(Closed) reception dos and don’ts for a fun reception – I don’t want mine to be boring!

posted 7 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

Our band took care of this. They spaced out the ‘dancing’ songs and the meals perfectly, so there was always live music, but between each course would be a spurt of fun dancing songs. Also, I had a full open bar which helped, but even having any alcohol is a plus. We also had a lot of kids at our wedding that were sort of the life of the party, and it makes people feel less awkward getting on the dance floor when there’s kids joining in.

Post # 5
5977 posts
Bee Keeper

@abbyful: Don’t let dinner monopolize your guests’ time. We went to a wedding once where the dinner service was so slow, that it was 7pm when dinner was supposed to be served, and we weren’t finished until almost 10:30. Then, the bride had fireworks for her groom, so we all went outside for that for another hour, and the reception ended at midnight. So we basically sat around at the table with super slow service and didn’t get a chance to dance at all. Dinner music was playing throughout the whole dinner service. We were bored out of our minds.

Post # 6
1077 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Give the toasters a time guideline.  Might sound tacky, but the guys did like an hour of toasts at my wedding.  The girls got squeezed out from saying anything, and the people on my side of the family who didn’t know the guys got really bored with it, although DH’s family was in stitches.  I had to pay for another hour of bar and DJ or else we would have only had 15 minutes of open dancing, but by then a lot of people had lost their steam. 

That said, the toasts were touching, and it meant a ton to my Darling Husband.  I don’t regret having them.  I’m grateful that we had them.  I just wish that they had been edited to a more reasonable length.

A buffet will get your guests on the dance floor faster, but a sit down will let you eat and keep your guest captive in one place for long enough that you can go around and be sure to visit with everyone at least briefly.

Post # 7
5657 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2012

One excellent wedding reception I went to had a really nice order of events. Instead of doing all the dances together or all the speeches in a row, they staggered them throughout the four course dinner and between entertainment. I was never bored and I plan on doing something similar at my reception because I liked it so much!

Make sure anybody speaking is miked. I went to a reception once where no one was and I was seated near the back of the room where I could hardly hear anything. Because of this I quickly grew bored.

Post # 8
283 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@DeathByDesign: That’s how I prefer it to be done, too! It keeps everyone involved instead of making it seem like we’re just there to sit and watch.

One of the weddings I attended also played about half of the “special” dance songs, and then invited other couples, fathers/daughters, mothers/sons out to finish the dance with the couple. I thought that was nice, though I’m not sure I’d want to share any part of my first dance 🙂

Post # 9
1077 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

@DeathByDesign:  Ours started late, so this is what we did too.  But the windy fellas still put the brakes on the flow.

Post # 10
2192 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@DeathByDesign: and @2PeasinaPod:  I agree completely!  Nothing is a buzzkill like sitting in the same chair for 4 hours!

Get everyone dancing right away.  Introduce your bridal party and have your first dance and than have everyone come and join you pronto to dance before the first course is served.  This sets the tone for the wedding that “WE ARE HERE TO PARTY!”  That way there is no empty dance floor because everyone is shy to be the first to dance.  Just keep the good music and liquor flowing and your party will be just fine. 🙂


Post # 11
966 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Do have booze. 

Do have a great DJ.

Don’t care what other people think when you are shaking your tail-feather on the dance floor. 

Post # 12
1036 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Start the music!!  I hate when I go to receptions and the music seems to never start.  The last reception I went too over 1/2 of the guests left before the music started. 

We are planning dinner for just our immediate family, and then dancing and drinks for everyone else.  We wanted to make sure the party was a kick a$$ time, and figured that this was the best way to do that within our budget. (Also only immediate family are invited to the wedding ceremony so it isn’t like we are asking people to go home and then come back)

Post # 13
3564 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Have a great DJ/band. Play things that will get people out on the dance floor–we played a lot of popular stuff (lady gaga, black eyed peas, etc) and some of the older people complained, but I didn’t care because the dance floor was packed all night long.

Definitely limiit speeches–both how long they are and how many. We limited speeches to 3 minutes, max. Darling Husband ended up having 3 of his groomsmen speak, so they each got 1 minute 🙂

Make sure that YOU get out on the dance floor. People want to be near the bride and groom, so if they see you dancing, they’ll follow you out there!

Don’t have the DJ/band wait til after dinner to start playing good music. We had a solid 4 or 5 songs, starting right from our entrance to the reception that we were all dancing to before we sat down for appetizers.

Post # 14
223 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@DeathByDesign: Agreed about staggering the speeches! Since we are having a buffet and not a plated dinner this may be more difficult, but tey did this at my BFF’s wedding so we’d eat a little, listen a little, eat a little, listen a little, etc etc etc.

Post # 15
436 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

We took first look pictures and the majority of our group bridal party/family portraits before the wedding so there wasn’t that lag of time before the reception started.  I realize some couples don’t want to do a first look but I don’t like receptions where you sit around for an hour waiting for the couple to appear.

Post # 16
6998 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

we paid for 4 hours so it was scheduled to be over at 9 and that really sucked!  and we extended it for an hour but man it gets pricey! by 10:00 everyone went to the hotel bar. We were in bed by midnight but i called my mom on my honeymoon and she said there were people in the lobby till 5am! i can probably guess the people that were still up at 5 haha. but that made me happy, they apparently had a great time!

Music is a must, you need some gooooood gooood music to keep people dancing all night. I picked my favorite dancing songs, mostly hip hop – some country thrown in there and pop. of course i had him throw in a couple oldie but goodies for the older crowd. but not too many, we had a much younger crowd so i wanted to keep them pumped.

with music, a good dj is essential. someone who is good on the mic but doesnt talk too much, you want him to get people involved but you dont want a show stealer or someone too cheesey.

alcohol is a must! preferably open bar.

keep things simple and not too long. i had my DJ cut our dances down to a minute and a half, i didnt want to be up there that long and no one wants to watch us slow dance for 3 minutes. and try and space them out throughout the reception so people get involved.

we had the fauxtobooth much to everyones enjoyment, it got used all night long.

just some things that i think make receptions fun!


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