Need some help planning your reception? Then you're in the right place!

I have been a part of so many receptions for the past two decades. I have seen everything from one side to the other with plans...and have seen how weddings have changed and improved over the years. I've learned a lot in the wedding business and love to help brides & grooms with their plans.  Sometimes for couples, it's easy to get caught up in planning and end up being overwhelmed with all the details. I've had many couples tell me "Gary, I didn't realize how much there was to plan for our wedding." The good news though is that couples have been trusting me for many years to help with their plans. Maybe you have a good idea of what you want at your reception, maybe you don't know where to start, maybe you have some questions on what to have at your reception and when it should take place. I am here to help! It's your wedding day you're planning...and as you may have seen or will see that everybody wants to tell you how your day should go and what you should do. Keep in mind, this is your day, and it should be exactly that, your day. Sure, you may have some family or friends that have some ideas, but are they your ideas, too, or are they simply an opinion?

For true peace-of-mind (and less stressful) planning, it's best to consult a wedding professional. I can't tell you how many times I've had brides or grooms call me with a question about their reception, I offer advice from what I've done for previous newlyweds or simply provide a solution to their question, and then hear "that's a great idea, I would have never thought of that, thank you so much!!"

Let's take a look at a common wedding reception and build from there! - Gary Uhrich, owner and DJ, of The DJ Music System

  • Deciding the hours of your reception and what will be taking place. Are you having a dinner before the dance? Usually from the time the guests arrive to the time the actual dance starts is about 2 hours. Dinnertime usually lasts longer than expected. During the first 2 hours The DJ Music System can announce the introduction of the bride & groom and the wedding party and will play an enjoyable mix of instrumental piano & jazz, a few slow vocal classics and any other appropriate music for dinnertime. It's sometimes thought that dinner and beforehand events (cutting of the wedding cake, toasts, slide show, etc.) will only last around an hour, but usually lasts 2 and sometimes 3 hours.
  • Designated seating? It's common to see certain tables that are reserved for immediate family (usually placed closest to the bridal party table), so consider designating a few tables for these special people. We highly recommend that you don't place the bridal party table right in front of the DJ set up for two reasons. 1. We play dinner music soft enough to enjoy, but loud enough for everyone to hear. 2. When giving toasts, if the table is directly in front of the DJ set up, feedback (the squeaky/squealing sound) can occur. Toast2.jpg

  • The time before the dance begins will be a time youll be enjoying dinner, socializing with guests, possibly showing a computer slide show (these are becoming more and more popular), and taking care of any other last minute needs. Also it's a common time for toasts. If possible, see how many people will be giving a toast and let the DJ know. Another VERY important thing to let those giving toasts know is that they need to hold the microphone as close to their mouth as possible. Many times the microphone isn't close enough and the guests can't hear them, often because of what's known as mic fright. We can only turn the microphone up loud enough before feedback happens. If you can't hear them or hear someone say they can't hear them, remind them to hold the microphone closer.

  • The cutting of the wedding cake usually takes place after the toasts. Assign about 2 or 3 people to cut the cake that will be served. Get those cameras out, but leave enough room for the photographer.

  • Have a designated contact person for the DJ. This can be the bride and/or groom, or better yet, one of the bridesmaids/groomsmen, a parent or relative¬† and it makes the event run much smoother! This person is in charge of being a mediator between the newlyweds and DJ. We always try to keep in contact with whoever the contact person is throughout the dance and make sure that all requested events take place.

  • Onto The Dance... Most reception dances start with the dance & congratulations for the bride & groom, followed by a father/daughter¬† mother/son dance, then a dance for the wedding party. Occasionally a dance for just the parents or grandparents takes place after the wedding party's dance is done.

This is just a partial list of the wedding reception help I provide. I can send a full list of wedding reception tips to you. Just give me a call or email and I'll be more than happy to provide the full list to you! - Gary

Not sure what songs you want for your special dances? Then simply click the following links:

First Dance for the Bride and Groom

Father Daughter Dance Songs

Mother Son Dance Songs

Visit The DJ Music System page for more pictures from the many receptions where we were the choice DJ service.

The DJ Music System facebook page

Want some extra help and ideas? Then visit the Scottsbluff Wedding Planning page on facebook.

Scottsbluff Wedding Planning page