Friday, March 19, 2010

Planning advice..

I think this will play a major part in our wedding day planning guidelines... sage advice from Amazing Wedding Receptions

Top 10 AWR Wedding Day Don'ts

1. Not knowing that articles in popular wedding magazines, specifically the "Do's & Don'ts" of a wedding reception, are often written by interns and staff who may have attended far less as many weddings as you. But because perception is reality, they must know what's best.


You know what is best and the Professionals from AWR know what is best, but only after we speak with you. We need to know first what you would like to do on your wedding day. What do you envision? What have you seen at weddings that you have attended that you liked or did not like?

I have been asked on several occasions to be involved in articles from popular wedding publications, that I just could not be a part of. Example: I was once asked "What are your top 5 songs that you play at a wedding reception, to get the crowd going?"

Well, my question back was who are the Bride & Groom, what age and ethnicity are they, and so on.... I even wanna know if they are a Red Sox or Yankee fan.

Needless to say when those factors were not being factored into the article, I asked not to be part of it. Rookies.

All of the AWR vendors also know how important it is to leave it up to the professional in that specific area (Photography, Entertainment, Floral, Videography etc.), and not to overstep our professional boundaries. Leave it to the expert. A Bridal Shop is not the expert on the vendors you should hire, they don't go to 85 weddings a year. Leave that to the wedding planners at the facilities & their expertise. They want what is best for you based on 1000's of Amazing Wedding Receptions that they have actually been in the room in witnessing.

2. Too much down time between the end of your wedding ceremony and the beginning of your social hour.

This is huge and a really tough one to rectify because it is beginning the day with a planned lull, and lulls are a party killer. I consider myself to be a black belt at avoiding lulls at receptions & I have seen it all. But the 2, 3, 4 hours between the end of the Ceremony and the beginning of social hour, killer. Especially when the reception site is not able to accommodate your guest who arrive early, to a drink or place to sit comfortably. It is a negative on the day & guest don't like it.

3. Arriving late to your own wedding ceremony or wedding reception site.

Another important timing aspect of your day. Plan your wedding day with professionals like your DJ, Photographer & Banquet Planner who will ensure that you create a realistic format of your day's events. Timing is everything. Not a good idea to arrive to your Friday evening reception site with your wedding party 30 minutes after you were suppose to be announced and then ask to spend a little time in the Bridal Sweet, when the Chef is preparing a meal for 250 guest. Ending Dinner at 11pm is not good.

4. Choosing extremely light music during dinner.

Key word here is, extremely. Guest defiantly need to be able to speak, not shout at their tables during dinner, but foot tapping and fun should never be banned. It's always great when guest grab a dance between courses, and to go from 0 to 100mph when dinner is over is never easy. We need to have our guest primed to dance. Let it be as is and hire someone whom you know is a professional with great vast experience at weddings, and knows how to make an Amazing Wedding Reception?To much light music can make it appear that dinner took forever when actually it didn't.

5. Choosing music that does not reflect your guest list.

So now you've paid all this money for your wedding reception and you searched far & wide to find the best wedding DJ available. The DJ is now at the reception and looks at the guest, and then looks at the must play list, and it doesn't make any sense. It's a far older crowd than what the Bride & Groom chose for music.

Maybe you also decide not to allow any of your guests to request anything either. These two together make it very difficult to have your guest walking away saying this is the best wedding I've ever been to.That is my goal & the goal of many other great wedding DJ's. It's evident that you don't trust the professional who has your best interest at heart. The best DJ's want the best weddings.Some songs on the no list, sure, absolutely, but don't handcuff your entertainment.If you choose a play list and you want your DJ to only play what's on it, then choose a couple of 100 songs and tell him to read the crowd and go with it. You can plan on a 6 hour wedding reception being somewhere in the neighborhood of 85 songs.I like about 20 must have songs and going from there. But that's me. I love reading a crowd with a clue.

6. During the reception, the Bride & Groom constantly leave the ballroom for long periods at a time.

I'm talking long, 30 mins here, 20 mins here, and another 45 here. Right there is over an hour.

The best is when they give you about 50 specific versions of the must play songs for dancing and then keep leaving. That's fun. I'm kidding,chest pains!

Seriously, guest love seeing the Bride & Groom celebrating with them. Don't forget, they are there for you.

7. Placing of another focal point that attracts your guest to leave the ballroom.

Add-on's are great, but we really want to do our best to keep our guest around or on the dance floor.

Having the bar outside in the hall or lobby, not good.

Having photo booth out in the lobby during your 3 hours of prime party dance time, ah, no, not recommended. Photo booths are awesome & everyone loves them, but if we can fit it into the room easily, let's do it. It's a big difference.

Also if you have a nice outside area, make sure that your DJ will supply music out there all night. Wireless speakers are great because we can send a signal to those speakers so it is the same music inside & out.

8. After Dinner, the DJ is asked to announce that certain groups of guest (Family, friends, colleagues, and former schoolmates) meet outside of the ballroom for pictures, or worse yet onto the dance floor for pictures.

Of course, this stops any momentum of your party time.

Even though this is listed as #8, it is my worse pet peeve.

Because after the main course is served, you are mine. Your guests are mine. I want to rock this thing and then a photographer walks up to me and says, Can you announce for the Bride & Groom to go to the Lobby for pictures with their immediate family and then when they are done can you ask for the Bride & Grooms college friends to join them. That's fun.

9. Not realizing how important the ending of your wedding is.End it on a high note. Don't let your awesome, amazing wedding reception turn in to a dwindler wedding just because you wanted an 8 hr reception. It is not how long it last, its how it ends. Believe me when I say, there is nothing more awesome than a Bride or Groom looking at a full dance floor on their last dance of the night.

10. You don't trust your wedding professionals and play the role of a wedding coordinator during your own wedding.

Waiting too long to hire your wedding team and not hiring a true wedding professional, willing to build a foundation of trust with you. It is trust that is needed so that you can actually enjoy your own amazing wedding reception. Timely communications is a must, throughout the planning process. If they don't e-mail or call you back from the start, that's what you can expect the whole time through.

Top 10 AWR Wedding Day Don'ts
via Amazing Wedding Receptions

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