Your Unforgettable Wedding Reception

You want a wedding reception that is fun and memorable. A party that reflects your personality. The fact is that there are many different styles of wedding receptions. Your reception should be designed around your wishes and represent the type of party that you have always envisioned. Entertainment is a primary consideration for any wedding reception. The memory that you create, one that will be remembered for years by your friends and family, will mainly revolve around how much fun you had.


Make sure your music provider, banquet facility manager and photographer are working together with a coordinated event planner.
Create a timeline of events for your reception. Always keep in mind that you are putting on a party and are responsible for entertaining all of your guests.

Most wedding receptions last a total of 6 hours (2 ½ hours for cocktails, introductions, toasts and dinner, 3 ½ hours for the party following dinner). If your guest list is very large, or your reception starts quite early in the afternoon, your reception may last even longer.

Know what happens before and after dinner. Your disc jockey or band leader, in coordination with the banquet manager and photographer, should assist you in establishing a timeline that meets your needs. It is a great advantage to assemble a team of people that know each other and have worked together. A professional disc jockey or band leader will always coordinate every activity with all the members of your team.

Plan special events, like family pictures, early in the evening. Early on you will have more guests participating and allow for uninterrupted dancing later.


Crazy or conservative, your wedding reception should reflect your desires, while remembering that you are entertaining guests. Music that reflects your tastes, while generating the appropriate atmosphere is a key.

Your wedding reception should reflect your personal tastes and desires. Wedding receptions have no rules. There are many different styles of wedding receptions: Traditional; Contemporary; Conservative; Crazy. You may want the bride and groom to be the central focus. Other receptions may focus on guest involvement.

Your musical tastes should be reflected during the party, while at the same time keeping in mind that you are entertaining guests. If you want a reception with lots of dancing, do your musical tastes include songs that make people dance? Discuss the degree of dancing, as well as your musical tastes with your music provider. A sure-fire way to get your guests to party is to have the bride and groom, with the wedding party, on the dance floor. If you do this, lots of dancing is guaranteed!

Are there any special people at your party that you would like acknowledged? Is there a certain way that you would like the toasts to be introduced? Is there music that you would like played during any introductions or at certain times during the evening for special events?

Is the "personality" of the disc jockey or band consistent with the mood of your party? Your music provider’s communication skills and interaction with your guests should be consistent with your vision for your reception. Their approach must match your desires and reflect a persona that your music provider can comfortably portray.

Banquet Facility

There are many factors regarding the layout of the banquet facility that can have an impact on your reception. Keep your guests all in the same area for a great party!

From flowers to table settings, you decorate your ballroom. Your ballroom’s layout can have real implications for your party. You will always have a better party if all of your guests stay in one room altogether.


  1. The bar should always be in the same room as where the dancing takes place. If the bar is located in a different area than the room where the party is, a portion of your guests will always be separated from the real party room. If your banquet facility has multiple rooms that you may utilize, think about the effect that having a large percentage of your guests in another room when the bride and groom’s dance occurs. Try to keep everyone together for one big fun party!
  2. Be certain to have good path for the wedding party’s entrance. When the wedding party is introduced, they need to know where their table is and how they will get there.
  3. The overall layout of the room simply should be: Disc jockey or band, with a dance floor directly in front of them, and seating on the opposite side of the dance floor. There are many times that the disc jockey or band leader needs to address your guests in order to inform them of upcoming activities. In order to be an effective public speaker your host needs to be able to look the guests in the eye and communicate directly with a smile. This layout should also be conducive for proper sound system positioning so that everyone can hear every announcement. And is it really best to have a great band or disc jockey with outstanding visual appeal, off to the side or in a corner?
  4. Take a few moments and consider your seating arrangement. If you have some guests that will not tolerate noise well, don’t seat them next to the speakers.

Match Yourself with the Best Music Provider for your Needs

Budget and style are primary considerations. Be certain that your music provider can deliver the service that you want and need.
Budget is always important. But don’t start there. First, identify your needs. Is it in your best interest to have a wedding reception with 400 guests but to set a budget for your disc jockey or band that is so low that you can’t find a music provider that can manage a group of this size?

What style of Disc Jockey/Host is right for your atmosphere? A more engaging and energetic party motivator or perhaps a less interactive professional emcee/host to simply acknowledge the major highlights of the evening? Identify your needs first, then shop in order to determine if your wishes match your budget. Match your music provider with your needs.

Every band or disc jockey will have different attributes. If your disc jockey prospect says he will have "fun" with you and your guests, how will he or she accomplish this? Great wedding reception results can come from many different directions. Make certain that your disc jockey is coming from the right direction for you.

And by all means, consider a band. But, only consider the finest quality bands that have extensive wedding reception experience. Audition them and check their references. When considering bands, you may hear numerous names of bands that are the favorites of your friends and family. Literally, 99% of these suggestions may not have sufficient wedding reception experience. Always choose a band whose primary focus is on wedding receptions. Is it in your best interest to select a band that only does 1 wedding a year? Will they know how to dress and assist with announcements? Will they play every style of music, as well as have a large library of recorded music for during cocktails and dinner? A great band can truly provide a unique experience for you and your guests.

The most prominent element of most wedding receptions is the entertainment. Think carefully about exactly what part you want the musical entertainment to play in your day and you are on your way to planning "Your Unforgettable Wedding Reception!"

Music Selection

Song Selection at Your Wedding Reception

Song selection is definitely up to the bride and groom and should be part of the information conveyed to your DJ on your reception planner.  Here are some points to consider when deciding on your music.

1) Keep in mind that about 50% of the evening is dinner and social hours.   So, the music should reflect what’s taking place during your reception.

2) You will have guests of all ages and you should what the proper amount of “variety music” is best for your reception.

3) Your DJ can play approximately 15 songs per hour.  After considering the times when toasts and other hosting takes place, you should plan approximately 40 cocktail/dinner hour songs and around 40 party/dance songs during the party part of the evening. 

4) Talk to your DJ about how you would like song requests from guests to be handled.  Some guest ideas are great and some not so good.  Help your DJ determine a polite manner in which to inform guests that perhaps their request might not get played (i.e., running out of time) in the event that the song might “clear the dance floor”. 

5) Your DJ probably attends 1-2 wedding receptions/parties per week.  This means that he has observed similar dance situations where your DJ knows that if he “plays this song”, maybe not on the list of songs that you provided, he is 99.99% certain that the song will keep them on the dance floor.  It’s a good idea to discuss the amount of discretion that your DJ can exercise during your party.

6) Long story short, provide as much direction as you feel is necessary and then discuss guest requests and the DJ song choices as outlined above.  Work with your DJ to determine how you want your music to happen.  You are welcome to just provide some broad direction as to specific artist’s music to play and then let the DJ take it from there.  Our DJs will also simply try to “read” your crowd and play songs that they feel confident will make your guests dance.
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