Organizing a Wedding Reception


Getting engaged is an exciting time for anyone. You finally found the person for you and you want to take it to the next level. You set the date and got your dress/tux, booked the venue, and got your team of vendors all set. What now? If getting a wedding planner/coordinator was not in the budget, we can still help you pull off a great event. We help you organize your reception and map it on our timeline form which not only tells us what time the formalities begin, but also what music will accompany them. If you have any “must play” songs then by all means list them but you can also keep it as simple as naming the genres you’d like. If you have no idea on what songs or music to choose, don't worry! We can help you. Here are some things to consider when planning your reception with our timeline form. They are in no particular order.

  1. Cocktail Hour – During this time, most people are catching up and mingling with each other so you can have some background music playing that can be not only be cool and fun but sexy at the same time. But hey, this is your wedding after all. Tell us what mood YOU want us to set!
  2. Bridal Party Introductions – You know your bridal party exceptionally well so introduce them with music that can be either classy and elegant or high energy and fun. Remember, you are setting the tone for your entire night.
  3. Grand Entrance of the Bride & Groom – Consider choosing a song that has personal meaning to you both and as mentioned before, keep in mind that you’re setting the tone for the evening so make your entrance as elegant or energetic as you want to.
  4. First Dance – Now this one is as personal as they come because this will be the very first song you both dance to as a married couple. Choose a song that means a lot to you both however it doesn’t always need to be a slow song. Some couples have chosen to keep it traditional while others have used different genres and have even made a special choreographed dance to express their love and excitement.
  5. Dinner Music - Keeping in mind that you and your guests are enjoying a meal, the volume should be pleasant enough to enjoy the music but low enough to allow conversation. This would also help set the mood for an elegant evening or you can pick up the pace with some up-beat yet mellow music. 
  6. Dancing with the parents - Your dance with your father/mother should be a special time for you so choose a song that has special meaning to you both. Not everyone opts to dance with their parent however, and that's perfectly ok. It's YOUR wedding!
  7. Dollar/Honeymoon Dance - Not everyone opts to have this traditional dance either and that's ok but if you do decide to go through with it, you can choose the traditional slow songs or you can also decide to throw in a few fun songs to dance to as well. Not everyone wants to slow dance with uncle Frank and aunt Jeanie. 
  8. Bouquet/Garter Toss - Here you want to choose a fun song to gather the single gals for the bouquet toss that will generate some fun and excitement but somehow it's different for the gentlemen. There's usually different elements for the garter toss. First the bride takes a seat and the groom is tasked with removing the garter in his own special way to what's usually a sexy or funny tune. Then you usually have a different tune for the gentlemen to gather on the floor. After the bouquet/garter toss you can opt to have the guy and girl who caught the bouquet/garter dance to a song but, it's optional.
  9. Open Dancefloor - Now, the dancing piece of the night can vary depending on if you have a coordinator or not. In my experience the coordinator likes to spread the formalities around with dancing in between but if you ask me, that's a "buzz kill" for people that want to dance the night away. I like to get everything done with and THEN set the dance floor on fire! This way you have the rest of the night to have a good time with your guests. But again, that would be your decision to make. The opening song of the night should be a song that means something to you and/or your guests that you know will set it off from the get go. Again, if you're not sure on what song to choose it's ok. We can help you choose one that will make sense for your night. We will then take it from there based on the genres you have chosen from the timeline. 
  10. Last Song of the Evening - You partied all night with your guests and had a blast! It's time to end the night to a tune that again has special meaning, is romantic, or is the cherry on top of a great and fun song. This is your send off to a bright future as newlyweds so you want to make it memorable. 

These are just a few of the night's formalities and we'll be available to make suggestions to help you organize your night the way you'd like for it to flow, look, and feel. That is why it's important to turn in your timeline on time. We need ample time to look it over, gather music, and go over it with you a final time if needed. If you've hired a coordinator then they will usually reach out to us and provide their timeline however, we still would like it at least two weeks prior to ensure we have everything we need ready for you. If you need any help or have questions, please feel free to reach out to us! We'd love to help you. 

Photo by Natasha Fernandez