I have been working in the wedding industry for over five years. That means that I have seen my fair share of weddings. Some clients receive an insane amount of value, others are left wondering where the time went.
The fact is, there are numerous factors that will influence how much value you receive from your wedding vendors. In this article, I’ll highlight three tips to help you squeeze every ounce of value out of your wedding DJ – without being a douche bag.
Key point: the clock is always ticking. Once room hire ends, the lights come on and the venue starts shutting down. Let’s dive in and see how YOU can get on the dance floor on time (or earlier!)
1. Put Time Limits On The Speeches
This might sound a bit brutal. After all, your wedding isn’t supposed to be a live TV interview or the Emmy’s.
I have noticed that the clients who place a time limit on speeches get the following benefits:
- More people get the chance to do a speech. I have seriously witnessed a 40 minute speech. Whilst the speaker was having fun, the room was busting for a toilet break and a dance.
- The speeches are more captivating. Why? The speaker is more likely to write, rehearse and focus on what’s important. Less rambling, less mucking around and more of the good stuff.
- It eases the pressure. Lots of people stress out about delivering a long and meaningful speech. If they know everyone is subjected to a time limit, it reduces the expectations they place on themselves.
2. Split Speeches Between Entrees and Mains
The time between entrees and mains is typically the least productive time of the reception. Kitchens don’t always run on time and some of your guests will eat slower than others. This can seriously destroy your schedule.
I suggest that you allocate a few speeches once the entrees are cleared. Add the last speeches after mains are cleared.
Some clients even jump into the speeches BEFORE the plates are cleared. It’s up to you. I personally prefer speeches to take place once the tables have been cleared and the drinks filled up. It puts the guests at ease and makes the photos look more professional. Yes, your amazing photographer will take ‘reaction’ photos of your guests. They aren’t too keen on shooting empty glasses and dirty plates.
3. Cut The Cake, Then Do The First Dance
I strongly advise against having a ‘short break’ after the cake cutting. That ‘short break’ quickly turns into 30-45 minutes. The groomsmen pull out the cigars, the bridesmaids update their Instagram stories, and someone disappears off the face of the earth.
Enjoy your first dance and then do as you please. There’s plenty of time to catch up with loved ones and enjoy the evening.
The venues HATE it when the DJ plays over time. These are small businesses who have staff that expect to be paid extra for staying back. Let’s not forget the insane amount of noise restrictions that affect the majority of venues. It ain’t easy hosting live music. Do your best to stick to your schedule and you will have plenty of time to dance the night away.
Once again, it’s absolutely up to you. This is your wedding. If you need a break, take it.
Just remember: the clock is always ticking.
Note: Some people don’t allocate these two formalities back to back. For example, some clients cut their cake after the wedding party entrance. However, the majority of clients like to place the cake cutting and first dance after each other.
BONUS TIP: Don’t Place Your Elderly Guests Near The Speakers
It’s amazing how many times I have been asked to set up my equipment right next to the grandparents’ table. This is a common oversight and I don’t expect my clients to think of everything. That’s why I created this article!
Elderly people generally want to sit and talk. They also suffer from degenerative hearing. It’s especially difficult for them to hear the conversation in a noisy environment.
Arrange your seating so that younger people are closer to the music. This will allow your DJ to increase the volume during mealtime so the entire room can hear.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article.
It’s designed to provide value to YOU.
I want every one of our clients to feel amazing about their wedding night.
If you know someone that will receive value from this article, please share it.
All the best with your planning!