You're planning a memorable reception that will knock the socks off your family and friends. Every detail counts... including a smashin' check in table! After all, that's the first thing your guests will experience when arriving at your reception. Introducing, Reception Table 101...
Q: What do I need for the reception check in table?
When your guests arrive at the wedding reception, their first stop is the reception table! Be sure that the table is set up, decorated to fit the theme of the wedding and organized before guests arrive, and get prepared for the crowd. Here are a few reception table staples:
- Complete guest list (make sure it's the most updated list!)
- Guest book
- Envelope box
- Table assignments and place cards (if necessary)
- Decor and pictures of the bride & groom
- Wishing well notes (if requested by the bride & groom)
Q: What are some cute ideas?
Our favorites are customizable guest book options that your guests can write sweet well wishes for the two of you! Flipping through your guest book is a perfect first anniversary activity while eating your saved wedding cake. TIP: Incorporating cute snapshots of your guests or having them personalize their entries (think: colored pens, drawings, stickers) will make for a PRICELESS guest book to look back on!
Q: How should guests get checked in?
You've got your themed table and guest book ready, but how should your reception table assistants check in your guests?
- Greet the guests with a smile and confirm they're attending the right reception. NOTE: Hotels can have multiple receptions going on at the same time so it's always best to confirm they're there for the correct, happy couple. A simple, "For the Wong party?", or "Don't Jennifer and John make such a cute couple..." every now and then will ensure success. PLUS, having pictures of the bride and groom at the reception table will be an obvious clue.
- When your reception table assistant receives an envelope from your guests, have them double check that 1) there's a legible name and return address and 2) number the envelope in accordance with your guest list. As each guest signs in, have your table assistant check the corresponding number on your guest list and mark that number on your guest's envelope. For example, if Aunty Betty checks in and she is number 53 on your guest list, the number you will write on her envelope is 53.
- Present the guests with their table number if there is assigned seating and direct them towards their seating area.
TIP: Use your check in table for pre-announcements for the reception. Inform guests about cocktail hour, pupus, photo booth, etc. Happy guests = Happy party!
Q: Who should handle the reception table?
You've been going back and forth on who you should ask, but still aren't sure. Stick to these pointers and you've got a winning team!
- Have at least two people at the table. They can support each other and one can converse with your guests as the other labels the envelope or gift.
- A relative not in the bridal party is always a great reception table assistant. Opt for someone who is efficient, cheery and organized. Tip: Asking a family member means he/she will likely know your relatives and will be a friendly face to greet guests.
- Another option would be to select a close family friend that you trust and knows your guests well enough to make checking in a breeze.
TIP: Make sure your reception table assistants are trustworthy. They will be handling a lot of valuable envelopes throughout the night and transferring them from the reception table to a safe (if you're in a hotel) or standing guard all night!
Q: What should we do with the envelopes we receive?
Brides love dolling out their reception table and Envelope Box to fit the theme of their wedding. The Envelope Box is a key element on your reception table as it can be the focal point on your table. From the traditional box with an envelope slit, to fancy bird cage, your options are endless!
Q: Once all the guests are checked in, what do I do with the gifts and envelopes?
- Transfer the envelopes carefully from the beautiful Envelope Box and package them in large manila envelopes for safe keeping and easy transport.
- If you're staying at a hotel, have your wedding coordinator or reception table assistants walk with a bellman to put the gifts in the hotel room. The envelopes can be walked to the front desk and both your trusty reception table worker and a Front Desk worker will sign off when the envelopes are locked securely in the hotel safe.
- If you don't have a room, ask the hotel front desk if it's possible to leave the envelopes in their safe until the end of the reception. There may/may not be a charge for this service.
- If you're at a remote location, assign a person that you trust to keep a guarded eye over the envelopes for the night.
TIP: DO NOT leave the envelopes in a car or on the registration table! Make sure the envelopes are placed in a very safe and secure place.
Now that you're a reception table pro you've got nothing to worry about! Get your table items ready, select your winning team and say hello to a perfect check in!