet halls, ballrooms, or event centers) usually include a standard package of decorations with the cost of booking the venue for your reception, which can be a big bonus for harried LDS brides and grooms who can’t stand to make any more decisions.

Incorporate your wedding colors (and theme, if applicable) into all of your reception décor. The floral arrangements, tablecloths, napkins, place settings, centerpieces, and wall or ceiling décor are all opportunities to let your wedding colors take center stage.

Mormon Wedding Reception Favors

Photo Courtesy of Stacy K Photography

At a reception, favors aren’t absolutely necessary, but many brides and grooms find them a nice touch. And while they certainly aren’t expected, most wedding guests like to have something to take home as a memento of the event.

Reception favors can be as simple as napkins printed with the date and names of the bride and groom. Slightly more expensive options are small soaps, tea light candles, coasters, mints, or chocolates.

Theme weddings provide a chance to send guests home with favors that have a little more “personality” to them, such as fans or chopsticks at an Asian-themed wedding.

Music at the Wedding Reception

LDS receptions and music choices
Photo Courtesy of Amelia Lyon Photography

Regardless of whether you open house includes dancing or not, some form of music will probably be necessary. Even if guests are just mingling and conversing with each other, some type of soft background music will automatically transform the atmosphere.

Music at a wedding reception dance is best left to a live, professional D.J. An experienced wedding disc jockey knows how to interact with the crowd and shuffle the play list to keep guests having fun and dancing all night long.

However, some couples choose to appoint a friend or family member to be the D.J., renting a stereo sound system and using their personal computer or iPod to mix the songs. The wedding band or wedding singer, though not as popular as it once was is also an option – especially at more formal wedding receptions.

Mormon Wedding Reception Food

LDS wedding reception
Photo Courtesy of Effervescent Media Works

There is quite a spectrum of food options at your wedding reception. At one end of the spectrum is the DIY approach: you assign relatives who all bring a dish and set it on a self-serve buffet table at the reception. At the other end is the professionally catered sit-down dinner. And then there are all the options in between.

How you feed your reception guests depends on your budget and on how much work you’re willing to do yourself. If a full catered meal is too expensive but a DIY menu sounds like too much work, compromise with a catered buffet.

LDS Wedding Reception Invitations

invitations for LDS receptions
Photo Courtesy of Carly Daniel Photography

Invitations are always important, but Mormon wedding reception invitations are doubly so. If you’ll be inviting any non-members, they may be apprehensive and unsure of what to expect. It’s helpful if you invitation gives them cues on what to wear, whether food will be served, and whether dancing or a ring ceremony will be part of the reception.

And if your wedding involves a temple sealing, it’s important to get the wording of your invitations just right so that there’s no confusion about who’s invited to what.

There are two basic types of LDS reception invitations:

Invitation to both the sealing and the reception
Invitation to the reception only

Temple sealing guest lists are generally very small, so there will likely be many guests who are invited to the reception who are not invited to the sealing. In those cases, be certain that the wording is absolutely clear in order to avoid disappointment, misunderstandings, or hurt feelings.

♥ Jenny Evans
Exclusively for
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LDS wedding reception details
LDS weddings, LDS reception, LDS open houses

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