Reception Tips

If your not sure of the best format & schedule for your reception these suggestions may come in handy.

It is YOUR wedding & it should be done exactly the way you want. The following suggestions may come in handy to ensure your special night goes off without a hitch.

Prior to your arrival

Take a mobile phone to your photo session & when your 10 minutes away from arriving give the function room a ring, this will allow the caterers to have everything prepared as well as the MC to get everyone seated.

Entry

Your MC or DJ announces the bridal party’s entry. Bridesmaids & groomsmen first with the bride & groom coming in last. Music for this can be either soft & mellow or something a little bit up-tempo depending on the bridal party’s personality.

Try to get all guests with cameras in one spot this will allow your official photographer to find a location where his / her shots wont be jeopardized by an enthusiastic guest. About a 20 second gap between couples should allow the cameras flash to recharge. If your guests all stand up when you enter probably the only people that will see anything will be the people in the front row. Nowadays no one is upset or offended if they all remain seated. This almost becomes mandatory if you have a professional video. They can’t get good shots if everyone stands up in front of them.

Photos with the guests

These can make or break your night; a good way is to do table shots between each meal course.

Your meal will be served first so you should be finished first, grab your photographer & have a photo taken with your guests at their table then move onto the next table & so on. This can be done at a relaxed pace or another alternative is to get your DJ to prepare the next table by having them standing ready for you. We call this express photos, 99% can be finished after the entrée thus leaving the parents to be photographed after the main meal in a more relaxed & personal manner. Try to avoid photos after the bridal waltz! This is your relaxation time.

Speeches

These are best done after your main & prior to dessert. A tip especially for the bride is to get the MC to let the bride powder her nose before giving the guests 5 minutes notice before speeches. Imagine the bride & 5 or 6 other ladies in the restroom together. This can lose a lot of time. Earlier we mentioned about remaining seated during the entry, well during the speeches it’s a lot more comfortable for everyone to remain seated during toasts & the people being toasted to stand up. Even people seated at the back of the room will be able to see. The speeches can be done in any order, the enclosed MC form (green) is a good guide. Try to get all speakers to use the microphone at a pre-determined location with the exception of the bride & groom, they will be more at ease if the MC takes the microphone to them. Try to avoid the MC asking if anyone would like to say a few words, you will never know who could come forward.

Telegrams

These are great to liven up even the dullest of speeches, but they can be dangerous. Sometimes groomsmen can’t be trusted to censor them enough so as not to offend anyone. MAJESTICS DJ’s can supply distribute & collect forms that resemble old-fashioned telegrams. These can make great keepsakes. Once collected they can be given to someone you trust to screen them making sure that nothing offensive is read out. Then the groomsmen read them.

Cake cutting

At the conclusion of the speeches guests will quickly move in different directions, eg:  the bar, go for a smoke or off to the loo. Cutting the cake only takes about 2 minutes so before they have a chance to depart get your MC to invite the bride & groom to cut the cake. Music while cutting the cake is not as important as you may think. You look into each other’s eyes & you will be on another planet. Keep your favorite songs for the bridal waltz.

Bridal waltz

This should be the highlight of your night. Once the speeches & cake cutting is complete let your MC relax & enjoy his or herself. A good way to start your bridal waltz is by assembling all the bridal party as well as the parents at the edge of the dance floor and then the DJ announces that this is your first dance together as husband & wife and is for the bridal party & parents. Bride & groom then proceed onto dance floor, after a set time the bridal party & parents follow at about 15 second intervals. At the beginning of the second song guests to be invited to join in. This will ensure that no-one taps the groom on the shoulder wanting to cut in during the first song & also means that the bride’s father can have the opportunity to dance the second song. Usually 4 songs make up the bridal waltz before livening things up.

Garter & bouquet

Bouquet first. DJ announces all single ladies onto dance floor. Remember if a lady hasn’t got a husband regardless of her age she should be on the floor. Older ladies will get a thrill to be invited to participate.
Garter next, get all the guys to participate as well. If the bride stands with her leg up on a chair someone may get a camera in a position that could lead to a tacky photo. Sitting with the groom on his knees in front of her will ensure that the bride’s modesty & dignity is kept intact. When the garter is removed ensure the groom does not make any gestures like a dummy throw to the single guys, they are very unpredictable & may charge forward to retrieve garter. Wait till bride is clear of the floor before throwing.

Departures

After garter & bouquet guests to form large circle ensuring parents are standing side by side. Bride & groom start with in-laws and go opposite directions thus ensuring they finish with their own parents. Keep an eye on each other so as to finish at the same time. Try to have parents standing near exit door so they can follow you out.

This is a formula that we at MAJESTIC recommend because it has proven very successful for many years.

These are only suggestions. Your wedding is a very special day and it must be something your comfortable with. Your DJ has been to hundreds of weddings and seen many different variations so don’t hesitate to ask him or her to help design your day.