Planning a big wedding dance party comes with a million decisions—and, luckily, a guide to get you the wedding reception of your dreams! This step-by-step guide can take you from the first wedding reception idea to dancing the night away with all your friends.
___Select a wedding date.
___Set a budget. (Tip: use this wedding budget worksheet.)
___Decide on a desired wedding atmosphere.
___Choose a wedding venue. (Tip: if an epic late-night dance is a priority, ask the venue planners about curfew times and volume limitations.)
___If the venue is outside, make a plan B in case of inclement weather. (Tip: if the dance is outside, make sure the venue meets your band or DJ’s electrical needs.)
___Set a timeline for the wedding reception and program (i.e. toasts, dinner, dance moments, etc.) (Tip: customize this sample wedding reception timeline and share with key vendors, such as the entertainer and photographer.)
___Choose the best wedding music entertainment: band or DJ. (Tip: When interviewing DJs, ask them these questions to weed out the sub-par DJs. A good DJ uses a custom play list that fits with the couple’s style.)
___Sign a contract with a quality band or DJ. (Tip: use these tips for navigating through the fine print.)
___Draft a venue layout with spots for the cake, interactive tables or tasting stations, and strategically-placed entertainment. (Tip: to keep the dance floor packed, plan for a beverage table or bar near the dancing.)
___Book other entertainment, such as a photobooth or one of these other fun wedding entertainment ideas.
___Plan out the logistics and location of any interactive tables or tasting stations.
___Set a wedding menu play list and coordinate important details (i.e. announcements, wedding party pronunciations, etc). (Tip: to avoid any songs that make you cringe, choose a wedding DJ who honors your ‘Do not play’ list.)
___Choose dinner & cocktail background music (Tip: if you don’t have major preferences AND trust your DJ, ask the DJ to choose songs.)
___Select songs for the traditional wedding reception dances (if included in the reception).
- ___ Wedding party entrance music
- ___ First dance
- ___ Father-daughter dance
- ___ Mother-son dance
- ___ Bouquet & garter toss songs
- ___ Dance songs
____Plan surprises if you want to add them to the wedding reception. (Tip: use this list of wedding reception surprises for inspiration and don’t forget to include your DJ in on the fun.)
___Purchase favors that fit with atmosphere.