Photo by Kayla Smith Photography
Throwing a great wedding reception is all about timing.
From feeding your guests to tossing the bouquet you need to keep your guests informed and entertained. A detailed plan for the events of the night is essential, and even more important is a person to carry that plan out. This job primarily falls upon your DJ. This can make or break the party and will determine whether or not your guests stick around to send off the bride and groom at the end of the night. At Amarillo Wedding DJ & Entertainment we specialize in not only offering DJ services but being Professional Reception Coordinators as well.
So many fun things happen during a reception, the trick is getting it to flow so nothing is rushed.
Bride & Groom Entrance, First Dance, Father Daughter Dance, Cake Cutting, Toasts, Bouquet/Garter Toss, Honeymoon Fund Dance, Bride & Groom Sendoff...and the list goes on! With so many possibilities its a good idea to narrow down your list of activities to those most important to keep your guests interested. But you also want to remember not to lose the sentiment because it is your wedding day! While planning the reception with your DJ, take into account that you will just have finished going through hours of getting dressed, photos, and a full ceremony. The last thing you want at that point is for the bride and groom to dance with every member of your extended family at the start of the reception. We suggest a father-daughter/mother-son dance at most to start! Then you will have a chance to eat dinner for 30 minutes or so.
A great way to keep your guests happy is with a cocktail hour. (H'orderves and good music included.)
Depending on how your wedding day is planned and the length of your reception, it may be a good idea to provide h'orderves, appetizers, and drinks before the meal is served. That and some good background music will keep guests at bay while waiting on your very anticipated arrival. At most weddings, family group photos are taken after the ceremony, meaning your guests will be left alone at the reception venue typically for 30-45 minutes. But it all depends on how far away your receptions venue is and how long your pictures take. After you've made a grand entrance and you are settled, guests should then be allowed to eat. This way you are able to relax and eat dinner at the same time as everyone else and people aren't standing around watching you finish your meal.
Keep your reception time between 4-5 hours long.
That being said, we're talking about from the time your guests leave the wedding venue until the end of the night when the bride and groom have a big send off. The countdown has begun, and it's all down hill from here unless things have been planned properly. After the cocktail hour, bride and groom arrival, and the meal are finished things need to happen on schedule. The key is not to rush anything, but also don't let your guests remain stagnant. Keep the party going by staggering events from 20-30 minutes with dancing in between. This will ensure there isn't a meal then an hour of awkward dancing before anyone is comfortable or has had any "liquid courage", if you are providing any. (Which let's be honest, this helps a lot.) After you finish your 4-5 hand picked events for the reception you should finish with an hour or so of dancing. By this time people will have loosened up, maybe have had a few drinks, and the dance floor will be alive up until it's time for your big send off!
All in all your wedding ceremony and reception are going to be the best, no matter what happens, because they were planned in celebration of YOUR wedding day. Everything will happen exactly as it should. We at Amarillo Wedding DJ & Entertainment would be honored to plan and coordinate your ceremony and reception! We can assure you the utmost care and creativity will go into your big night.