The rings are on and the vows have been said, so now it’s time to celebrate!!
A reception can be an exciting time as your friends, family, and guests congratulate you. Plus there’s usually food in the form of dinner, cake, cupcakes, candy, popcorn and yes, I’ve even seen couples serve pie for dessert…but we’ll talk more about this in another article here on Scottsbluff Wedding Planning.
On top of the food, there are your special dances like the bride/groom dance, father/daughter dance, mother/son dance, wedding party dance and so on!! You may be planning on a slide show, bouquet/garter toss, garter auction, dollar dance, married couples countdown dance, the shoe game or other fun things to do throughout the evening.
As exciting as all of this is, you may be thinking to yourself, WHEN do we do all of these and WHAT order do they go in?? No need to worry about this, especially when you have a professional or two helping to take care of this for you. This could be the DJ, one of your bridesmaids/groomsmen, wedding planner or photographer. However, before all of this, happens, make a plan…but also be open to moving a few things around within those plans.
If you’re having a photographer, one thing to keep in mind is that a lot of times photographers are paid to be there only until a certain contracted time, and then they are done for the night. So, if you want to make sure they get all the pictures you want before their time is up, plan accordingly. If you want the photographer to not only get pictures of your first dance but also want them to get pics of the bouquet/garter toss, find out how late they will be there. If they are only going to be there until 9p, don’t wait to have your bouquet/garter toss until 10p and simply expect them to stay. Most photographers I have worked with will stay later, but they do charge extra for their time.
Cutting the wedding cake. For some couples, the standard wedding cake has been replaced by trendy cupcakes, but many couples still have the beautiful tiered cake. If you’re leaning towards doing cupcakes, but still want to “cut the cake,” ask your cake maker, baker or bakery if they can make a small cake for this purpose.
To smear or not to smear the cake, that is the cake question. Do you mind if cake gets smeared all over your face, or do you want to be nice and simply feed the other person their bite without a mess? This is something you definitely need to talk about. I’ve seen couples do anything from not smearing at all, to moderate smearing and then there are the crazy few times where cake and frosting went EVERYWHERE!!! Keep in mind, if you do get crazy with the frosting, that could end up meaning frosting on your wedding dress or tuxedo and then you have that on you for the rest of the night (and shows up in pictures, too!)
Selecting songs for your special dances and letting the DJ or music provider know what kind of music you want to be played is very important. If you can’t decide on certain songs for your special dances, ask the DJ or music provider for some suggestions. As for other music you want to be played during the reception, let the DJ or music provider know if you like certain styles, specific artists, “must play” songs (or “don’t play” songs/artists) and any other thoughts on music you need them to know. Maybe you have a certain song you want the last song of the night to be, if that is the case, let the DJ or music provider know this before the reception. While most people who do music for weddings have a great variety of songs, they might not have the one you’re requesting. If so, by asking early, they can see if they have it or can get it for you.
Dancing into the late hours of the night. Many venues have certain guidelines or rules they have in place for cut off times. Midnight is generally the standard time. However, some places let you go until 1a in western Nebraska. This is something you should ask your venue before your big day…see how late the reception CAN go until you need to wrap up. Keep in mind that if you book them until midnight, but the party is going great and you want to go another hour, the venue may let you, but also might charge more since they have employees that now are working an extra hour. Be sure to check with the DJ or music provider too, and see if they are okay with playing longer and how much extra it will cost.
Have a question about your reception? Need some advice? Contact me and let’s chat! firstname.lastname@example.org.