10 Guidelines to a Great Wedding Reception

Dance Shot 1

Want to keep the party going?   The more you can adhere to these pointers, the more likely your party will be at full steam at closing time.   It’s been said that a party should end “Not when it shouldn’t end, but when it does.”    What that means is that it feels better when people are left wanting more versus just fading out.

  1. First of all your entertainer must be highly visible.  Good entertainers will work to get people on the dance floor, but they must be seen as part of the action – so don’t hide them in a corner.
  2. Keep exit doors closed.  You don’t want people outside of the banquet room.  Open doors give guests an invitation to depart.  And, wedding couples should never stand by the exit door for the same reason.
  3. With that in mind, bars should be in the main room, not off in the corridor.  Don’t shut the bar down until it is time to close.  People will notice and take that as a clue that it is time to go.
  4. Dark is good for dancing as more people feel less “on stage” and can blend into the dark corners of the dance floor.  However, don’t turn the lights down so low that the photographer can’t do his job.  He is limited to the capabilities of his camera and they just don’t focus in the dark.  After the photographer leaves, make the room as dark as you want.
  5. The size of the dance floor matters.  It is better to be “too small” to give the illusion that the dance floor is packed as many people refrain from joining in feeling that they are the only ones out there.Dane Shot 2
  6. The music that you play is important.  Keep it upbeat and light.  Keep the mood up.  Listen to the musical opinions of your dj as he does this for a living.
  7. When you are creating your seating charts, put the older guests away from the speakers.  They will appreciate being able to visit and hold a conversation with family members and they will stay longer.
  8. Rehearsal dinners should be scheduled two nights before your event – NOT the night before.  Bridal party members can be burnt out from the night before and this can greatly limit the energy of the event night.
  9. All speeches and traditional events should be done and out of the way before the dancing begins.  The same goes for all photography.  Nothing destroys the energy of a party when the bridal party departs to have photos taken.
  10. Your venue should treat your wedding professionals as valued “guests”.  If they treat your vendors as second class citizens how do you think that affects their attitudes?  I find it rather ironic that some of the nicest venues have the worst attitude toward the dj, bands, photographers, and video crew.  (And Venues – when you shove the wedding professionals off away from the action for dinner of a dried up piece of chicken jerky or cold sandwiches and chips remember – those are the people who will NOT be recommending you again!).  Professional wedding vendors will bend over backward for you if you just treat them with the same respect you treat your guests with.

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