7 Ways to Plan a Banger Wedding Reception

You’ve been working so hard choosing vendors and planning details for your dream wedding, but what about all the little things that go into making sure your wedding is an absolute banger!? I’ve rounded up seven things, from time of day, to photo booths, to keeping everyone entertained including the kids and the ones who don’t want to dance, to make sure your wedding is a blast for everyone!! 

Keep track of time

You most likely want your party to be when it’s dark out, but you definitely want to have enough time in the sunlight to take photos before the reception. Personally, I always plan the timeline with the couple to be sure everything from ceremony, to photos, to cocktail hour and the reception lines up just right with the sunlight. 

groom stepping with his groomsman dancing

Size matters

The size of your venue compared to the size of your guest list matters! You want the room to feel full enough but don’t want to overcrowd your guests either. Having the right balance between the two is also important for your photos! 

Have a plan for the kids

The kids are always a good time once the dance floor is open, but having a plan to keep them busy and distracted during dinner and speeches will keep everything running smoothly and allow the parents to focus on enjoying the wedding! Coloring books or print out pages are great for when they’re seated during speeches, and having a couple games for kids as the night goes on will keep them happy!

Consider having an open bar

Yes, cash bars are a great way to save some money on your big day. But if you really want to have a banger reception, an open bar is the way to go! Keep the drinks flowing!! 

Wedding reception bar full of liquor for an open bar.

Think about whether you want a DJ or live band

DJs and live bands both have their benefits, and you can have a really fun party either way! But you really need to do your research on this one, because the entertainment sets the tone for the whole night! DJs are a great way to make sure all of your favorite songs are played. If you’re going the DJ route, def be upfront about your do not play list.

A live band will really hype up your guests and adds entertainment for the guests who refuse to dance. They can still enjoy watching the band play (but they should be dancing)!! The traveling version of Howl at the Moon’s Dueling Piano show, Howl2Go will ensure everyone is on the dance floor. Their energy is intoxicating and brings people to the dance floor and sometimes even on stage with them! I’ve partnered up with them to offer $200 off when you mention Victoria Saint Martin Photography when booking them.

wedding DJ playing music in one frame and a wedding band playing live music in the other frame.

You set the tone for the party

Your guests are where you are! If you’re chatting up your guests, the party will just turn into one big cocktail hour. So if you want your guests dancing you better get your booty out on the dance floor!!

One frame of a bride throwing her bouquet for the bouquet toss tradition. Another frame of the groom being lifted and thrown in the air in a traditional Mexican wedding celebration.

Black and white image of a bride dancing with two bright lights behind her creating an epic silhouette.

Plan for entertainment add ons

Couples are getting so creative these days with entertainment at their weddings! Fireworks, comedians, chef stations, caricaturists… so many options! Photo booths are always fun and give guests a memorable keepsake. Victoria Saint Martin Photography offers a high-end virtual photo booth that takes photos, gifs, videos, and boomerangs, and the couple gets a virtual copy of all the images taken throughout the night! Visit my contact page for more information on photo booth options!

virtual photo booth at a wedding taking photos of groomsmen being silly



  1. […] Good luck with planning and enjoy your time with your best girls and make sure to check out my blog post about having a banger wedding reception! […]

  2. […] you want to make sure your wedding is an ABSOLUTE BANGER here are some more ideas and tips to party all night […]

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I know planning your dream wedding can be stressful, heres the thing though, you don't have to do this alone!! I got you! I will be your Chicago wedding guide helping you navigate the not so fun parts of planning your best day ever! I believe you should have FUN on your wedding day! I know, crazy right? Let me prove it to you! 

I'm Victoria! Hello and welcome to the blog!

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