In this section we will try to answer the most common questions asked about wedding receptions. We do not think you will find all the answers for everything in one place, but this should help you to get a handle on some of them. It will be a work in progress type of page. As we come up with the most up to date information we will put in here and change the things that need to be.
The biggest this at any wedding reception is HAVE FUN!!! It’s your day don’t let anyone tell you how to be. The saddest thing I hear is when I hear a mother or friend of the bride say “Oh you’ll love it if you…” Look if you don’t want to do it or don’t want it at your party then don’t have it. IT’S YOUR DAY. MAKE IT WHAT YOU AND YOUR GROOM WANT NOT WHAT THE OTHERS WANT. If you piss them off that’s on them. Your mom had her day, your mother-in-law had her day. Now it is your turn. Just keep in mind when you have a daughter or daughter-in-law that it will be her day then, not yours. And yes I know I just lost some jobs with the above statement. But if it gives you the day you want it to be, then so be. I’ll get a new gig someplace.
Q) HOW LONG SHOULD MY RECEPTION BE?
A) Most receptions are four (4) hours long. We feel that five (5) hours is as long as any show should be. After that your family and friends may become disinterested with what is going on. This is for wedding receptions and not special events. Also keep in mind that if you have a large grand entrance that takes a long time to introduce everyone that may make your event longer. I have done shows where the grand entrance took around 30 minutes. This was one of the largest weddings I personally have ever done. I felt more like a traffic cop than a DJ. Special events where a dance or music is the only thing going on then 4 to 5 hours is long enough. If you have a lot of things going on then a day is OK for an event. But keep in mind that it may be a good idea to have more than one DJ to work the event if they know to work it like a radio show.
Q) Should I have an Open Bar?
A) There are two (2) schools of thought on this. (1) The more alcohol the better. It makes you look like you have lots of money. And if you do have an open bar you better have a lot of money. Most places charge bar prices for drinks. That means that a bear maybe $6.00 or more and a mixed drink may be as much as $10.00. (2) The other is a cash bar. That means each guest pays for their drinks all night. It’s OK to do that if you’re on a tight budget. But a better way to go is to do drink tickets. Two (2) tickets person is the normal thing. And most places will give you a flat rate for the number of drinks you think will be needed. It lets the guest have a nice time without getting drunk. Nothing kills a fun time more than a drunk at the party. Keep in mind that less is best for the wedding party. You are the party and want to look good for the night. And let’s be truthful no one is good looking drunk. This does not include the Champlain toast.
Q) CAN I CHANGE FOR THE RECEPTION? (clothing)
A) The short answer is yes you can. But keep in mind that some of your guests may not make the wedding and want to see you or have a photo with you in the dress and/or tux. One of the coolest things I ever saw at a reception was the bride made sure that she and bridesmaids all had flip-flops that were the same color as their dresses. And the dresses would work with the no heel shoe. Also remember that people who are on the shorter side may want to keep the heels on just for the added height. And never forget to change back to your heels when the photos start and when dancing your songs.
Q) SHOULD I HAVE THE PARTY INDOORS OR OUT?
A) That depends on the location and time of year. As well as who will be there. This is a big thing to look at. Here in central and southern Arizona, we have a very hot spring and summer. Many times well over 100 degrees and that can be the night time temps. But if you are lucky to be getting married in Phoenix, Tucson, or even in Las Vegas keep the heat in the front of your plans. Last thing you want is to have the wedding party falling out due to the heat. Also older people don’t do well outside for long be it hot or cold. If your inside you may not have the view as you would have outside but you can control the room and the coming and going of people. Also some places do not want people walking out with their drinks. So if you are inside people tend to keep their drinks inside with them. There are many places in Phoenix and Las Vegas with rooms that have wonderful views. Just take a look at the room and see what it has for a view.
Q) I’M A SMOKER HOW SHOULD I CARE FOR THAT?
A) Many of the places will have a special area(s) for smokers to go to. Or you may wish to see if the venue has a patio or the like you can use for the smokers in the group. Of course this change from state to state. Las Vegas has no trouble with smokers in their event rooms.
One of the new things I have started to see is people putting small throwaway cameras on the tables. This is for them to use at the table to get photos of each other. This will add a nice personal touch to your wedding photosets. And what a way for people to feel like a part of the wedding.