10 Tips for an Amazing Drinks Reception

In light of all the wedding planning that is frantically occurring at this time of year I thought I’d tell you my top 10 things that I believe makes your drinks reception the best it can be.

So, get granny’s head out of the bunting, put down the scissors and for the next 60 seconds enjoy some seriously thought provoking and fun ways to make your drinks reception the talk of the town.


The Drinks Reception Top 10


1. Music.

I’d always choose to avoid a band at this point and go for something softer, allowing people to meet for the first time, have a good old natter and generally catch up at your drinks reception. Acoustic artists, harpists or saxophonists are great and can add that missing something to an otherwise silent room.


sam fitton manchester wedding magician top wedding tips dax on sax

The incredible ‘Dax on Sax’ of Six15 rocking a drinks reception

2. Nibbles.

I must clarify I’m not talking about 2 bowls of Wotsit’s and a chicken drumstick. We’re not wanting to start a war. Elegant canapes served by waiting staff are lovely however try to avoid anything greasy or messy. Lots of your guests may have been awake a while and a little bit of food here can raise their energy levels seeing them through the drinks reception with ease!


sam fitton manchester wedding magician top tips vanilla in all seasons catering canapes

Having sampled this.. I can tell you.. it’s as good as it looks! by Vanilla in All Seasons Catering

3. Entertainment.

Consider this 2 hour period, your drinks reception, as a waiting game for your guests. They’re hungry, out of things to talk about in 10 minutes and restless. A strolling close up magician (like me) are great at breaking the ice, firing up enthusiasm and bringing laughter into the room. To quote one of my brides… “The room was electric!” Thanks Lis!



4. Drinks.

I’ve always found a selection to be better than having a glass of champagne thrust into my hand and after seeing numerous guests pour their fizz into a plant I’m not alone. Champagne, Bucks fizz, orange juice as well as Pimm’s during the summer makes for a more friendly welcome to your drinks reception.


sam fitton manchester wedding magician top tips catering top table events

A great selection of seasonal drinks by Top Table Catering

5. Use you Venue wisely.

Just because it’s summer it doesn’t mean it’s warm. Be wary of the UK weather and plan an indoor drinks reception if you’re not 100% certain it’ll be wind and cloud free. Likewise, some like it hot, others don’t. A balance between the two is great and I’ve found indoor venues with lots of light, big windows / french doors to give you the best of both worlds allowing your guests to roam.

sandhole oak wedding barn in Congleton, Cheshire.


6. Photographs.

During your drinks reception is when photographs usually happen as you’re just married and it’s super exciting! Your photographer will whisk you away for a little while to get those all important family and friends shots leaving your guests who aren’t so involved a little lost. That’s where entertainment (like me) comes in! Enjoy your photographs, they’re really special, don’t get self conscious, remember it’s your day, you’re in control!


sam fitton manchester wedding magician photography jonny draper cheshire

A great shot by Jonny Draper Photography!

7. Table Plans.

Some venues have a habit of revealing these 10 minutes before dinner. Bad idea! Make sure it’s available to view throughout your drinks reception. You’re guests will be able to find out where they’re sat for dinner (which remember they are craving like mad!) making the transition from your drinks reception to wedding breakfast as seamless and stress-free as possible. Just what we want!


sam fitton manchester wedding magician table plan Harriet amaretto wedding frame beautiful elegant

Beautiful & functional. by Harriet

8. Strolling Photographer.  (Reportage style) 

Eh? Well, I like them. A lot. As one photographer is snapping you and your family, a second photographer (that most chosen photographers will be able to arrange) floats inconspicuously around your drinks reception getting natural, un-posed shots of your guests. I can only see this idea getting more and more popular!




9. A Surprise.

By that I don’t mean a girl in a birthday cake or a ‘sexy’ fireman (but it could work)! Be creative! You’re guests will really appreciate that something they didn’t expect. It could be stilt walkers to greet guests, a magician to wow their socks off, fire dancers, caricaturist or bar flarer who juggles their drinks! It’s the personal touches that make your drinks reception and your big day unique so get that thinking cap on!


10. Get Involved.

Like I mentioned above your photographer will want to get your ‘formal’ shots but don’t over do it. Careful planning with your photographer will make this process quicker. Take the shots you really really want and then go and enjoy yourself. It’s your drinks reception, your party and all of your guests want to see you because…

Today you’re the star of the show so take your much earned bow!



Well that’s it, my top 10 golden beautiful must do ways to have an amazing wedding / drinks reception. I hope it’s given you some ideas and maybe even inspiration when planning your big day :) I hope to see you there!


Thanks for reading and comments, likes, shares & tweets are greatly appreciated!





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