Ten Top Wedding Reception Tips

I’m quietly confident that, after 30 years and almost 1000 wedding receptions later, I’m in a pretty good position to hand out a few tips on how to make your evening party celebration crackle & fizz on your wedding day!

  1. Choose a venue where the main dance floor area and DJ are close to the bar. Separate rooms and lengthy divides make it really difficult to maintain a crowd in one place.
  2. If you’re handing over an extensive playlist to your DJ, you’ve booked the wrong one. Have confidence in the DJ you’ve hired…let them use their own experience to read the crowd and fill the floor. By all means, let them know a few of your favourite anthems, but no scripts as it really hinders the performance.
  3. Choose a First Dance that means something special to you both. And not just a song because it’s trendy or cool! You won’t regret it!
  4. Really take in and enjoy your First Dance together. It might be the first time all day that you’ve actually got each other on your own. And don’t worry about dance skills, no-one is judging you and the closer and happier you look, the more happy tears will flow from your gathered friends and family.
  5. Don’t fill the floor with balloons! Not quite so popular now, but a floor filled with loose balloons is an open invitation for frenzied children to tear around, sending anyone in their way flying into the tables!
  6. Be a little different with the evening buffet! Most of the top hotels provide fantastic finger foods around 8.30pm but sadly there is a tremendous waste as lots simply doesn’t get eaten. To counter this, why not serve up hot sausage and/or bacon rolls instead? I’ve seen this done many times and there isn’t a scrap of waste at the end of the night! Plus hopefully it’s a bit cheaper!
  7. Get the Bride on the dancefloor! Sometimes it doesn’t matter how many awesome classics I play, the crowd still seem reluctant and shy. This is where the Bride comes in! With her bridesmaids and friends in tow, it can really ignite a timid audience into action!
  8. Keep it simple, and not too long! If you’re having live music alongside the DJ, make sure that they’ve spoken beforehand to maybe share a sound system and lighting, etc. It certainly takes up less room and looks much tidier! And it’s always best to put the band on in two one-hour sets…that way, if the audience love them, they’ll be very enthusiastic for the second set…if they don’t go down so well, you have the option of letting the DJ play the remainder of the night.
  9. The wee small hours… It’s very tempting to take the venue’s offer of an extended licence…but from my vast experience of such things, try not to finish later than midnight. Most of your guests have been out all day with you, probably up and dressed at 9.00am and by 11pm they are usually flagging! I absolutely love to create a big finale at the end of all my wedding receptions, but in recent years it’s become more difficult with fewer and fewer guests still standing! So if you want a proper spectacular send-off, don’t stay up too late!
  10. Take a deep breath, relax and let your DJ take you higher! In these times of Spotify and Apple Music, people are used to being in total control of the music…but this is one night where you can let go of the reins and free your soul. And your awesome dance moves, obviously!

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