Q: Will you be able to introduce us as we enter the room?
A: Absolutely! You have options.
- Introduce just the two of you
- Introduce the bridal party (your attendants and the two of you)
- Introduce the wedding party (parents, attendants, and you)
Q: What music options do we have for our introductions?
A: Soft and romantic, the traditional wedding march, let's get ready to rumble. The type of music that is played as you enter your reception is totally up to you. You also want to keep in mind how you want the introductions to be done. If names only, then the music will tend to be louder. But if you have a little intro blurb about each person the music will usually be softer so as not to compete with your master of ceremonies voice.
Q: May I use your microphone to thank my guests for coming?
A: Not only do we allow this, we encourage it. Your guests will truly appreciate that on your wedding day you are taking the time to thank them for coming.
Q: What should I know about doing my first dance (bridal dance)?
A: When you are out there alone three minutes can seem like a long time. How comfortable are you being in the spotlight? About the only time you might want to consider a longer song is if you do an Evolution of Dance routine. Even then, six to seven minutes should be the maximum length of time.
Q: When should we do our bridal dance?
A: The choice is totally up to you. Many couples will dance after they have cut their wedding cake. This gives your guests something to watch/do while you are dancing,they are eating their cake. Other couples know that they will have several special dances later so they opt to have their first dance immediately after the have been introduced into the room. There is no real right or wrong.
Q: What other dances are important?
A: It is fun to have special dances and some of them will give you a moment of undivided attention to that one person. Suggestions for special dances are:
- Brother/Sister (often used when a parent is deceased)
- Bridal or Wedding Party Dance
- Anniversary Dance (a fun way to acknowledge all the married couples)
- Dedications to someone special
- Snowball (a way to encourage guests to join in the dancing)
- Last Dance (sweet, romantic, the two of you surrounded by the love of your friends)
Q: What exactly is a dollar dance?
A: This is an old custom popular in German and Polish cultures. It is a way for the community to help the young couple get a good start in life. It has gradually spread in the United States. When well known by the guests, it is usually very successful. If your guests are not familiar with the custom they may not come prepared with dollar bills or may see the dollar dance as a "money grab". Our experience has been that if you have a friend that is very outgoing and upbeat, they can introduce the money dance in a way that actually excites people into participating. One example was the brother of the bride you took on the persona of an old fashioned revivalist preacher encouraging the guests to "give, give 'til it hurts". The guests loved his performance. Another way to introduce this dance is for your MC let your guests know that this is an opportunity for them to have a special moment to again offer their best wishes.
The dance is actually done with the two of you on the dance floor. Guests line up and pay a dollar (or more) to have approximately 30 to 45 seconds to dance with you. They may pin the money to you, you can put it in a pocket or purse, or your best man and maid/matron of honor can collect it for you.
Selection of music is important here. Slower songs allow you to have a brief conversation with the person you are dancing with. Faster songs allow you to enjoy the company of the person you are dancing with and yet not have the uncomfortable feeling that is sometimes associated with dancing with someone you are not romantically involved with. We have found that most guests prefer the slower intrumental music so they can once again offer their best wishes without competing with lyrics.
Q: Who will cut and serve my wedding cake?
A: If you are having your reception in a hotel the staff will usually cut and serve your cake for you. In a smaller venue or your backyard you will need to assign someone to that responsibility. Have the baker give you a layout that shows the best way to cut the cake and the proper size. Also arrange to not only have the knife and cake server on the table but also a damp cloth to wipe off the knife when it accumulates too much frosting.
If you are having more than one flavor of cake let the staff know if advance how you would like that served. After 20+ years of weddings and speaking with numerous bakers, I can tell you that chocolate is the most popular flavor. Guests are often disappointed if they are not given the option to select the flavor they want. Want to make cutting the cake easy? Have a smaller, elegant display cake and supplement it with a large "groom's" sheet cake. The sheet cake will be much easier to cut and serve. Bonus: usually less expensive too.
Q: Do I have to have a bouquet toss or garter toss?
A: No, you do not. In fact 25% of couples do not. You may also choose to have one and not the other. This is your wedding day and you may pick and choose the wedding traditions that suit your personalities. If all your friends and guests are married it seems a little silly to have a bouquet toss when only one woman will be on the dance floor.
The garter removal is sometimes a source of embarrassment to couples. You may skip it if you like. Or simply have the garter just barely above your knee or even below it. Mission Impossible works well here as it is less than a minute long. On the other hand, if you and your guests are a bit on the wild side this can be a really outrageous, fun, and funny part of the reception. Let your DJ know in advance what you have in mind. Songs can be something elegant and simple or we can use The Stripper, You Can Leave Your Hat On, Hot Legs or ??? (open to suggestions from you as well).
Q: What kind of music will you play during cocktails and/or the dinner hour?
A: A heavy dose of upbeat jazz instrumentals work well for these times. Your guests will often want to chat with each other and catch up on old news. It is easier if they are not competing with the voice of a singer. The closer we get to the completion of dinner the more upbeat the tempo of the music.
Selections may range from romantic love songs to a classical feel to big band standards and jazz. Your entertainer should have a wide variety of music to accommodate the feel you want for your wedding reception.
Q: How many songs can I expect will be played during my reception?
A: Older songs were often under three minutes in length. Today's music averages about four minutes. You can reasonably expect that your disc jockey can play between 15 and 20 songs per hour. Depending on the length of your reception you will typically get about 1 and 1/2 to three hours of dancing.
Q: How long will things take?
A: Your cocktail time will usually be an hour depending on how many photos were taken before the ceremony. Dinner for 100 people will take about an hour; this can be greatly affected by the number of servers or number of open buffet lines. Cake cutting, toasts, special dances, the bouquet and garter toss will all take a combined time of about 30 minutes. For a four hour reception this will leave about one and a half hours of dancing.
Q: What other things can I do at my reception?
A: Some couple love to entertain their guests with their Love Story, either a live presentation or a video. Many outgoing couples like to participate in the Recently Wed Game where they compete against each other to see who knows their new spouse the best. More casual events may have games for the guests to play while the DJ plays background music.
Q: What is the Love Story?
A: After asking each of you a series of questions, Diana (a certified Love Story presenter) will write your love story and then either present it to your guests or have your DJ/MC read it. This may be done by Diana sharing your story verbally or it may be combined with photos for a video presentation. Your Love Story can be very emotional; filled with both laughter and tears.
Q: What is the Recently Wed Game?
A: The two of you are seated back to back. Each of you holds a white teddy bear and a brown teddy bear. We will ask about a dozen questions to see which of you knows your partner the best. So that everyone understands how the game works we start with a simple question; Of the two of you, which one is wearing a wedding dress? We should see two white teddy bears get raised into the air. Sometimes the questions will actually come from your guests. It is important to let us know your comfort level with the types of questions. For example, some couples and their guests would get a kick out of the question "Of the two of you, which one will be/was the first to pass gas in front of the other?" Yet some couples will not find this question appropriate. You comfort level is very important to us. We will not ask anything "way over the line" as this is an icebreaker and not a moment to embarrass you.