Wedding Tips

Without question, the bride and groom will be the center of attention. Therefore, they will have a large influence on the mood of the reception. If the bride and groom simply sit around and socialize, guests will most likely do the same. If the happy couple is up and dancing and having fun, that will encourage everyone else to do the same. I have even seen some couples go into the crowd and grab the hands of friends and family as an invitation to come out and dance.

Get all (or as many as possible) of the formal pictures done before the dancing starts. I have seen many parties quickly lose their momentum because the bridal party, family, and friends go off to have more pictures taken. It may take a little longer earlier in the day, but it will keep you from losing guests who get tired of waiting for the photos to finish up.

Don't tuck the entertainment out of the way. A good DJ will work hard to get people dancing and having fun, but they must be seen as part of the action - not just a side attraction. Place the DJ next to the dance floor and in a place easily accessible by your guests. This makes it easy for your family and friends to make requests.

Keep outside distractions to a minimum. These distractions could be a variety of things: An outdoor patio, desserts in another room, etc. If possible, keep all of the attractions (including the DJ) in the same room. Other common examples include a bar or photo booth. They draw people to them. Put the dance floor and other attractions close together, when possible. Don't make your DJ compete against the draw of these items on the opposite side of the room or worse yet, in another room.

Respect the musical opinions of your DJ. That may sound a bit arrogant, but think about it: Most DJs have a wealth of music and entertainment knowledge. They can really help make your reception a success. When making the list of requested songs and/or types of music for your event, be sure to include selections the majority of your guests will enjoy. People like to dance to songs they are familiar with. A good host or hostess is considerate of all of his or her guests. Click here for a list of popular request.

The area lighting is a key factor. During the early part of the reception, the lighting levels should be appropriate for mingling and enjoying any food that is to be served. As the evening progresses, it is usually best to lower the lights to set the mood. Darker tends to be better. Family and guests are more likely to relax, dance, and have a good time if they do not feel like they are "in the spotlight". Lowering the lights (especially around the dance floor) also enhances any special lighting the DJ has set up.

If possible, cut the wedding cake around the time family and guests are finishing their meals. This keeps the reception moving and allows everyone to enjoy desert right after dinner. Be sure the wedding cake is set up in an area that is cool, away from the flow of traffic and out of direct sunlight.  It was not too long ago that I saw the top layer of a cake slide right off of the base because it was in direct sunlight!

Last, but not least: End the party before it's over. After a few hours of reception time, most of your guests will be ready to wind things down. It simply feels better when everyone is left wanting a little more and saying "that was a great time!" versus being completely worn down and burnt out.