Lauren and Matthew’s wedding day was spectacular to say the least. Every aspect was ethereal and elegant. If you haven’t checked out the blog post of their wedding day, you really should. The beauty, the love, and the wonderful people who shared in their day made this wedding one of my favorites. Their reception was nothing shy of brilliant, the perfect balance to their ceremony. Today I am sharing with you the top 5 ways to ensure your wedding guests are still raving about your wedding weeks after the big day!
First, consider kicking off the night with a cocktail hour. If you’ve been to a wedding in recent years, you probably understand the value of a cocktail hour. The cocktail hour is an hour of time where guests can mingle, have a drink, and hors d’oeuvres while the bride and groom are taking photos. As a result, the guests loosen up with a little food in their stomachs and are geared up for the couple’s grand entrance. This one hour can help set the mood for the entire night so don’t skimp on this!
Although this is the second tip in my list, it’s the most important when it comes to providing entertainment throughout the night. Think about it like this: This person or persons are essentially the hype man for your relationship. It is necessary that you hire a DJ or band you trust with the task of keeping your wedding reception an exciting night. At Lauren and Matthew’s wedding reception, their DJ proved just how valuable hiring the right person is. DJ Tod was one of the best we’ve ever worked with. One of my favorite moments of the night was when the DJ invited guests to the dance floor to make a big circle. He made sure the videographer and I were in the center of this circle. He played an upbeat dance song and had the guests move in and out of the circle toward the cameras. This created a lively atmosphere and gave me a chance to snap some really awesome wide-angle photos of the bride and groom with their guests.
Especially relevant are the toasts. Why do guests show up at weddings? To celebrate the love between the couple and the next step in their journey, right? Toasts are a lovely reminder of why everyone is gathered together that night. Your wedding is likely one of the only times in your lifetime that you will have nearly every person you adore together in the same room. If you have one or two people who would like to give a toast, let them go for it! As a wedding photographer, I’ve seen it done both with and without. One hundred percent of the time, toasts are an enchanting component that adds to the meaningfulness of the reception.
From Giant Jenga to the Newlywed Game, games are becoming increasingly more popular at wedding receptions. To keep a reception upbeat and exciting for your guests, plan to coordinate games with your DJ or band throughout the night. Examples from Lauren and Matthew’s reception are the Anniversary Dance and the Newlywed Game.
While it may take a little extra planning, coming up with a surprise for the reception is a great idea. Whether it’s a surprise for the bride and/or groom, or a surprise for the wedding guests, they’re worth the effort. It seems relatively common to have a surprise dance planned with the wedding party, but there are innumerable ideas that can be pulled off.
In conclusion, spending extra time and energy on planning your wedding reception always pays off. When your guests are excited, it shows. Not just in the images that last a lifetime, but in the energy of the room and the memories that follow.
Reception Venue: St. Ives Country Club | Wedding Dress: Evermore by Alyne | Bridesmaids Dresses: Arya by Theia | Bridal Shoes: | Florist: JL Designs | Cake Designer: Frosted Pumpkin | DJ: DJ Tod Peavy | Photography: Heather Dettore Photography