Wedding Reception Tips and Advice
by Jerry Pierce
Here are a few thoughts designed only to give simple direction and ideas. They are only suggestions and opinions, so please only take them as such, not as facts. These are based on experience. Having provided services for the ever-changing weather and environment for wedding receptions, I ask that you only consider them and hopefully they will help guide you through a few things you may have not yet considered.
1. Cutting the cake: To smash or not to smash? No matter how much your guests push you to smash it in each others face, simply don't do it. After spending all that time and money on getting your hair and make-up done, why would you want to possibly ruin it with cake? This would really make an elegant wedding go bad in the long run, especially if one of you, by human nature, takes it too far and someone gets hurt. Who cares what they think. If you don't want to smash cake, then don't let your guests influence you. Feed each other nicely, and then go dance your first dance together. Looking back, you'll be so glad you didn't do it. Otherwise you'll be spending time in the bathroom cleaning up and your wedding timeline will be thrown off. An alternative to fully smashing it in each others face is a nice little dab of icing on each others cheek or nose, and then kissing it off. It's a good way to satisfy those cheering you on, but keeps it clean, and sweet. Better yet, if you don't want to take the chance of either of you smashing it in each others face, then feed each other with forks. I would hope that you wouldn't chance stabbing each other with forks just to smear cake on the other's face.
2. Those "played out" wedding songs. Many people are sick of songs like "Celebration" and "Mony Mony" or "YMCA" and "The Chicken Dance" and if you definitely can't stand songs like that, by all means, tell your DJ and insist that they not be played. There are hundreds of great party songs and five, six or seven hours is still a short time; you shouldn't have to sit through something you hate during your own wedding. But if you don't mind those songs, give your DJ some leeway because sometimes songs like that will do wonders to get a party kick started. What you might find as "cheesy", twenty others might find as a fun party song. You must also think of your guests and what they like, not just yourself, when picking and choosing songs, and saying "no" to certain songs. There are only 2 of you, but 100-300 of them! And finally, if you love these songs, play 'em all! We always say, "Celebration" got played out for one reason and one reason only, it's a fun party song!
3. The last dance. Through experience as a wedding DJ, ending a party is sometimes just as important as how you begin. And many couples like to select and personalize this moment to leave the right "last impression". If you select a slow song, the party will wind down with a romantic tone and many brides and grooms want it that way. One choice would also be the "other first dance" song that you might have been torn between when you decided on your first dance song. Either way is appropriate and will leave an impression that your party was all about the love between the newlyweds. Going out the door with an upbeat song is the other option and if you want to leave your guests with the impression that the "Celebration" went on all night, that's the way to do it. Plus people seem to leave with their spirits still lifted after an upbeat song. Neither way is wrong, slow or fast. It's all a personal preference to you.
4. The honeymoon. It is very common after a typical wedding reception to whisk away for your honeymoon trip. Try to avoid leaving for your honeymoon immediately after the reception. This can invite disappointment and ill feelings since both of you will be extremely exhausted right after the wedding. Give yourselves a day or two to open gifts, sleep late and slow down from the stress and pressure of your wedding day. Plus, you don't need the added burden of packing for your honeymoon before your wedding. That can be done after the big day. You will enjoy that first night of honeymoon romance much more with a day of rest beforehand!