Confession time, we have worked at events that have not had smooth reception flows, but it is easy to remedy!
Think of your wedding day as a string of events and then look at the way you connect them. We’ll will skip your preparation early in the day as we are focused on the music and how that can help your ceremony and reception flow perfectly.
Let us or your live musicians play for 30 minutes as guests arrive so there is a sense of being in the right place and knowing they are welcome and wanted there.
When it is time to start, have the music fade down to silence for 10 to 20 seconds. Suspense is an amazing way to put an exclamation point on your processional into the ceremony. Make it intentional and not just a continuation of the pre-ceremony music and we will play it a bit louder than the earlier music and we will fade down to silent when you get to the front and your officiant is ready to start.
I feel the topic of a microphone has to be addressed. When possible, we discourage having a microphone at your ceremony for a few reasons. A mic puts technology between you and your vows, your officiant may not have practice using a microphone, it might not be close enough to pick up the words but will still be immortalized forever in your wedding photos. If you are 200 guests in the flight path of Pearson Airport then yes, a mic would be helpful. At most, you could set one on a stand to the side for readings if you believe this will be helpful. Just had to include this paragraph so you think about technology and your ceremony. This helps the reception flow more than you would think!
Once the ceremony is finished, you will have a burst of energy with a fun recessional song and then upbeat cocktail reception. If live music is in your plan keep them for cocktails as the cost for an extra hour or so is negligible once you have them there for the ceremony. Reach out to our friends to evaluate if live music is right for you, your ceremony, and cocktails. Brent Miller Live, Wellington Music, GuitarGuys, Liz Craig are just a few of our favourites in the GTA.
OK, you’re married! Now it is time to segue into the reception. This is a great opportunity for music to connect the cocktails to dinner.
Here are the most common sequences:
– Intro and first dance | dinner | speeches | bride & groom thank you | cake cutting | parent dance, then party!
– Intro and welcome | dinner with speeches between courses | bride & groom thanks you | first dance & parent dance, then party! (with cake cutting later)
– Intro | dinner with speeches & parent dances between courses | bride & groom thank you | cake cutting | first dance, then party!
What we aim to do, is have our couples bundle events together. This way, your photographer and guests can capture what is happening in each moment, and also avoid you sitting and standing multiple times.
Put events at the start and end of dinner and sprinkle in your toast and speeches as needed. It is a lot like a recipe. Do things in a logical order and it will create a great result!
The kissing game, centerpiece giveaway, shoe game, slide shows, and all that wedding stuff… Recently, there’s been a wedding trend where “Less is More”. There is less “Stuff” happening at weddings during the dinner and personally, we like it! It helps keep the reception on schedule and you can get into the dancing sooner. There are still lots of weddings with these games but please don’t feel like it is mandatory. Do your own thing!
Your reception flow during dancing.
I always refer to the dancing as where we earn our pay but the reality is that so much of being a wedding DJ is the behind-the-scenes work with your vendor team.
Early evening is often not as loud and we play a bit more to the older guests so they have the fun wedding reception experience and then work towards your personal music taste as the night progresses and the volume can increase. An early night is when you will see a set of those Greek dances or polkas if that is your family’s thing.
We play music in sets of 2 or 3 songs so the party doesn’t feel disjointed. Sets allow people who like a type of music to hit the dance floor and get 10 to 15 minutes of dancing before we segue to something different. We will work on the requests you provided us and weave the music into something awesome.
On the spot requests are something we can definitely accommodate, but also this is the time to have fun and trust that we will make the right choices for music based on what is happening in real-time. We are not there to break new music or be artistic. We are there to build a soundtrack that is unique to you and your guests.
If you want to do the bouquet and/or garter toss and late-night food service, bundle them together just before the photographer leaves around 10:30 or 11:00 pm. We will follow the lead of your catering team but typically this is a simple announcement and not a full stop to the party.
1:00 am finish. At our staff meetings, our DJs say “nothing good happens after 1:00 am”. End on a high note and finish off big rather than trying to keep high energy until 2:00 am. There are exceptions but for most couples, it has been a long day and they are happy to tidy things up at 1:00 am and get back to the hotel room.