The Perfect Wedding Reception Format
Updated: Apr 13
Having an unforgettable and dare I say perfect wedding reception is not as hard people think, but nothing will contribute to the success of your reception more than the proper wedding reception format. The venue is important, the menu is important, and the entertainment (the DJ/host) is important, but the reception format is the glue that binds the venue, menu and entertainment together, it keeps your guests engaged and entertained. With that said, below is my recommended wedding reception format.
Introductions and First Dance: Introductions set the tone for the reception, a good wedding DJ will get the crowd energized and in the mood to celebrate you special day, so why not take advantage of this by going right into the first dance immediately followed by the parents dance(s) and best man/maid of honor speeches.
First Dance Set (30 to 45 minutes): I recommend opening up the dance because your guests have been sitting (ceremony &, cocktail reception) for over an hour. Its a good idea to get people up and moving, this will get them energized and more importantly keep them engaged.
Now its time for dinner: After cocktails, formalities and a half hour of dancing, your guests are probably hungry and this is the perfect time to eat and socialize. Dinner should be no longer than an hour and 15 minutes, that "should" be more than enough time for the venue to get people fed and for guests to have a drink or two.
Open the dance floor (again): Now that dinner is complete and your guests have had a couple of cocktails, it's a good idea to re-open the dance floor again. This once again gets people up and engaged in the celebration. It doesn't hurt if the newly weds lead this dance set. This dance set should be at least an hour.
Cake cutting & desert: This is the perfect time for a built in break in the form of cutting the Wedding cake. This allows your guests a small break, it also resets the dance floor prior to the last dance set of the reception. This is where your DJ should do their best wedding mixing and pull out all the stops. This is a great time to have Hora Loca (Crazy Hour) to top off you wedding celebration and send you remaining guests home with a fond memory.
So there you have it, a great way to have an engaging and memorable wedding reception.