As a bride, planning your special day requires a lot of attention, time and forethought. You and your fiance are likely going through the process of finding a venue that will work for you and your guests, as well as choosing a ceremony style that you find meaningful. In making these decisions, you are striving to create a day that will be remembered with genuine fondness not only by you and your future husband, but by your friends and family as well. Having your wedding remembered as a stodgy, boring affair where most of the guests did nothing but sit around is the last thing that most couples want, which is why it is important to know how to structure the flow of your wedding reception in order to keep guests engaged and having fun.
One thing that many brides to be do not consider is that having a wedding that is later in the evening may lead to people leaving the party early or being too tired to really enjoy themselves by the time they get there. If you wish to have an evening reception, an ideal time to have your ceremony is 4 pm. This gives time for the ceremony and for photography afterward. Guests may make their way to the reception hall to enjoy a cocktail hour and butlered hors d’oeuvres. This will give them time to mingle and socialize. Having your musical entertainment play some fun and festive instrumentals while your guests are enjoying their drink is a good way to generate the atmosphere of a party until the bride and groom arrive.
Traditionally, when you enter the reception, your wedding party will be announced by name as they enter followed shortly thereafter by the bride and groom. Your maid of honor and your husband’s best man should both have a toast prepared that is funny and engaging without being over the top or inappropriate. Once the wedding toasts and speeches have passed, dinner hour generally begins. During this time, having music continue to play to entertain the guests is an important part of the evening. Eating in silence will bore your guests. When you and your husband have finished eating, you should make your way to each table, greeting your guests once again and thanking them for attending.
When those formalities are over, it’s time to get the real party started. The traditional bride and groom dance as well as parental dances if you choose usually take place first. Following this up with a fun, fast song for the wedding party to dance to will take the atmosphere of the event from sentimental to sassy. About a minute into the song, have the entertainer ask all the guests to join the wedding party on the dance floor. This is a great way to get everybody on their feet and mingling.
An important part of keeping people dancing at your wedding is to have a good mix of fast and slow songs. Two fast songs to every one slow song is a ratio that will keep guests moving but also allow them to take a breather to get a drink or socialize. Remember, if you want to keep your guests on the floor, you need to stay there too. You and your husband being present on the dance floor is an excellent way to keep guests engaged.
Fun traditions like a dollar dance or songs everyone knows like the Macarena, the Electric Slide or the Twist are great ways to get people onto the dance floor to have some laughs. Allowing your guests to request that certain songs be played is a way to keep your wedding interactive and show your guests that you are interested in them having a good time. Finally, one great way to end your wedding reception is to go out with a fast classic rock song that everybody knows. When everyone is on the dance floor with their arms around each other singing at the top of their lungs, that’s when you will know for sure that you have created a memorable and fun night that will be remembered for years to come.