Wedding Planning Tips
How To Plan The Perfect Wedding Reception
The majority of people I speak with have never hired a DJ and they’ve never planned a party of great magnitude. In today’s post I’m going to speak directly to wedding couples and offer some tips to help you plan the perfect wedding reception.
Before The Party Even Starts
First and foremost, if dancing is important to you, I think it’s important that you splurge on your entertainment. Like everything you buy or any service you hire, there’s a reason pricing varies so greatly. And, wedding entertainment is no different: you get what you pay for. How often do you talk about the big mac you got from McDonalds? If you’re still talking about it 5 years after you got it, I’m assuming it’s because something went horribly wrong. Now, McDonald’s is popular and they aren’t going anywhere – and the same can be said about many budget DJ’s. But, is a budget DJ that cranks out hundreds of events that all look and sound the same the right fit for your one of a kind, and expensive, wedding? Some food for thought.
Now compare that experience to going out to the finest restaurant in town. Odds are you’re still talking about that amazing meal 5 years later and telling everyone about that experience. Why? Because it was special, it stood out, it was unique and it wasn’t like every other meal. Your choice in entertainment can offer a similar experience. So, if you want an amazing party that people talk about 5 years after the last song ends, I would highly recommend making your wedding dj a bigger part of your overall budget.
Remember that saying “don’t sweat the small stuff?” Well, breaking your timeline into 5 minute increments and watching the clock all day is only going to accomplish one thing: stress.
Don’t micromanage the timeline. Allow the day to flow and trust that your vendors will keep you on track. Focus your attention on your partner, on your family and on your friends. Enjoy the day and allow yourself to be present. You’ve surrounded yourself with professionals for a reason, allow them to do their jobs and trust that they’ll handle everything on your behalf.
Couple of quick pro tips as I like to call them. First, don’t sit your older guests right in front of the DJ speakers. Keep those seats for the younger crowd that doesn’t mind music being a bit louder.
Find a place in your reception venue that the DJ can be visible, present and have some basic interaction with your guests. If the dance floor is 50ft away from the DJ booth, the body language and ability to request songs is limited. It doesn’t seem like a big thing, but having the DJ closer to the action makes a big difference for your guests.
Once the dance floor opens, dim the venue or tent lights. Odds are, your entertainment company will work to coordinate this but the right lighting will help enhance your party. It’s not impossible to have a packed dance floor in a well lit room; I’ve done plenty of afternoon weddings in my career. But, it’s easier if the lights can be controlled and dimmed.
Don’t micromanage the playlist. Allow your DJ to be creative. Provide some basic guidance by picking out songs that you and your family/friends will love. But, a good DJ should be able to read the crowd and pick music based on body language and dance floor activity.
Now, what happens when the dance floor opens? Naturally, your guests are there to see you. So, if you stay at the sweetheart table and sit to talk to people many of your guests may be inclined to do the same thing. But, if you are on the dance floor the majority of your guests will surround you and socialize with you on the dance floor. With 20+ years of experience and having provided entertainment at over a thousand wedding receptions, I can tell you there is a clear difference in the energy when the couple is on the dance floor partying compared to when the newlyweds rarely visit the dance floor.
Leave your guests wanting more. Don’t let your reception linger until you have a few guests remaining. It’s best to end your reception on a high note with plenty of guests still in attendance. For some, this might mean an 8 hour reception, for others it might be a 5 hour reception. Each party is unique but regardless of the duration of the party you deserve to be sent off in style.
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