How to Format Your Wedding Reception & Ceremony

If you have no clue as to what happens at a typical wedding reception, you're not alone. To set the tone and mood the client prefers, there are different presentation styles. Below is a basic overview.
The "Typical" Wedding Reception Format
A typical 5 or 6 hour reception for an average sized group of 100-150 guests, usually begins with a social period that lasts an hour. Sometimes this is extended to an hour and a half, even two hours.
During this time the DJ will play background music as you request. It can be a mix of what I refer to as "The Crooners" (Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Harry Connick Jr., Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Diana Krall and even newer artists like Nora Jones) to pop sounds like Sade, India Arie, George Benson, James Taylor, Marvin Gaye and Jimmy Buffet to name a few, but all are on the "softer" side. It's your choice. Let us know what you like.
After about 45 minutes of formal portraits at the church, the wedding party arrives at the reception. The DJ/Master of Ceremonies meets the group and lines everyone up for the introductions. About a third of the time the newlyweds will have their first dance after they enter the room. Then a few formalities such as; a blessing, toast and centerpiece giveaway is common.
The meal usually comes out next. Be it buffet, hors d'oeuvre stations or plate style, it should take about 1½ to 2 hours. During the meal, we like to remove the vocals and drop it down a notch. Smooth modern Jazz, New Age, Big Band, Classical, soft instrumentals...whatever pleases you! Again, the final decision is yours.
When the meal is finished, the final 2 - 3 hours is wide open to work in the remaining formalities and get the party moving. The cake cutting, special dances and other events usually follow.
The "New York Style" Reception
This format works best with the Plate Style meal service, as it goes in stages. After social hour(s) has run its course and the opening introductions and initial formalities have been taken care of, the disc jockey will then drop in music sets of approximately 15 minutes in length after each course served. So after the first course is served, maybe the DJ will pop in a Big Band set, then after the second course, an oldies set, after the third perhaps a set of 70's, 80's or 90's. You get the idea. This format is designed keep your guests active.
The "Low Profile" Reception
Some clients prefer a very low-key presentation. Sometimes these clients are a little older than the average bride and groom, are going around for the block for a second time or simply desire a softer approach that doesn't put them in the spotlight as much. I have had wedding receptions of this sort that have included a toast, cake cutting and first dance to others where all we did was announce "no smoking, please" at the beginning and keep the music playing. This style can feel a bit like an extended social hour.
The Wedding Ceremony
If you require music and a sound system for your wedding ceremony, we can help there too. We begin with subtle background music a half hour prior to the service, as the guests begin to arrive. Then when the bridal party is ready, we'll play the requested processionals. We can position a microphone in the center of the action to capture the ceremony so that all may hear what is happening and we can also set-up a second mic for use by a soloist or for readings. After the couple is pronounced husband and wife, a recessional follows


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