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Ultimate Guide for a Great Wedding Reception

9 Golden Rules for a Great Wedding Reception 

K'Mich Weddings - wedding planning

When, what, who, in what order… Think through the evening and have a clear plan for the entire event. Then clearly communicate this plan to all interested parties: your catering manager, the wedding party, parents, etc. Consider the schedule and details of events such as the following: cocktails, dinner, grand entrance, toasts, specialty dances and so on. The more you plan ahead, the more you can relax and go with the flow at your reception. Use this Reception timeline sample to help you through.

The music and entertainment is the key to a good party
Bad or inappropriate music and entertainment can kill a party faster than anything else, so spend the time necessary to select a good band or DJ. Find someone who can match the style and tone of YOUR wedding style, can ‘read’ the crowd and keep the guests happy, and will respect your wishes. Be clear and specific about any songs or events that you do NOT want at your wedding.

Tips for toasting
A convenient time for toasts is just after the first course is served. This gives the servers enough time to ensure that all guests have a drink (nice to have if you’re toasting!) and is still early enough in the evening that you’re likely to have everyone’s attention. Most couples start with the best man, though some start with the bride’s father, so choose the order that works for you and communicate it to all parties. Be sure to encourage any and all toasters to keep their words BRIEF (no more than a few minutes each) and discourage off-color jokes, too much personal information or ‘inside’ jokes, and any other inappropriate content. If you have any toasters you’re worried about, perhaps you could ask them to write out what they plan to say ahead of time and show it to you!  Don't burn your toast

The first dance: “don’t wait forever to do it and don’t do it forever.”
A good time to do the first dance (and other specialty dances) is just after dinner – to kick off the party portion of the evening and keep the energy going. If any song you’ve selected is over three minutes, you may want to have your bandleader shorten it up or have your DJ fade it out after a few minutes… You’ll be surprised at how long even three minutes feels – to you and your guests – when you’re alone in the center of the dance floor with all eyes on you! 

Yummy food
Whatever food you serve doesn’t have to be expensive or super fancy gourmet, but it should taste good. Enough said!

A way to keep ‘em dancing…have the dance floor next to the bar
Ideally, it’s great if there is a bar near the dance floor. People tend to congregate near the non-dancers will still be close to the party people: the dancers. It’s also easier for guests to move seamlessly on and off the dance floor. You’ll find that the dance floor is more easily filled if it’s located near a bar! Also, offer your female guests' comfortable dancing slippers which will encourage them to get on the floor. Keep your dance floor packed

Focus on your guests
You and your groom are really the hosts of this shindig… and it’s always good to be a gracious host. Take some time to envision the day from your guests’ point of view, and do whatever you can do to make sure their experience is smooth, relaxing and fun. This will truly make it a wedding they’ll remember!  WOW your guests

The bride and groom set the mood 
Finally – the most important rule of all: the mood of the newlyweds (joyful, stressed, happy or unhappy) influences the entire wedding, and affects the mood of your guests. If you think you might be worried and stressed out about all of the endless details on your wedding day, then consider hiring a wedding coordinator even if it’s just for the day of the wedding only. It is worth every single penny if it means worth every single penny if it means you (and your guests) can actually ENJOY your wedding day!

See more - How to Plan Your Wedding Reception Layout

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