1. Have people in your bridal party bring a comfortable pair of shoes to wear later at the reception. Hours of dancing on a hard floor, in
dress shoes can be unbearable and dress shoes are slippery, on a floor with spilled drinks.
2. Bring safety pins, bandaids, needle and thread, and kleenex. You'll need these for repairs to your gown, as well as any blisters you
may get from your shoes.
3. Bring some plastic building blocks, coloring books or other toys for the kids to play with, off in some corner "away from the D.J.
equipment", to keep them quiet and out of everyones way.
4. Relax and have a good time. The bride and groom set the mood for the entire reception. If the bride is on the dancefloor having a
great time, so will her guests.
5. Put the wedding cake at the end of the food buffet line and have it cut up in serving pieces, right after the bride and groom cut the
cake, so guests can get the desert with their dinner. This will leave you with less leftover cake to take home or throw away. Be sure to
have someone appointed to immediately have the cake cut up in pieces.
6. If you're having a reception in the summer, try to get an air conditioned hall. You and your guests will be all dressed up in formal
clothes, which can become really hot. If your guests are hot and uncomfortable there won't be much dancing going on.
7. Outdoor receptions - while they may be cheap and scenic, it's a huge gamble when it comes to the weather. It can rain, be extremely
windy, be really hot, really cold, the bugs can eat you alive, it can be muddy, poor electrical supply and such, so outdoor receptions are
not always a good idea.
8. I've done some receptions where some, well meaning, person poured the champagne before the guests even arrived. The bride and
groom usually arrive up to 1 hour after the guests first arrive. Don't have the champagne poured until toast time. You don't want it
getting all warm and going flat in the glasses, plus it's entertaining watching the best man attempt to open the bottle and letting all your
guests hear that great "POP" of the cork.
9. Have your photographer take all of the bridal pictures before the wedding ceremony, so you won't keep your guests waiting for hours,
at the reception hall, for your arrival.
10. Brides and grooms sometimes buy disposable cameras and put them on the tables, for the guests to take pictures. This can be a
great idea for casual pictures that the pros might not be getting, but take into consideration that little kids often get a hold of them, and
you'll get lots of pics of shoes, the floor, the ceiling, half a face etc.
11. An alcohol free reception usually is a short reception. If your guests are loosened up a little, they'll be more relaxed and in the
12. It's truely amazing how many party planners and reception hall managers are clueless about the proper placement of the
entertainment. They place the D.J. back in some corner, off in a closet, or in the middle of a room. Sound is extremely directional,
when it comes to the vocal part of music and speech. It funnels out of the speaker, in a "V" shape, while bass frequencies will fill a
entire room. If you want your guests to hear the announcements that are being made throughout the evening, as well as enjoy the
music, you need to put the D.J. in a proper location, so that sound and lighting can go over the dance floor first, then out to the
audience. Placing a D.J. in the corner can take up more floor room, since the equipment will have to be placed further out onto the
dance floor, to get the width needed for the entertainment system. Many times I've been placed in bad locations and the guests cannot
hear the announcements made. I realize that the reception is for the bride and groom but the stage should be for the D.J., and not the
bridal party. Once the bridal party has finished eating and the toasts have been given, the table remains empty for the rest of the
evening, since they'll be at the bar, on the dance floor, dancing or mingling with the other guests. If you want the bridal table to be the
center of attention......it can be placed on the dance floor, in front of the stage and, after dinner, it can be removed for the dancing but
this can also cause another problem since the bridal party will be in front of the speakers, when it comes time for the toasts to be given
on the wireless microphones. Improper mic technique, by your best man and maid of honor, can make it hard for the guests to hear the
toasts, without bringing the volume levels up to the point of feedback, causing a loud squeal from the speakers. Sometimes a good
place to put the bridal table is off to one side of the dance floor.
