Wedding Reception Supplies Checklist

If you’ve opted to be your own wedding planner, you’ll need a good checklist so that you don't forget anything. Follow this checklist to be sure you have the wedding reception supplies you need for a fabulous and memorable celebration.


  • Tables: Dining tables, head wedding party table, drink station table, buffet/food tables, dessert table, bar station, gift table, table for the guest book and cake table.
  • Chairs: You'll need enough for all of your guests plus ten extra to be safe. If you’re having a traditional Jewish wedding reception, you’ll need specific chairs for the hora.
  • Coat rack, or a closet specifically for the coat check


  • Candles for dining tables and/or buffet tables
  • Lights: White decorative lights are always a nice touch, especially for outdoor and barn wedding receptions.
  • Flowers: Use flowers as beautiful centerpieces on dining tables. They're one of those wedding reception supplies that can accent just about anything in your reception, from the wedding cake to the guest-book table.
  • Favors: Disposable cameras to be used during the reception are a popular and fun option. Other wedding reception supplies for favors include mix CDs, homemade preserves and bagged sweets in your wedding theme colors.

Glassware & Knives

  • Glassware for the head table: You may want to bring extra-special glassware for you and your groom.
  • Champagne glasses for toasts: Pack at least six champagne glasses, which are used for the various toasts.
  • Knife to cut the wedding cake


  • Menu: Purchase all ingredients required for chosen menu.
  • Food preparation timetable
  • Hired help: Waiters, bartenders, cook(s), kitchen hands
  • Cutlery
  • Wedding reception napkins: Pack enough for all guests and twenty extra to be safe.
  • Plates: Twenty extras
  • Serving dishes, bread baskets, platters, salad bowls, chaffers and punch bowls
  • Salt-and-pepper shakers
  • Butter-and-butter dishes
  • Water jugs
  • Timetable for preparing/serving food at wedding reception
  • Map for food placement
  • Map of buffet table layout and decor
  • Coffee and tea station with cream, sugar, Sweet ‘n Low, stir sticks or coffee spoons.  Plus:
  • 2 or more coffee urns, 20 extra coffee cups
  • Wedding cake



  • Permit/License: Local regulations may require that you have either a license or permit to serve alcohol.
  • Bartender
  • Glasses: Rocks, shot, champagne, wine, martini, tall and water


  • Music: DJ and/or band
  • Extra equipment for live entertainment: If you hired special dancers, singers, etc., make sure you have enough microphones, lighting and any other equipment needed for their act.


  • Timetable for wedding reception from beginning to end
  • Gifts: It’s smart to put someone in charge of gifts. Once all of the gifts have been checked in and organized, have them delivered to your hotel suite, or packed into a vehicle.
  • Clean-up crew: Whether your crew is hired help or family and friends, you’ll want to ensure this is taken care of at the end of the reception.
  • Delivery/return of rental equipment: Be aware of the deadlines for return of certain wedding reception supplies; you don’t want to get stuck with late fees.
  • Garbage cans: Rent more than you need. The last thing you want to worry about is garbage.
  • Tips: Add up tips a day or two in advance. Designate a friend or family member to disperse tips to hired help when the reception is over.

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