Top ten Reception tips
I wish a lot of things but in order to make your reception run smoother, smile more and make everyone happy, you need to do these things. I will preface all tips with: don’t drink too much. If you are too tipsy, things will go poorly. I’ve had bridal parties pass out early, not remember things, skip things and simply get sick.
1 Don’t enter the room for the grand introduction until told to do so. Look for a visual sign from the MC, wait for the door attendant to release you, wait for the dramatic effect of the song so the crowd is even more pumped up, and wait for your names to be announced. I see so many couples so anxious to get in the room that they blow their own entrance. Be patient and it will be better.
2 Once you’ve reached the head table, wait for the photographer to tell you to sit, stand or go to the next formality. The MC and photographer should have this worked out ahead of time so that the transition to the next event appears smooth. Everyone wants to get a photo of you so, take time to let your family get those shots.
3 Video, DVD and childhood slideshows should be handled with extreme care. Always have a hard disc, never stream from the internet. Have only one person in charge of this. Practice and have a full run through with the equipment being used that day. It may work fine in your home office but in the banquet room it may have a glitch or two that needs to be worked out ahead of time.
4 You have so much to do and so little time, so follow the advice of all of your professionally hired wedding vendors. They’ve been doing this for years and know what works best and will give you your desired effect. Communicate what your desired effect is to every wedding vendor.
5 When cutting cake, ask you Day of Coordinator, MC or photographer what works best. I like to tell my couples and show them how to do it in my office. You will forget but I will be close by and giving you hand signals for a quick reminder. I will also count down the feeding to each other so that the photographer and family can capture the moment. If you want to get a little crazy and have some cake fun, make sure that you have two wet warm napkins to wipe off with. Wet warm napkins cause less mess and help clean up faster. Also, brides take the piece of cake you don’t want. This will leave the groom with a piece he is feeding you. Lol.
6 Toasts, wow there is so much to do here. Best thing is to just lay the mic down on the table in case someone is going after you. If you take it back to the DJ table then it will slow things down and make more than one trip. Most MC/DJ’s have more than one mic and can continue the announcements without the wireless for a few minutes. MOH and BM will do their toasts and then maybe a Co MOH or Co BM will follow. Sometimes the Father of the Bride will say a few words or the Pastor will come forward to bless the meal. Remember to end all toasts with a final word. Cheers works well for any group.
7 Dinner can be a stressful time. That white dress and all those food colors. Most good caterers and halls have a designated person to help carry the Brides plate from the buffet line to the head table. If they don’t, I will. Eat a little of everything and they finish off your favorite. Don’t drink too much before the formal dances. You can request the caterer hold a plate back for later if your nerves are still peaking. After the formal dances, most brides tend to relax.
8 Your first dance together as husband and wife will most likely be followed by the father daughter dance and then the mother son. This is a great time to knock them all out at once and have the guests and photographer’s full attention. When you are announced, take your position and wait for the room to quiet and the music to start. If your song has a long intro the DJ may have already begun the song. Either way is fine but know your song and if you have taking choreographed lessons tell the DJ. Once you finish the first dance, have your husband escort you over to your dad, who should be waiting nearby. Husbands please go sit with your mom. When the father daughter dance is over and the applause has died down, the mother son dance should start. Brides please exit the dance floor and Grooms bring your mom to the center of the floor.
9 The dollar dance should be done any way you like but what works best is to have the BM or MOH collect the money. This way the guests doesn’t feel like you only gave them so much time for the money. It’s OK to have the BM and MOH do it but the B&G should never be the one who says next. Enjoy your company and time with each guest. Instruct the MOH and BM to give so much time per dollar or to time every guest for a predetermined time. I like the predetermined time. No more time for larger bills but you can avoid the awkwardness by passing the timer job onto someone else.
10 When open dancing begins, stick close to the dance floor, even if you don’t dance to every song. People are drawn to you at the reception. Where ever you go, they will follow. If you go outside, to the hotel room, bathroom, lobby, bar or anywhere away from the dance floor you will have a crowd that follows. If dancing is important, stick close by. If talking and pictures play a more important role in the evening, tell you DJ in advance.
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