Category Archives: wedding reception entertainment tips

Tips from the Pros: Planning the Ultimate Wedding Reception

wedding where they take requestsWe’ve been to a lot of wedding receptions (6,000+). Needless to say, we’ve been part of some fantastic wedding receptions over the years. Our experience is your gain; we’ve compiled a list of some wedding planning tips that you can use to plan a wonderful wedding reception.

Be picky (and be careful!).

There are (literally) thousands of options for every part of your wedding in Chicago: wedding venues, djs, photographers, videographers, florists, bakers…the list could go on and on. As you research and hire the people that make your dream wedding a reality, be selective and wary of every vendor. Look for vendors that have plenty of experience, back-up plans for those “just in case” situations, and good reviews. Be careful of the low-cost options; you don’t want to scramble on your special day because you hired a sub-standard vendor (use this list of specific red flags to look for when hiring a wedding DJ).

Don’t underestimate the value of a “Cadillac.”

We’ve been around many couples and we know how important it is to stick to a wedding budget. However, don’t get so stuck on numbers that you focus only on hiring the lowest cost option. Vendors that are considered the “Cadillac” of their profession can provide valuable services that are worth a few extra dollars (and don’t automatically assume those vendors are not affordable!). Ask your vendors questions specifically about what they provide to make sure you are hiring the best option for your big day.

Lean on their experience.

Assuming that you hire experienced wedding vendors who have more than a few weddings under their belt (like us with our 6,000+), don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations and suggestions as you plan. Their suggestion may have been done at another wedding, but you can still customize the recommendation into an idea that feels very uniquely you (especially when part of a wedding reception that screams you at every turn!). Put simply, your wedding vendors have been there, done that. Use it. You’ll be glad you did.

Have a plan B.

Anything can happen on your big day. As much as you plan out every detail and minute, emergencies can still arise that can alter your original wedding plan (and we won’t even mention the weather, this is Chicago after all!). Be open to the idea that “just in case” situations do happen, and plan accordingly. Pack an emergency wedding kit. Plan for an alternate venue for your big day or photos if bad weather comes up. Find vendors that can still provide service even if equipment breaks or someone gets sick.

Two-way communication is vital for fantastic results.

There is some give and take when planning a wedding. As much as you need answers from your wedding vendor, be aware that you’ll need to give too (in fact two-way communication while planning leads to fantastic, custom results!). At every meeting, ask your wedding vendor what they need from you and when they need it by. As DJs, we can tell you that we need feedback on songs you want played (and not played), pronunciation help for your family and attendants, vendor information, venue limitations information (possibly not if we’ve worked there before), and any special requests that you may have (more information on what your DJ needs here). Keep track of deadlines, and respond as needed (you’ll be thankful you did!).

Focus on your guests.

Your wedding day is your special day, but make sure you keep your guests in mind as you plan. We’ll give you a few examples. Not every wedding guest wants to dance, so don’t plan on just one form of wedding entertainment. Give your guests choices, such as table games, photo booths, yard (or hall) games, and dance floor games (your DJ can give you ideas) that’ll make every guest enjoy the reception (and talk about it for days or years after-ideas for wedding entertainment here). For guests that are enjoying themselves all night (like those dance floor regulars), plan a late night course that fuels your guests and keeps them going.

Plan surprises!

This phrase sounds like an oxymoron; at a wedding reception it’s a really cool way to make your special day more memorable—and a lot more fun! Plan a surprise at your wedding reception that no one sees coming (and make sure you keep it a secret) for an over-the-top wedding reception (here’s a few fun surprise ideas you can use at your wedding reception). If you’re completely lost, don’t hesitate to ask your wedding vendors for ideas (we can help!) that’ll make your wedding reception feel like a night to remember.

8 Tips for an Awesomely Fun Wedding Reception

guests dancing to wedding reception entertainmentTrying to plan a memorable wedding reception? We’ve been privileged to be part of a few wedding receptions (or 10 or 1,000 or so…) Though each wedding reception is uniquely different, there are some steps you can take when planning to make your wedding reception an incredible and unforgettable night of fun.

Don’t put off hiring the best wedding reception entertainment (you want the best!).

The saying “if you snooze you lose” is very, VERY relevant to wedding reception entertainment. To get the best, and have a GREAT time, make sure to book your wedding entertainment early—as soon as you have a date, time, and confirmed wedding venue.

Set up kid fun zones.

Hire a babysitter to watch kids in another room, or set up tables with coloring books, crayons, and paper table cloths specifically for your youngest guests. If the weather is nice, you can also keep them entertained with bubbles and fun yard games.

Limit the time of wedding toasts, and photo slideshows, and videos, and…

There is such thing as too much (really!). To keep your wedding reception running smoothly, and your guests in a good mood, keep your dinner slideshows, toasts, and other dinner entertainment to a minimum. Finally, don’t get so caught up in your dinner program that you don’t allow time for your guests to enjoy each other’s company and talk.

Plan more food than just a dinner.

If you want your guests to have a good time and stay on the dance floor, plan on fueling their dancing moves with refreshments throughout the evening. Ask your caterer to set out finger foods periodically, or order a pizza (if your wedding venue allows) late in the evening.

Hire a GOOD DJ for the perks.

A good DJ is worth their weight in gold (read how you can tell the difference between amateurs and good DJs here). In addition to keeping your dance floor going, a DJ can also offer ceremony music, an emcee for the dinner and dance, a coordinator with your photographer and videographer (so they get the good shots), lighting, and an awesome sound system.

Give your guests more to do than just dance.

Since you’re providing your little ones coloring tables and fun time, do the same for the adults (minus the coloring books). Rent a photo booth (or contact a company that includes photo booths as part of their entertainment package) for a documented night of fun.


Give your guests a pleasant surprise at your reception: something unique that fits you and your fiancé and no one else knows about. It could be a choreographed first dance, a memory-filled table, video full of thank you’s, or a surprise ride for your first wedding night.

Enjoy yourself.

Relax. Have fun! Your awesome wedding reception is the culmination of all your hard work. Dance the night away with your friends and family and enjoy every second.