April 10, 2018
Image Credit: Hunter & Sarah Photography
After months of planning, your wedding day arrives and seems to fly by in the blink of an eye. This is why it’s so important for you to live in the moment and make the best of every second. Here are our 10 secrets to an epic wedding reception:
The traditional formalities such as introductions, first dance, parent dances, dinner service, toasts & cake cutting take quite a bit of time. Your time for dancing can be pretty limited if there are too many additional activities added to your timeline.
Prior to hiring your entertainment, make sure you research and select a professional that you trust. Your DJ should know how to really put on a show and engage your guests. So don’t add anymore to your plate by trying to create the entire playlist for the night. Other than your special dances and entrance/exit songs, give the DJ 5-10 additional songs you want played. From there your DJ will read your crowd to create the right vibe.
Make your hungry guests happy by keeping the food flowing. Wedding days are long. You are going non-stop and your guests are too. Serve the first course as early as possible. Also consider having a late night snack. Appetizer sized munchies like sliders or french fries are sure to give your guests a second wind. Other great choices include extra desserts or salty snacks like chips and popcorn.
The easiest and most cost effective way to transform your reception venue is with lighting. Uplighting, texture lights, string lights, candles and lanterns all create ambiance and add warmth to your wedding. Dim lighting with a couple of LED foam batons makes for a pretty fun time too! 😉
If the space allows, keep your bar and other entertainment in the same room as the dance floor. It’s no secret that cocktails encourage guests to loosen up. If the bar is in another room you will lose quite a few lively dancers. Your photo booth should also be in the same room so that guests don’t miss out on any important moments throughout the night. Finally, have your DJ right next to the dance floor, not in a corner. An interactive DJ will make several trips to the dance floor engaging with your guests. You’d hate to have them running across the room.
Every bride and most female guests want to have stunning shoes on the wedding day. Unfortunately the most stunning shoes are usually the least comfortable. They look great, but they are not for dancing! So bring some flat shoes or flip flops to give your feet a break. If you have room in your budget to spare, you can provide flip-flops, flats or colorful socks for your guests too.
Creating a wedding day timeline helps you stay organized and on track when your day arrives. The more detailed you can make the plan, the better. It should start as early as “hair and make-up” and go all the way to the reception. Allow yourself an extra 15 minutes to account for any unforeseen traffic or hold ups. Also, a copy of the timeline should be provided to anyone involved in the wedding; vendors, wedding party and parents. Your reception timeline should be reviewed with your DJ because as the MC it’s their job to ensure that it flows seamlessly. Most importantly, stick to the timeline as best you can. Starting the ceremony or reception too far off schedule can frustrate your anxious guests.
Have a final meeting or at least a phone call to confirm every detail with your venue event manager and other vendors. You don’t want any surprises or even questions on the day of. Final payments, final guest counts, table placements, timing and any other day-of logistics should be confirmed. If you are not hiring a day of coordinator make sure your vendors have a point of contact (not you or your new spouse). Your vendors will communicate with them if needed on your wedding day. If anything goes wrong it should be fixed before you ever even hear about it 😉
Give your farewell just as much attention as your entrance. At this point the remaining guests have partied the night away with you and stayed until the last song, why not treat them to something special? Sky lanterns, sparklers, bubbles, and even glow sticks for your guests to wave are just a few great choices. The perfect send off will leave your guests in absolute wonder and in awe of what an epic night they just had.
When I see a packed dance floor, typically the bride and groom are right in the center of the crowd. The guests take their cues from the couple. If your guests see you smiling, eating, drinking & dancing…guess what, they will too! So, show them how its done and enjoy each special moment of your big day.
Follow these simply guidelines and you’ll be well on your way to having the epic wedding reception you deserve.
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In the meantime check out our blog Ultimate Guide to DJ Pricing in Hampton Roads!
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