The Cake won't get you dancing -
The Flowers won't get you dancing - The Food won't get you dancing
Weddings Reception Tips...
Drawing from over 21 years experience & over 2,100 wedding receptions, we've put together a list of tips that may help you in the planning of your wedding reception...
Before The Wedding Reception...
You may want to consult with your photographer about having some of the photographs taken before the wedding ceremony to cut down on the time spent taking photos between the ceremony and the reception.
If your reception or parts of it are being held outdoors, make sure all lawn and garden sprinklers in the area of the reception are turned off for the duration.
Many people place disposable cameras on the guest tables. It's great way to get some candid shots that will be a nice addition to pictures
that the photographer will provide.
It's a very good idea to have a timeline for the events (traditional dances, dinner, toasts, cake cutting, bouquet/garter toss, etc.) of your wedding reception, but keep in mind that things can and do happen that will sometimes throw off even the most meticulously planned schedule. Perhaps the food service is lagging, or dinner goes faster than you thought it would, or the photographer needs to change film or batteries, or the bride just wants to relax instead of doing the first dance ...any number of things, we have seen it all! It's better to give a little "breathing room" to the schedule of events rather than try to force things with a rigid timeline. In our experience, over-planning tends to create a tense reception.
Before the introductions of the wedding party, if any, make sure that the person who will do the introductions is aware of the order of the line-up, and is aware of any unusual or hard-to-pronounce names.
First & Traditional Dances...
Let the band know what your song requests are at least 8 weeks in advance of the reception in case the band doesn't know the song(s) or hasn't played the song(s) in a while.
Keep in mind that proper etiquette is for the guests to wait until the bride & groom have danced the first dance before the dance floor is open for guests. Although some guests are unaware of wedding reception etiquette, others who may wish to dance will not until the bride & groom have danced the first dance.
If you've taken dance lessons and have a choreographed dance, make sure the band knows the exact tempo and arrangement of the song(s) by sending a cd of the exact music you are going to dance to. You may also request that the band play the original artist's version on cd if you feel that you will be more comfortable dancing to cd music instead of the live band.
Let the band know how you want the dances to be introduced. This information may be important if there are step-parents being introduced or if there are others that are included in the dances.
One wedding reception snag that we've seen many times is that when it's time for the toast, the champagne or beverage of choice has not been served to the guests or to the presenter of the toast, and sometimes, not even to the bride and groom. It's good idea to elect someone to notify the person in charge of the service about 20 minutes (or use your best judgment depending on how many guests you have to be served) before the toast.
When using a microphone during the toast or at any time, be sure to speak loudly and keep the microphone close (the closer the better) to your mouth...it's the best way to get and keep everyone's attention.
It's a good idea to follow the toast immediately with the cutting of the cake because you already have your guests attention.
Bouquet & Garter...
From time to time, a groom will try to rush through the removal and tossing of the garter. Try to give the photographer an opportunity to get his or her shots. Have fun with it.
If a minor is involved in the bouquet or garter toss and happens to catch (which they usually do) either one, tradition is to skip placing the garter on the leg of the person who caught the bouquet and just get a picture of the two together instead.
Sometimes photographers and videographers are hired for only a portion of the wedding reception. Make sure you cover the events you want on film/tape before they leave. Some people do a "fake send-off" earlier in the evening so they can get pictures and video if the photographers and/or videographers are not scheduled to stay until the very end of the reception.