This article is not about the typical types of Wedding receptions written about – for example, an indoor wedding verses outdoor or cocktail style verses sit down.
A Wedding Reception by definition is a celebration and therefore an entertainment function. These types relate to the feel or atmosphere of your reception. Every bride and groom wants a reception that is fun, but there are many ways to define your type of fun and here are the most common types:
1. Engaging Reception
This type of reception is more interactive; your guests become part of the celebration instead of just watching it. Everyone is attracted to the fun that is unfolding and joins in. At the end of the night, guests will come away commenting on how entertaining the night was.
A key ingredient to having this type of reception is a charismatic and charming Master of Ceremonies who everyone can relate to. A common thing done at an engaging wedding is the Kissing Game, which is when everyone taps their glass, the Bride and Groom kiss. There are some fun variations to add to it, such as needing to stand on a chair to kiss or the ‘loud’ table cheering instead of tapping their glasses.
2. Traditional Reception
A Traditional Reception is conducted in a very formal manner. The décor of the room expresses elegance and class. All the finer details are taken care of and everyone is dressed nicely.
The music at this type of reception needs to complement the style and not overpower it. For example, Smooth Jazz and artistes such as Frank Sinatra are played instead of current Top 40. Knowledge of Wedding Etiquette is a major advantage in planning this type of reception. Peggy Post’s book ‘Wedding Etiquette’ is a great resource for this.
3. Party Reception
A Night Club atmosphere is what is created at a Party Reception. It’s energetic, lively and exciting with a packed dance floor and everyone dancing wildly. As the night progresses, this atmosphere builds up to a great finale at the end of the night, normally cheering Guard of Honor.
Beautiful bride Hilary Nordholm in the thick of action at her wedding reception party – Photo Courtesy: Cameron Nordholm
Picking the music which appeals to the dancers at your wedding is important here. The best way to ensure a successful Party Reception is to recruit the dance floor. Tell your wedding party and anyone else that is known to get their groove on to hit the dance floor as soon as it starts. It’s all about creating the momentum. A great tip is to order some cheap ballet flats off eBay and put them near the dance floor in a classy way for your high heel wearing guests to switch into.
4. Prepared Reception
A detail orientated couple normally wants a reception which is well prepared. This allows the Bride and Groom to be stress-free on the night and really enjoy the celebration. A care-free and well organized atmosphere starts in the planning process.
Having a vendor with entertainment experience planning your reception is a must for this type of reception. Ideally, you would also like them there the whole night to trouble-shoot anything that does not go to plan. The key to creating a Prepared Reception is having well-defined outcomes for the night so the run sheet can be created with those outcomes in mind.
5. Heart-felt Reception
A Heart-felt reception is a night that is full of romantic, emotional and sentimental moments. A more lovey-dovey and affectionate couple are interested in an event like this. These kinds of moments include a touching speech, a beautiful First Dance or a touching Father/Daughter Dance.
The truth is most of the time these moments don’t just happen, they are planned and looking spontaneous is where they power is. It takes an experienced and knowledgeable entertainer to pull them off. For example, having the Bride’s father standing by to step in once the First Dance is finished so the transition to the Father/Daughter dance looks natural.
6. Sociable Reception
Having a reception that is relaxed, comfortable and smooth-flowing allows the guests to mingle and socialize. This type of reception always works well if your family does not catch up often or you have people who travelled a long way to come to the wedding. A Sociable Reception often has the atmosphere of an afternoon BBQ or Sunday Afternoon beers.
To get people socializing, it is good idea to recruit your wedding party to walk around and talk to people and not just sit in their chairs. Nice upbeat feel good music works well at these weddings.
7. Memorable Reception
A Memorable Reception is different for each couple as it is very unique, personal, and intimate. There is no limit to what can be done at one of these receptions. For example, instead of a Bouquet toss presenting the bouquet to your unwell Grandmother, who was a big part of your life.
To pull off one of these receptions you need to hire a Master of Ceremonies who is willing to put in the time to get to know you and therefore personalize everything. The other option is choosing a family member to be your MC.
Here is the big secret; your wedding reception does not have to be just one of these types. If you hire a quality Wedding DJ and MC, they can create a night that has elements from each type of reception. A sociable cocktail hour, engaging activities during dinner, traditional speech and cake cutting, a heart-felt first dance followed by a party rocking dance floor. It is only limited by the quality of the professional entertainer you hire and your imagination.
Author Bio: This article has been written by Brian Dj Davis, Brisbane Wedding Dj and MC.