for a Perfect Party or Reception
We have been to a lot of wedding receptions and parties. Every
event is unique, but there are certain things that make these events more successful. We
invite you to take a moment to read our tips for a successful reception/party.
After your wedding, the pictures always take a few minutes
longer than you had anticipated. After you arrive at the reception site, you will need to
take a few minutes to freshen your makeup and hair and possibly bustle your wedding gown.
Those items take time and your guests have been waiting anywhere from 30 minutes to an
hour. For this reason, you may want to consider opening the buffet to the guests before
you arrive. The caterer will like it since they will know their food will be fresh and at
its best when served. The photographer will appreciate the extra time and you can
take your time getting to the reception site. Your DJ will take care of greeting the
guests and announcing the opening of the buffet. And your guests will know what is going
on and can leisurely find their tables and serve themselves. Best of all you are able to
maximize your time which will leave more time for the dance and party.
Selection of a photographer is very important. Choose one who
treats the reception as a journalistic event, not a photo opportunity. While there are
those once-in-a-lifetime family or group pictures that are available only on the wedding
day, try your best to schedule those pictures at a time other than during the dance
portion of the reception. Nothing kills a party faster than having to stop the music while
a group of people exit for a special photo. DJs work very hard to build the partys
momentum so it is best to keep disruptions to a minimum. Due to the traditional
formalities such as cake cutting, toasts, the garter and bouquet toss, dollar dances,
etc., wedding receptions involve a lot of startin & stoppin! So if
its a dance you want, work with your DJ to create as seamless an agenda as possible.
A Good Mix
Keep in mind that you will probably invite a wide variety of
guests to your wedding reception. That variety applies to their age, background, musical
and dancing tastes. It is our suggestion that you allow a good mix of music,
representative of the different tastes, to be played. You might not think 'the older
folks' will be interested in dancing, but you will be pleasantly surprised when you see how they respond when they hear music with which they can identify. Too much
of any one kind of music will not produce the best party results. Variety is the spice of
life and is never more evident than when you see your parents and grandparents happily
doing the YMCA or Macarena right along with your friends.
Plan and book early! It is not uncommon for us to book events
eighteen months to two years in advance. Most wedding receptions begin taking shape at
about the twelve month mark. If you get within three or four months of your date you will
find that many vendors in the wedding industry are already booked and you will be lucky to
find what you want.
What do you remember about the wedding receptions youve
been to in the past. Well, thats where you need to put your money. Thats what
your guests will remember about your reception. There are places to cut if youre on
a budget. Chicken instead of shrimp. Leave off the matches. And use the country
clubs napkins instead of those expensive specialized kind that wind-up in the bottom
of someones purse or pocket anyhow. Use those funds where they count
Introducing all the members of the wedding party at the
beginning of the reception makes great video and photos. After all, in most cases all that
was seen of these people during the wedding was the back of their heads. However
introducing the wedding party will take an additional fifteen minutes. Someone, preferably
not in the wedding party (and with the background as a drill sergeant), must be
responsible for the logistics of collecting and lining up the attendants, working with the
DJ and photographer, and cueing the attendants where and when to walk. Communication and
planning are the key. We suggest you make this part of your dress rehersal from the church. No detours permitted!
& Groom Dance
Your first dance song can be any song you and your groom
want. It can be an old song, a new song, country, pop-- it's your choice. In fact, many times brides and grooms will choose a less popular song
simply because they do not want to be like everyone else.
You dont have to dance a special dance with your father,
but most brides do. If you choose to include a father/daughter dance, it follows
immediately after the bride and grooms first dance. In most cases the groom dances
with his mother at the same time the bride is dancing with her father. Popular selections
when the bride and her father are dancing alone are Daddy's Little Girl by the Mills Brothers and Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle. If
both the bride and the groom are dancing with their respective parent for a special
"Parents Dance," often the choice is Everything I Do, I Do For You (from Robin Hood), Unforgettable by Natalie and Nat King
Cole or Bette Midler's Wind Beneath My Wings.
If the best man is shy and reserved, it is not a requirement
that he do the toast to the bride and groom at the reception. While in most cases the best
man offers the toast, it can be done by another groomsman, a father or grandfather, or
simply someone special to the bride and groom. Should there be more than one toast?
Its up to you. The more festive the atmosphere the better and nothing is more
festive than toasting the bride and groom.
& School Songs
If the sorority sisters are going to sing a song to the bride, a
good time is just before or after the garter and bouquet are tossed. Appoint a leader
(someone other than the bride, of course). That leader needs to tell the other sorority
sisters what is happening and when and have them ready to step out onto the dance floor
when the time comes. Its just another of those items that with a little coordination
and preparation can actually add to the party atmosphere rather than be a break in the
If you are trying to book an Master of Ceremonies/DJ and the
company you are talking with will not give you the specific and complete name of the DJ
they are booking for you, beware! You may find yourself in a 'bait & switch'
situation. Some companies use made-up names and at the last minute assign a DJ to perform
using the name for a particular event. It pays to know who you are doing business with.