Cami Zi Photography

A Reception to Remember 

by Everlasting Events


Kyla and Tasha at Everlasting Events helped me come up with some great suggestions and valuable information to help you prepare for your wedding reception!


Having an organized timeline and an experienced vendor team is what will bring your event from good to great! If you have not booked your wedding planner or wedding day coordinator yet make sure to chat with these ladies, why would not want to relax on your wedding day? Let the pros handle it all! 


Grand Entrance


* When interviewing your DJ ask about his typical Grand Entrance. You should be able to get a feel (or an example) for how yours will be. 

* Your DJ and Coordinator will work together to line up the bridal party

* Give your DJ the correct pronunciation of the names of your bridal party. Everlasting Events is always in contact with the DJ ahead of time to confirm correct line up and phonetic spelling of names. 

* Make it fun and personal! (Special Songs, streamers, dance skills...)


First Dances


* It is ok to let your bridal party have a seat after their Grand Entrance. 

* Asking your spouse and family members how long they wish to dance is considerate. You don't have to slow dance a whole song. A good DJ can transition seamlessly. 

* If a parent is absent, you can choose a substitute to have that dance of honor

* My recommendation as a photographer is to have all those dances right after the grand entrance. That way the room is still clean and free of dirty dishes. Creative photographs including the decor will look a lot better during that time! 



Speeches


* Speakers should keep their body facing partially towards the guests. Staying open allows for good pictures and the guests will enjoy the speeches as well. 

* You or your coordinator should tell the DJ the order of speeches. He will introduce the speakers and give them the mic. 

* Short and meaningful is best! 




Dinner


* Make sure to be served first and enjoy your dinner! 

* Let the DJ know if someone will be blessing or praying for the meal. 

* This is also when your vendors will have their short break as it is the only time of the day with no major events. 


Dance Floor

* When interviewing your DJ, get as many videos and testimonials as possible. This will show you how he manages the flow and energy of the party. 

* Open dancing typically lasts in blocks of 30 minutes to an hour. Your planner and DJ can help you navigate the timing of dancing. 

* A bride and groom on the dance floor get guests on the dance floor! 

* ENJOY! Dance, let loose! This is what all the planning was for. 




Cake


* Different regions of the country do cake cutting at different times. In the South, cake cutting is typically towards the end of the reception following speeches, dinner and some dancing. 

* You can expect some guests to leave after cake cutting. 

* An excellent way to save time is by having a "faux" cake. You will still have a real section to cut in front of the guests, but a sheet cake will be cut behind the scenes, to be served quickly and on chilled plates. 

* Cake smashing is something that could be discussed prior the wedding day! 



Night Portraits 


* We can always take a few minutes for night portraits during the reception, just make sure to plan that ahead with me, the coordinator and DJ, so we can plan the party timeline accordingly! 



Grand Exit


* A wedding coordinator is essential for this part of the night, mainly for safe and seamless sparkler exits. 

* Great communication is necessary between all parts involved - planner, photographer and the DJ. 

* If you decide to have a sparkler exit, remember to check with the venue if they allow it. Sparklers are a hazard and may cause burns or fire. If you do have their ok, make sure to purchase the long sparklers.