Following is a condensed version of a contemporary wedding schedule. However, we are by no means limited to this format. We will happily work with other professionals you have hired for your reception to ensure everything runs smoothly. We will also base what we do on how your guests are responding to what is happening.
1. SET UP
Unless other arrangements have been made, we usually arrive to set up one to two hours (depending on which package you have booked) before our contracted start time.
2. COCKTAIL HOUR (Complimentary music with all “Cocktail/Dinner Music” packages)
While your guests arrive, we are playing background music (the style(s) are requested by you in our ‘Wedding Planning Guide’) Because most of your guests spend this time conversing with friends and relatives they have not seen in awhile, we keep the music low-key, and the volumes unobtrusive.
3. BRIDE AND GROOM ARRIVE
Usually the photographer will take the bridal party for pictures after the ceremony. When the bride and groom do arrive at the reception hall, the Master of Ceremonies does a bridal party introduction, or a receiving line is set up.
4. RECEIVING LINE
This can be done in conjunction with the introductions or alone. The bride, groom, parents, and bridal party line up and greet the guests as they go through the line. This is a great time to say “Thank You” to all of your guests for attending your special day.
5. DINNER (Complimentary music with all ‘Cocktail/Dinner Music Add-On’ packages)
During dinner, we continue to play a light, easy-to-talk-over selection of music, chosen by you if desired.
6. TOASTS / FORMAL PROGRAM / OTHER ENTERTAINMENT
This is initiated by the Master of Ceremonies after the meal, and is commonly accompanied by additional toasting by friends and family of the Bride and Groom. Slide shows, speeches, telegrams, and other humorous activities are also common after dinner.
The following is a sample order for speeches & toasts at a wedding. Emotional speeches should be done at the beginning of the Formal Program with any potentially funny speeches reserved for the end to set the tone for the rest of the evening.
We suggest there is a minimum five to ten minute break after the formal program and speeches, and before the first dance. This allows for your guests to stand up and stretch their legs, go to the restroom, freshen up or have a cigarette (if your venue is non-smoking), and it is usually after dinner when the bar opens up again. Your guests may enjoy the opportunity to ‘top-up’ their drinks or mingle for a few moments before the first dance.
8. CAKE CUTTING
A tradition becoming more popular is to have the cake-cutting ceremony shortly after dinner and before the first dance. Ideally, the cake-cutting can be done during the ‘Break’. The M.C. should ensure that the photographer and the bride and groom are ready, then the M.C. or D.J. will make an announcement for your guests to gather around the cake. If desired however, the cake-cutting can take place later in the evening, and be done before or after the Bouquet Toss and Garter Removal.
9. FIRST DANCE
The bride and groom select this song before the wedding day. We usually start the song with the bride and groom dancing. If desired, the parents and bridal party can be invited to join during the song. Quite often, a second and third song is chosen to allow for the parents and bridal party to dance with the bride and groom.
10. LET’S DANCE
After the first slow bridal songs, we invite everyone to join in and we play popular, upbeat music. At the beginning of the evening, we usually play a lot of well known ‘party’ hits (popular Swing, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s music) that will appeal to all age groups, and get everyone involved in dancing.
11. BOUQUET AND GARTER TOSS
The D.J. will announce for the single ladies to gather on the dance floor for the bouquet toss. After the bouquet, it’s the guys turn with the garter toss. With your approval, and based on our judgement as to whether or not it would appropriate for your wedding, we may decide to ‘spice up’ this segment of the evening and make it a humorous affair for all.
12. BACK TO DANCING
Popular music and dancing for everyone. The feast has settled, and the spirits consumed. Inhibitions are being cast aside, and your guests are starting to loosen up. As the evening progresses, we often start playing newer music that will appeal more to the bride and groom’s friends. Don’t worry, we still mix in some party favorites to keep everyone involved in dancing.
13. LAST DANCE
Replaying the Bride & Groom’s ‘Wedding Song’ again so guests can join in the dance is a nice touch, if desired.
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