Don’t ‘overplan’ your evening’s timings!
So here we are again: another top tip for you future ‘brides without regret!’
As you may remember from my blog about photography, every wedding we’ve ever attended runs late – without exception. Some only a little, but late nonetheless! I receive emails asking for timing advice all of the time and my answer is always the same: it won’t happen at the time you think it will!
Two things will remain on time even if you don’t: the buffet and last orders!
When you have lots to fit in, the temptation is to schedule a choc-a-bloc evening with no room for error. Every bride that has ever said that the room-turnaround would be 6-7 has trotted out of that room after 7pm for sure!
Here’s a step-by-step guide to a smoother evening:
*Before we continue, get a pen and paper and make some notes so that you, your partner and your entertainer/s know what’s happening!
If your evening invitations say 7pm, expect all of your guests at 7.45pm!
Nobody wants to be the first to arrive in the evening so allow at least 45 minutes in your head for those extra guests to arrive. This also allows you a buffer zone for your wedding breakfast running late too (after your wedding speeches take longer than you ever thought they could!) If you’re expecting your meal to finish at 6pm it will probably be 7pm before you leave the room, therefore 8pm until you can get back in. Provided that there is somewhere for people to relax and get a drink, this is no problem. Your evening guests can then filter in and chat to you before you all move back into the room at 8ish. If you happen to be the first wedding to ever finish on time, then great – your disco music will be playing when they arrive from 7pm for your day guests too! You’ve nothing to lose! The important thing is to not plan anything to happen before 8pm: it probably won’t and, if it does, not everyone will be there to see it!
Keep everyone together!
Our golden rule to creating a successful and enjoyable evening reception is that everyone needs a reason to be somewhere! So, if for example you have Fireworks, how do you get your guests back inside if it’s a lovely day? Your entertainer/s can only do so much: so short of using a cattle prod (and we’ve considered this!!) they will require your help and foresight into how to alleviate this issue.
I’m not talking about you becoming a dictator here (ultimately everyone should share a magical day together) I am simply trying to make you aware of the problems that you are likely to face and give some suggestions on how to alleviate them!
When is your entertainment setting up?
Whoever you chose as your entertainment provider, they will need time to set up and you must allow sufficient time for this. Depending on what entertainment you have, set up times can vary drastically. Factors like the distance from the vehicle to the performance area, possible power issues (this is quite common in temporary marquees!) and lifts/stairs are all things that come into play here. That said, Adam’s show can be fully set up in 1 hour despite these issues! Remember: if your turnaround time begins later than planned, the set up will still require the same amount of time! If it takes an hour, then it takes an hour!
If it’s sunny and hot, be prepared to ‘lose’ your guests for a bit!
The one and only down fall to having a gloriously sunny and warm wedding day is that you will inevitably ‘lose’ some of your guests to the terrace as they soak up the sun or enjoy the warm Summer evening!
Another thing to consider here is that the days are longer during the summer months: are you ok with having your first dance in broad daylight at 9pm? Once again, just think about these things over!
Let’s get the party started… well not just yet!
At this point (8.15pm) it is ideal to have your choice of entertainment perform their 1st set: this set should contain songs that will ‘warm’ your guests, getting them swaying and singing. It is important to remember that your wedding day is a very long day for most of your guests (and very tiring), so your entertainment should try not to peek too soon!
For those of you that are lucky enough to have booked Adam, he performs all the Michael Bublé style Swing in his 1st set as this caters for all tastes and especially involves your older guests from the very beginning! ‘Everything’, ‘Save The Last Dance’, ‘New York, New York’: Adam’s aim is to create a crescendo at the end of each set, and the night overall. For this reason, having everyone in the same room (including your late arrivals) is very important for the overall atmosphere.
Your First Dance as Husband and Wife!
After 15 minutes of disco music, Adam will then announce the Bride & Groom’s very first dance! Fed, watered, warmed-up and happy, he will then gather your guests around the edge of the dance floor (with cameras in hand) as you are announced into the room and onto the dance floor as Mr & Mrs.....! Your first dance will be performed live (or played as discussed) and you can choose to have the wedding party join you half way through the song or for the 2nd song (which can be slow or fast – both work here!) You could even choose to do something completely different like Kim and Andy Newberry! Take a look here. We put this together for them and, should you wish to do the same, simply contact us and we’ll be glad to help!
Now, let’s get the party started? For sure!
As everyone is already on their feet for your first dance/s and ready to groove, Adam will launch into his second set of new and old soul and pop, keeping everyone on the dance floor and having a great time! After Adam’s encore (around 10pm), everyone will stay up on their feet as you leap straight into the disco – no gaps! This leaves the last few hours as your disco... yet more grooving!
But when shall we have the buffet?
10pm is the ideal time for buffet if you are having one. Your venue will probably suggest earlier (it’s easier for them, not you!) but, from experience, it goes down much better at 10pm!
So, in summary…
This is by far the best order – we’ve had requests for every variation and seen the pitfalls of each. In theory you could have your Adam’s 90 minutes of vocals and 3.5 hours of disco in any order but, as you’ve paid to have a professional performer, you should make the most of him and make sure that all of your guests get to see him and peek ‘together.’
Before you know it, midnight will arrive and the evening will be over... enjoy every second of it while you can because it really does finish all too quickly!
Finally: if things go slightly off schedule, don’t worry! Only you will know!