Hello brides!! Let’s talk about having an amazing wedding day experience. Have you ever been to some weddings where there seems to always be a lull in the event? Like there’s a lot of sitting around and waiting? On the other hand, there are some weddings where it seems like there’s always something to do and things seem to be running smoothly!
In one of our guests’ comments, they said there was an unstoppable movement throughout the night. They never felt like they were sitting and waiting around for too long, and could always find something to do! They talked even after the wedding what an amazing wedding day experience they had! It is thrilling to hear this from many of our guests! 🙂 There are definitely patterns that determine which way a wedding day will go.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want your guests to have an amazing wedding day experience:
- Plan out your timeline well. First looks are always the BEST way to not have a draining cocktail hour. Because you can accomplish 80-90% of your portraits before the ceremony even begins. This leaves only 30 minutes or so of portraits afterward. When planning the timeline for your reception, plan it so there aren’t huge gaps in between the order of events. Refer to #3 for a good person to ask about your reception timeline. 😉 Don’t let dinner last more than an hour or so. Unless you have a huge guest count and you need more time! And I recommend jumping right into your main events that need to be done before the dance floor opens! In addition to the shoe game and garter/bouquet toss, the formal dances usually take place at the beginning of the evening.
- Think of things to provide that will entertain your guests, besides eating and dancing! While some of your guests will hit the dance floor all night and have a blast, there will likely be a good chunk that won’t. I can only recall 1 or 2 weddings where there were more people dancing than not! Things like a photo booth, dessert bar. We had a smores bar/fire pit for people to stand around. Consider who you’re inviting to your wedding and allow for dancing that includes a wider crowd. A ton of people will join in on line dances. Some love slow dancing, and the anniversary dance is always a hit! Party music is always fun, but trust me – more of your guests will join in if you let your DJ play a wider variety of music!
- Hire an AMAZING DJ. They are WORTH the investment, trust me! This is one of the biggest, fool-proof ways to make sure your evening flows well. They can give you a lot of good recommendations on how to lay out your night based on the events you want to have at the reception, and will know how to work with whatever happens the day of the wedding to still keep it running smoothly. I am so glad we hired a company I had worked with and trusted! I get so many compliments on our DJ to this day! If you give them the freedom (in other words, don’t give them a list of all the songs to be played), a DJ who knows what they’re doing will help to get more people on the dance floor, based on the crowd and what’s working. One of my very favorite DJs to work with is DJ Steven Ruiz. Throughout the reception, he keeps the crowd pumped and going!
- Have a day-of coordinator. They’re going to do all the little things to ensure things run smoothly, from getting ready all the way until your exit. Not only will it make your guests’ experiences more enjoyable, but your family (who would otherwise be the ones running around tying loose ends) will thank you as well!
- Consider not letting your reception last until midnight. This is totally a personal decision, so one way or the other is not right or wrong! 🙂 If you want to party it up and stay up late, totally GO FOR IT! If you know you and your best friends will be on the dance floor all night, than definitely do it!! But if you’re like me and you know you won’t be out there for more than an hour or two, nothing says you have to keep your reception going until 11 or 12. If you know most of your guests will probably leave earlier anyway, consider planning your exit for 3-4 hours after your reception starts! Our reception lasted about 3.5 hours and it was the perfect amount of time. It gave us about 1-1.5 hours of down time (besides dinner and events) for open dancing and chatting with friends & family (although we totally forgot to do our smore’s bar I was talking about… biggest REGRET! I’m still so sad about that!). Having our exit earlier allowed almost ALL of our guests to be a part of it. We had almost our entire wedding still there, it was amazing!! Make sure you have a sign that lets your guests know when the exit is. Way more will stay until the end if they know the time! 🙂 Obviously, there is nothing wrong with partying it up – but don’t feel like you HAVE to keep it going late because that’s what everyone else does!
Photographer : Nikki Rinc Photography