What to Take to Your Wedding – and What to Take Home

There’s a lot of do-it-yourself in a wedding, even when you have an expensive planner and a full-service decorator and caterer. Here’s what you’ll have to take to your wedding reception, and what you’ll have to take home when it’s over. Now is the time to start assigning people to those challenging logistical tasks. 

To the Wedding 

  • Centerpieces
  • Floral displays (from the ceremony)
  • Your own adult drinks (plus beer and wine bottle openers)
  • Table cards
  • Table numbers
  • Guest book (or guest book alternative)… don’t forget pens
  • Card basket (empty)
  • Flags for the bar
  • Signs
  • Photo booth backdrop (optional)
  • Small lights (optional)
  • Sound system (if you’re not having a DJ)
  • Photos of the couple; photos of parents and grandparents’ weddings; photos and memorials of loved ones who have passed on
  • Instant cameras for dinner tables (optional)

Allow yourself enough time to set everything up. Lots of pieces take longer than only a few pieces; and be sure to coordinate with your venue or caterer so you won’t be surprised to find out that you have to set up all the tables and tablecloths yourselves.

To Take Home 

  • Card basket (full)
  • Gifts and cards
  • Guest book or alternative
  • Bar flags
  • Leftover booze
  • Flowers (if you want to keep them and press them)
  • Your photos
  • Your instant cameras (optional)

Be sure your venue doesn’t expect you to help break down the tables or sweep the floors. If you agreed in advance to do all of the cleaning, allow plenty of extra time. And don’t make the newlyweds do it! 

© Fourth Estate Audio, 2015 – Jay Congdon is president of Fourth Estate Audio, a professional Chicago DJ and Chicago Wedding DJ company.    

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