Wedding DJ Entertainment - Planning Your Reception

"timings and order of the day for your wedding are covered here with some ideas too!"

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Ideas for Table Activities

The Baby Game - Guests have to decide which member of the wedding part belongs to each of the baby photographs.

Wedding Anagrams - a list of wedding words jumbled up.

Who Did It? - A list of amusing and embarrassing incidents. Guests have to decide which of the wedding party did it!

The Wedding Album - Give each couple a prepared sheet where they can write their memory of the couple and their wish for their future.

Planning Your Reception

Timings

If you haven't attended a wedding recently, understanding the timings of the day could seem unmanageable at first. It's worth remembering that however thoroughly you plan your day, it very rarely runs exactly to time. Relax and enjoy your day. Your suppliers are experienced professionals and will be used to it.

Here is a rough guide for timings:
  • Ceremony - civil half an hour, church 1 hour.

  • Photos - between an hour and a half and three hours (depending on weather, photographer and using multiple locations).

  • Travel to Reception - if your ceremony is at the same location then no time needs to be factored in. If there is a distance between them allow for this, traffic conditions and the type of car used.

  • Wedding breakfast and speeches - allow 2 hours minimum.

  • Evening reception - allow between half an hour and an hour from the end of the meal. This is an ideal time for you to freshen up, for your guests to relax and chat and for the venue staff and entertainment to prepare for the evening.
On paper, it might appear that there are long periods of inactivity. In reality, these times are often welcomed by your guests as opportunities to relax, chat and catch up with friends and relatives.

Receiving Line

When guests are invited into the dining area for the meal, there is the option for the wedding party or just the bride and groom to stand in a line to greet each guest as they enter. This is an ideal opportunity for you to thank guests for attending and sharing your big day. You need to factor in the time this will take - 60 guests at 30 seconds each will take half an hour to 'process'.

Entrance for the Wedding Breakfast

When guests are seated for the wedding breakfast, the bride and groom are introduced into the room. A carefully selected piece of music can add to the fun and atmosphere. Some couples opt to have the whole wedding party introduced into the room to their own piece of music - again allow for this in your timings.

Speeches

Traditionally, there are three speeches: the father of the bride who toasts the couple, the groom who toasts his new wife and the best man who toasts the bridesmaids. Nowadays, tradition is only a guideline and it's important to do things to suit your own personal circumstances.

Speeches can be done before the wedding breakfast, after it or even in the evening before the first dance. The argument for doing them before the meal is to ensure that any nervous speaker can complete his speech and then enjoy the meal.

Gifts

The giving of gifts to the wedding party are often done after speeches. Saying that, it can be a nice touch to do it in the evening and ask your wedding DJ to provide a piece of music for each recipient to walk forward to.

Cake Cutting

The timing of the cutting of the cake is often determined by whether it is going to be used as a dessert for your main meal. If this is the case, it may need to be done before the meal or straight after the main course to allow the staff time to cut it up. Another alternative is to cut the cake just before the first dance. This will enable your evening guests to be part of one of the formalities.

Bouquet Toss

The throwing of the bouquet is a very old, but still exciting, tradition. It was believed that the 'catcher' would have good luck and be the next to get married. Some bouquets can become missiles if thrown into the air, hence some brides choose to throw a bridesmaid's bouquet or have a small substitute to use just for this occasion. The timing of the bouquet toss is entirely your choice but often works well as a late evening activity.

Garter Routine

From days gone by, it was always considered that a brides attire was very lucky. To prevent guests from trying to take a piece of her dress, a bride would remove her garters (which most had to wear to keep their stockings up) and throw them into the crowd. This tradition has developed into a fun addition to the evening entertainment where the groom removes the garter with his teeth and tosses it to the bachelors in the room.

Lulls Between Each Part of the Day.

Some couples worry about inactivity between the ceremony and meal or the meal and the evening reception. There are many options available such as table games and activities, casinos, caricaturists, magicians, photo/video booths and large garden games such as Connect 4 and Jenga.

A great reception doesn't just happen by accident. It is the culmination of a great deal of thought, planning and liaison between various suppliers.
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