13. A bouquet and garter toss is for many of your guests the highlight of the reception, yet many brides seem to be eliminating this from
their receptions. I think it's a great way for guests to find out who's single. What a great way for a single guest, at your reception, to
meet their future husband or wife.
|RECEPTION HALL PLANNING
THE PERFECT RECEPTION HALL LAY OUT.
|MISTAKES MADE IN RECEPTION HALL LAY OUT
PHOTO # 2
|MISTAKES MADE IN RECEPTION HALL LAY OUT
PHOTO # 1
|As you can see, this room setup wastes a lot of space, behind the D.J., that can't be used. The buffet table is set up to be used only on one
side, so your guests will have to wait twice as long to get to eat. The wedding cake is put far away from the food table, making your guests
make a special trip to get desert and you'll probably have a lot of left over cake to take home or throw away. The placement of the D.J. will
also make it so that most of your guests will not be able to hear the important announcements, made at your reception, and the music will
sound muddy to your seated guests who won't be able to enjoy the music videos, due to not being in the line of sight to the video monitors.
|Unfortunately, it seems that many halls are set up this way. Your guests will be unable to hear any announcements clearly, during the
evening, and the music will sound muddy to the seated guests. The serving of food, on only one side of the buffet table, will double the time it
takes for your guests to get food to eat.
16 THINGS A BRIDE NEEDS TO KNOW -
ADVICE FOR A GREAT RECEPTION
Are you or is someone you know having a wedding reception? Here are 16 things you've probably never even thought of, that as a
professional mobile DJ, I suggest make for better parties.
I first want to point out that it is rare that all these items are followed in any given event but the more you can adhere to them, the more
likely your party will be at full steam come closing time.
1) Don't put the older guests next to the dancefloor/speakers. If you have to ask why, then you may want to hire a harpist for the night.
2) Don't cram your entertainment out of the way. Your entertainer should be seen. Powerful entertainers will work to get people on the
dance floor but they must be seen as part of the action, not just some side show.
3) A party should end when it shouldn't end, not when it should. Ending a party before it dies down leaves everyone with the impression the
floor was packed all night. It just feels better when people are left wanting more versus being completely burned out.
4) A "too small" dance floor is better than one that is too big. Why? The answer is simple: It creates the impression, whether real or not,
that the floor is full. People are more likely to dance when the crowd on the floor is dense than when they feel like the only ones out there.
Take it from the pro who knows about dancing and crowd psychology, not from the banquet manager selling you on why a huge floor is so
important. If people end up dancing on the carpet then great they end up dancing on the carpet and the story of your floor being so packed
people couldn't even fit on the floor only further reinforces my point.
5) Darker is better than lighter for dancing. People feel like less of a spectacle, less "on-stage" when they think they're harder to see.
That's why crime increases at night and yes when some people dance it is a crime. This one works along the same lines of psychology as tip
6) Keep exit doors closed. Doors are inviting and you don't want to invite people outside of the main room. Having them open allows more
light into the room which again works against the psychodynamics of the dance floor. Open doors invite people to their cars in the parking
lot. You want to keep their focus in the reception room for as long as possible.
7) This is a very general but valid statement: Nicer places, (country clubs, etc.) actually make it harder, especially in the summer and fall
months to get people up and moving because they are so pre-occupied enjoying the scenery. Think about it... would you rather enjoy a cold
beverage on a breezy deck outdoors amidst the trees or a sweaty dance indoors? It isn't that the night can't be great but all things being
equal, nicer venues pull from the floor potential. As a DJ I love playing nicer events and usually do so, as that's my target market; but it
can't change simple human nature. If you're having your party/reception at a really nice venue then you'll just want to pay closer attention
to some of the other factors to tip the scales in your favor.
8) Bars should always be in the main room. Preferably closer to the dance floor but the floor shouldn't be in the way of any lines to the bar.
If a bar and/or desserts are put outside the main room, then a huge percentage of potential dancers are unavailable. Bars are like kitchens,
they draw people to them. If you can help it, don't make your DJ wrestle with the draw of a bar.
9) If you're going to shut the bar down for 30 minutes out of, say, 6 hours, do it during dinner. If you do it at 11:30 then the party will more
likely die out, as people will feel that it's time to go.
10) Happy music keeps things going. Keep away from any negative vibes at all. Keep the mood up-up-up.
11) Respect the musical opinions of your local professionals. They do this for a living. Be careful not to cut out all the "clich" wedding music
as you'll find this will negatively impact the dance floor potential. People dance to what they know. A wedding reception is not the time and
place to prove to your friends and family that you're into obscure music. You've got a lot of people from all over your family tree that want
to have a good time, so let your DJ exercise all his or her tools and really work his or her craft.
