Keep Your Reception Flowing Smoothly!

Don’t leave it to chance!

Hiring a strong team of vendors to work closely with you before your wedding, and behind the scenes for you the day-of are KEY to ensuring a smooth-flowing and stress-free wedding day!

Understanding the role of your DJ/MC!

Even if you’ve hired a professional wedding planner or day-of coordinator, you’ll be looking to the DJ/MC you select to help you design & execute a flow for the entertainment portion of your wedding day.  

Understanding the roll of dynamics and mood in transitioning from one part of your event to another is super-important!

Keep guests involved, informed & engaged

Your guests should never be left looking around, just staring at their phones, or each other, wondering what’s going on, or what will happen next. 

Getting the Ball Rolling

Once your reception is underway, knowing how to take advantage of the natural ebb and flow of each event, every special dance, and every wedding tradition is critical.  

Wedding Reception Transitions

Since wedding receptions are most often chock-full of different special events requiring changes in tempo and mood, and even breaks in music altogether, the understanding of how to make these transitions smoothly becomes crucial.  Your guests should feel like they are along for the ride at your celebration – not like they are being pulled along or forced to stop abruptly throughout the night.

The following is a sample time line using this approach, my “Dance Theory” if you will, and is an example of how to design an event flow that uses music thoughtfully to transition between certain parts of your reception.  There are no rules of course, and I will always work with you to construct the event flow that is right for you and your guests.  The below is only a general guideline meant to give an insight into the thoughtful, careful use of musical transitions throughout your event.

First Dance – For the sake of our example, we’ll start the timeline here.

Transition/Build – Build into upbeat, open dancing slowly or quickly. You decide what feels right for you and your guests.  I have different ideas about how to draw your guests to the dance floor to kick off dancing.  And no…  they don’t include cheesy “snowball” games or putting anyone on the spot.  :)   Ask me!

First Open Dance Segment – Keep to slightly older, more accessible, and familiar mid-tempo music to encourage dancing by older folks and those who might tend to leave earlier, and/or may not dance to newer or faster music.

Wind-Down – There are times, for example, when getting ready to stop music for cake cutting, etc. that you want to wind down your upbeat, open dancing.  This will provide a nice slow transition, and will eventually (by design) clear guests off the floor.  Use parent dances, anniversary dances, money/dollar dances, etc. for this effect.  For money/dollar-dances, stick to slower songs, so there is not an abrupt STOP when moving to cake cutting, and also because all your guests want to share this time with you, and not all folks (think older) will necessarily be comfortable with high-paced fast dance selections and may not come up to dance with you to faster songs.


Tosses – Use tosses, traditionally high-energy and emotionally charged events, involving several people on the dance-floor, to segue back into open dancing.

Second Open Dance Segment – PARTY!  This second dance set is when you would start to pump it up with the newer songs, more dance/club/top-40 music for younger generations, current radio music and the hard-rock party fav’s.

At this point, all that “wedding stuff” is over and its time to let go and really just spend the night dancing and hanging out with your family and friends.

Wind-Down… or Climax… YOU Decide! – Use Last Dance and Last Song of the Night (if applicable/different) to slow back down in preparation for the end of the event.  As an alternative to the wind-down, you could choose to end your celebration on a high-note with real high-energy selections right up to the end to leave everyone wanting more. 

The time your guests are having when your reception ends or when they leave will likely play a large role in their lasting impressions of your celebration, so leaving them jumping and asking for more can be a good thing!

Most Importantly:

In the end, just remember: there ARE NO RULES! There is only what works best for you, your guests, and your event!  My expertise is geared towards helping you find, and achieve that perfect balance!

Comments are closed.