Your wedding reception is one of the biggest parts of your wedding night. Having set milestones will ensure that you and your guests get the best possible experience to make it a night you won’t forget! Here is an example of successful wedding reception milestones and some other helpful tips Dreamstate Audio is here to offer.
Guests move from ceremony to Cocktail Hour | 1 Hour
A cocktail hour is the perfect time for your guests to lightly talk with each other after the ceremony; while the bride and groom are busy with formal couple and formal family photos with their photographer. At this point, your Dreamstate Audio DJ will have notified guests to enjoy hors d'oeurves and drinks while playing some light background music and ensuring the reception hall sound is all set up for seamless transition from cocktail hour to guest seating. Obviously this time isn't set at an hour and can be adjusted depending on how many formal photos you plan to take. Discussing with your photographer the amount of time he or she needs for this time will assure everything is in sync.
Guests are seated in reception area | 15 - 20 Minutes
As your DJ/MC, this is the time that we will call attention and round up the guests for their seating arrangements in reception area. If necessary, we explain how guests can find their seat and will give any other special announcements during this time. This amount of time highly depends on the amount of guests attending the wedding reception, how far the reception area is from the ceremony area (not too far, usually) and how mobile your guests are.
MC Milestone Announcements | 5 Minutes
At this point, wedding guests are eager to eat, hear speeches from the wedding party, and wonder when they get to dance! Your Dreamstate Audio DJ will announce a brief outline of what will happen within the next 20 - 30 minutes. This gives your guests the opportunity to know what they could be missing if they a bathroom break, take care of a young child, or has a mandatory phone call. Everyone wins with this kind of announcement!
Wedding Party Entrances | 5 - 10 Minutes
After your guests are settled and once the bride, groom, and wedding party are ready to make an entrance we will announce your family and wedding party at this point. This is a fun time for the wedding party and/or immediate family members to enter the reception area with a silly dance or move that gets your guests excited and ready for bride and groom's grand entrance.
Bride and Groom Grand Entrance | 5 - 10 Minutes
"WELCOME TO THE ROOM, FOR THE FIRST TIME! Mr. and Mrs. NEWLYWEDS!" This is probably the most exciting phrase we can say during the entire wedding, and it never gets old! This is the couple's time to celebrate being introduced as newlyweds. Dreamstate Audio suggests to pick your favorite party song while you show off your favorite dance move! We will happily play your party song while you dance to your table! We like to advocate for a separate bride and groom entrance from the wedding party entrances for your wedding reception milestones.
Welcome Speech | 5 - 10 Minutes
Once everyone has entered and they're all seated, this is the time for the newlyweds, or the mother and father of the bride to thank the guests for coming. If your wedding has personal religious traditions, this is also the perfect time for a meal blessing before the meal starts.
Dinner is Served | 1 Hour
After grand entrances, welcome speeches, an undoubtedly long morning of prepping, and MONTHS of planning, the dinner is a time for the bride and groom to relax. THEY JUST GOT MARRIED! And after all of the time spent, it's time to eat! Enjoy your meal and once your guests are sitting with their food it's the perfect time for the next wedding milestone (TOASTS). During this time, you have the choice for a low music volume to keep the ambiance of the party. We suggest low music without any lyrics, such as classical music so there's pretty background music with room for everyone to talk and enjoy their meal.
Toasts | 30 Minutes into the Dinner Hour
We like to keep the wedding party moving, as guests get distracted easily. Dreamstate Audio recommends about 30 minutes into the dinner hour to start the toasts. We have wireless mics available for this occasion, and will have a hand in setting it up so you don't have to worry about an unpleasant squeal or your toast-givers talking too loud. Usually, these toasts begin with the Maid of Honor and the Best Man from the wedding party. Once they're complete it's common to offer toasts to anyone else who'd like to. If you don't want that to happen, we are more than happy to cut the mic volume and keep the party moving. This needs to be discussed beforehand so there are no slip-ups. It's best for us to have an approved list of people beforehand to keep on our milestone checklist so everyone is on the same page!
Family Dances | 15 Minutes
As another great suggested wedding reception milestone, this is the part where we like to play music for the Father and Bride and Mother and Groom dances. Who goes first is all preference. We will ensure your specified song is cued and ready. After these dances, your Dreamstate Audio DJ will kindly ask all of your guests to gather on the dance floor for a special group photo. Once that's done, we'll make sure to start the music with an upbeat, fun song while opening up the dance floor for everyone to enjoy the music!
Open Up the Dance Floor | 30 - 45 Minutes
The dancing should get out some pent up energy from the younger crowd while keeping the other guests entertained and feeling positive. We like to use the musical preferences we've decided on to rotate from upbeat, high energy music to slower, slow-dancing music so your guests don't get too tired. This also is a great time for us to announce the bride and groom's garter and bouquet toss; if that's a tradition you want to participate in.
Cake Cutting and Dessert | 30 Minutes
If the bride and groom have chosen to have cake or another dessert, now is the time your Dreamstate Audio DJ will announce it's availability. Whether there's a cake cutting ceremony or an extensive ice cream and froyo bar, this time signifies to guests that the reception is almost over. It's nice to have dessert about an hour before the reception end. We advocate mid-tempo music while guests and the wedding party enjoys the dessert.
Reception Night Photo Session | 20 - 30 Minutes
At this point, the newlyweds have chosen to have a night photo session, documenting hours into their marriage. If this is the case, you would need to schedule with your photographer and ensure availability as a reception milestone. This time is where those romantic, nighttime wedding photos originate!
Keep the Party Going | 30 - 40 Minutes
After all has been said and done, when the sugar from the dessert has started to kick in, and knowing the wonderful reception is coming to an end, this is when we kick up the party. Most people with younger kids have already left, the older generations have retired for the night, it's time for the wedding party and friends to have a good time! Once this time is coming to an end, we will give a brief announcement letting everyone know it's the LAST SONG. We love to play a high energy song that will blast everyone out of their seats and onto the dance floor to close out the night with a bang!
Grand Exit | 10 - 15 Minutes
If this is something the newlyweds choose to do; (WHICH IT'S A LOT OF FUN) your Dreamstate Audio DJ will guide guests outside for the Bride and Groom to make their grand exit. Whether it's to a horse-drawn carriage, a limo, or a tandem bike, this is the newlyweds time to escape to their honeymoon! On your behalf, we will thank the guests for coming and to end the party by reception end time. Completing the last wedding reception milestone.
This guide or example of wedding reception milestones is just that, a guide. Everything is easily changed to be custom for YOUR wedding reception.
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