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Blog - Guide to wedding reception

Posted: Wednesday 20th October 2021 By: Andrew Broughton | Read Time = 3 mins Views: 2514

With 20 years experience working at weddings, I've learnt a few tips over the years that can help you enjoy the best wedding reception.

Top tips for a great wedding reception

The wedding reception tends to be less formal and the opportunity to let your hair down and celebrate your marriage.

Traditionally it's the evening party once all the formalities are over with. That said, it is usually kick-started with the formality of the first dance!

Once all the food and speeches are over, the wedding venue is often turned around ready for the evening party. While this is happening, it's a great opportunity for guests to mingle over a coffee or cocktails (other drinks are available), ideally outside in the sunshine. And more photos.

You could consider having some form of activity during this time such as outdoor games. I've seen crazy golf available and this is a great way for everyone to relax and sets a fun tone for the evening.

Once the room is ready, your guests can start migrating back inside ready for the party to start. This is a great time for some background music while guests grab a drink and settle down in the function room.

I've found the best time for the first dance tends to be around 7.30 to 8pm, although that depends on your overall timings for your day.

I like to do the cutting of the cake and then lead straight into the first dance. This means that you grab everyone’s attention and cameras for the cake cutting and then everyone is primed and ready for the first dance. It’s worth thinking about who should announce the first dance.

With the first dance underway, the evening has started. If you’re not confident dancers, I can recommend having a dance lesson (or two), either to come up with a routine or just a few tips and tricks.

Another option to consider is whether to invite guests to join you during your first dance. This can be nice if you’ve got a long track, although it’s worth remembering that your photographer will need some time to get the best shots of your first dance for your album.

When it comes to choosing your first dance, here are some of my tips on choosing the first dance.

Now it’s time for any second or third dances, if you want to do these. Traditionally the bride will dance with her father and the groom his mother.

Once the formal dances are over, it’s time to party. I find a few classics work best at this point, artists such as Van Morrison, Four Seasons and ABBA.

If you’re having a buffet - which tends to be around 9pm - I gauge the room and either continue with the party or turn the music down and play some more background tracks while people eat. After the buffet it’s time to turn up the notch and bring out the party classics and get the dancing going.

Towards the end of the night it’ll be time to call last orders. This varies from venue to venue and is usually 15-30 minutes before the end of the night.

I like to use the last orders call as an opportunity to slow things down before the grand finale. A couple of sing along classics - such as We Are Family and It Must Be Love - are great and lead nicely to the last dance.

I find a good way to end is to announce the last dance and invite everyone in to the dance floor. A nice slow song that everyone knows is a great ending. And then I like to play a closing track such as New York, New York; Sweet Caroline; or Hey Jude.

A nice round of applause and then everyone can enjoy some well early sleep.

#WeddingPlanning #WeddingIdeas #WeddingCake #WeddingInspiration #FirstDance #WeddingDJ #apeventsDJ

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