12) The entertainment should eat with the guests and not be fed a soggy club sandwich in the janitors closet. From tons of experience, the
more my brides and grooms treat me as a guest, the more likely their unpaid guests will respect me too. I find it rather ironic that the nicest
venues often have some sort of crapitude (made up word) towards DJs, bands, photographers and video crew and will encourage the bride
and groom to shovel them off away from the action during dinner with a plate of moldy (I'm not kidding) cold cuts. Wouldn't it make sense
that they be right near the action? Not to mention, if you treat your vendors like second class citizens, how do you think that affects their
attitudes? Your pros will bend over backwards for you if you just treat them with the same respect you'd treat your guests with. I can tell
you now that professional wedding vendors will even do extra for you at no charge when you treat them right.
13) Don't do a dollar dance. The reason is that when the bride and groom are doing this the guests realize they won't be seen slipping out
the door. If you must do one, do it early on after the main dances and limit it to 3 songs max.
14) People tend to remember the beginning and the end of an event. That's why your DJ should do a strong, grand introduction. It helps
build rapport early on, and if done right and with energy and enthusiasm, it puts him or her in a more powerful position to work your crowd
15) It is best for any traditional events or speeches to be done and out of the way before dancing begins. In addition, it is important for
pictures of the bridal party and bride and groom to be done, when at all possible, before the dancing begins. As a DJ I have seen more
parties lose steam because my bridal party is having pictures taken after the bridal dance. Do all the pictures before. It may cost you an
extra hour earlier in the day but it will save you from losing a good handful of guests early on in the evening.
16) If you have to cut corners, don't compromise on the entertainment. My clients never complain that they paid too much for my services.
Also, know that experience is king. I am a better DJ after every event I do.
Dan Nichols, a lay-psychologist and certified hypnotist, as well as a mobile entertainer, owns a small personal DJ service out of Royal Oak,
MI and has been in operation for 16 years. Check him out at www.theboogiebrothers.com.
A wedding reception is not the time and place to prove to your friends and family that you're into obscure music. Let your DJ exercise all
his or her tools and really work his or her craft.
If you have any good suggestions or ideas to add to this list,
please email them to me at email@example.com
and I'll gladly post them here for others.
|Sometimes I run across reception halls that expect to open the hall up only 1 hour before reception starting time, for the D.J. to set up, and then expect
the D.J. to be packed all up in 30 minutes, after the reception. Perhaps the people in charge of these halls are used to having amateur D.J.s that
arrive in their family car, filled with their equipment of 2 speakers and a laptop computer, and set it all up on a table, provided by the reception hall,
then they sit on their behinds all night long. The only system I have, that can be set up and packed up like that, is my D.I.Y. rental system. My gold
system takes over 4 hours to set up and 2 hours to pack up. I'm not slow..... but there's over 2,500 lbs of equipment, to haul in and set up, and dozens
of cables to plug in. It's just really bad, when a hall that a couple has to pay sometimes over $500 to rent, can't pay 1 employee to stay 1 hour over, to
lock the door. What can it cost the hall to pay that one employee for an hour, $8.00?
If your hall is limiting you on the quality of the entertainment, that you have at your reception, due to the length of time they allow for setting up and
packing up of the entertainers equipment, you might want to look elsewhere, for a hall, and be sure to let the hall know why you will be looking for a
more responsive place. Only then will the managers wake up.
I've been D.J.'n since 1996 and I'm just amazed at how many halls don't really have a clue on things such as....(1) Ease of access, to get equipment into
the room (2) Proper electrical wiring, at the spot where the entertainment is to set up (3) Proper placement of the entertainment, in respect to the
dance floor and the seated guests (4) The amount of time it takes for a professional entertainment system to be set up and packed up.
|This is the best layout in any room, especially when it comes to rectangular rooms. The music will be loudest on the dance floor, which is
where you want it to be loudest. All the seated guests will be able to hear the announcements clearly, as well as having a clear line of sight
of the music video screens, for entertainment. The buffet table is open on both sides for a quick flow of guests, so they can get their food
fast. The cake is located so that, as the guests leave the buffet table, they can grab their desert on the way back to their table, when you
cut the cake, before dinner.
|Above is a photo taken at a reception hall that I played, with my small system, back in 2011. They put the bridal table
along with the cake, where the D.J. setup should be, on the dance floor, and put the D.J. off in a corner. They also
placed a guest table between the D.J. and the dance floor. Don't allow this to happen at your reception.
Please help educate these banquet managers.