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Nailing your wedding reception run sheet

Categories Wedding tips. Weddings.
05 Aug, 2022

Having played at a number of weddings, we often advise couples on their run sheets. We’ve had many wedding clients ask us about the recommended order of events to guarantee a party vibe for their wedding reception.

Whether you’re having a cocktail or a sit down, the general rule for an awesome party is to take care of all the formalities early on in the evening and open up the dance floor as soon as possible for maximum dancing time. Or better yet, just limit the number of formalities you DO have. It’s your wedding, so if it doesn’t suit you as a couple, don’t include it!

We also recommend keeping an open communication channel with your DJ, venue and other vendors in the lead up to ensure that your event flows as best as it possibly can. Your experienced vendors are there to lean on for advice so don’t be afraid to ask for it!

Wedding party entrances – cut your cake!

Cut your cake (if you have one!) straight after the wedding party entrances. The combination of these key events is more seamless for your wedding photographer and the venue staff can then remove the cake so its stored safely out of harm’s way!

Speeches – divide by 2

Break up your speeches into two blocks. This could be one after entrées and one after mains for a sit down wedding, or about an hour apart for a cocktail wedding.  This gives your guests a chance to mingle, grab more drinks and freshen up between speeches (and maybe have an early boogie!).

Enforce a time limit on speeches from your family and close friends. Placing a time limit on your speakers will encourage them to actually write their speech down and time it in advance rather than going rogue. Three to five minutes is perfect for this.

The final speech should lead straight into the first dance (or the official start of the dance floor, if you’re not having a first dance). By this time your guests will be ready for a boogie.

First dance – get people dancing!

Get people up dancing after the first dance. This is a must do! The first dance should serve as the opening of the dance floor and party. Once the dance floor has started, all other formalities should now be completed. It’s party time!

If you’re not having a first dance, just get your MC to announce that the dance floor is officially open and make sure you guys get on there to kick things off.

Dessert – let it roam!

Ask your venue to serve roaming dessert rather than table dessert as it will ensure that more people stay on the dance floor rather than go back to their seats. People with a sweet tooth will have a little disco break and help themselves when needed.

With these tips in mind, you can ensure that you’ll be on the dance floor celebrating in no time!

Check out all of our FAQ videos on Vimeo.

Photo credit: Motta Weddings.

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