Planning a wedding reception is not an easy job. There are many things to be done… from choosing your venue to crating a seating plan and ordering a cake. If you want everything to be done perfectly, you should start with the preparations twelve months ahead. 

To make this job easier for you, we have made a list of the most important things you need to do…

1. Twelve months ahead: 
The first thing you should do it set the date and time of your wedding. Once you have done that, it is time to start searching for a reception venue. You can look through the current edition of The Bride’s Diary® and online at www.bridesdiary.com.au and make a list of potential venues. You should also request information packs to review with your groom-to-be. Make a list of all the features you would like in a reception venue and cross-check these requirements with your short-listed venues. Then you can start contacting your short-listed venues and arrange inspections. Don’t forget to take your Features List with you. Before making a final decision, compare quotes, inclusion and per-head costs. Choose your favourite venue and pay your deposit. Request an itemised invoice that confirms all the details and inclusions. Also make note of the amounts and due dates of any outstanding payments. Finally, organise the MC and speechmakers for your reception. 

2. Six months ahead: 
In the second phase of your wedding preparations you should start thinking about decorations. Firstly you need to choose a theme for your wedding and then you can start selecting the decorations and discuss floral requirements for the reception with your florist. In this phase you should also organise the music and entertainment and confirm the menu and beverages with your caterer/reception venue. Lastly, choose your cake-maker and book your cake. 

3. One month ahead: 
One month before the wedding you should have a preliminary guest list and plan the reception seating. You can then notify your caterer/reception venue and inform them on any special dietary requirements. Also select music/soundtrack with your musicians and entertainers. 

4. One week ahead: 
Confirm final guest numbers and dietary requirements with caterer/reception venue. Finalise reception seating plan. Confirm collection/delivery of your cake with cake maker. Organise a reception timetable and give to your MC.

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