Reception Tips and Suggestions


    One of the benefits of having photographed Weddings and Receptions for over 25 years is being able to witness firsthand what makes a successful Reception.  Unfortunately, it seems that very little information is available to the Bride who is looking for helpful Reception Tips and Suggestions in planning the second half of her Big Day.

    If you find you could use a little "coaching", then read on - this post is for you!  Here is a quick list of considerations which we think you'll find useful: 


    1.  Arrive on Time!

     We've all attended Receptions where the Bride and Groom have arrived an hour - or more - late to their Reception.  Most figure the Photographer to be the culprit.  More often than not, the delay can be attributed to something more basic:  A failure to follow a well-defined "game plan" for the day.  Remember, your Food Preparers will be anxious to dazzle you and your guests with their best efforts.  By arriving on time, you'll help ensure that your dinner will be as good as you envisioned.

     Solution:  Subdivide your Wedding Day into subparts, complete with "fudge factors" (built-in vacant time intervals which will help you get back on track, should the inevitable unplanned situation arise).  Your Photographer should be instrumental in designing a Schedule of Photography which will guarantee that you arrive to your Reception within 10 minutes of its designated Start Time making everybody happy.   



               With a well-planned agenda, you should know when you'll arrive at your Reception within 10 minutes!


     2.  Before you enter your Reception, decide when you will be cutting your Cake.

     Frequently, Reception Halls and Caterers will encourage the Bridal Couple to cut their Cake immediately upon their arrival to "get it out of the way".  Perhaps I'm a purist, but the "Cutting of the Cake" (the desert) prior to dinner is woefully nonsequitur and, in my opinion, diminishes the symbolism involved in the event.

     Although I understand there are times when efficiency may trump symbolism, you'll have to decide for yourselves which works best for you.




     3.  Be sure your DJ is capable of doing more than loading a CD tray

     Most Brides assume their DJ (or band) will be acting as a Master of Ceremonies by offering much needed structure throughout the night.  Sadly, more often than not, we've found this is not the case.  Much of the success of your Reception rests in the hands of your DJ, so if at all possible, be sure to see your DJ in action prior to your event to get a feel for his/her abilities. 

     Do you want a DJ who will recede into the background, or would you rather have someone who actively "gets the crowd going"?  It's actually a matter of preference.  Just remember, your Reception spans almost half of your Wedding Day!


     Over the years, we've worked with literally hundreds of DJ's and bands, and the Best of the Best include:

                                                   (also visit:     


  •            Zack's Tunes    (517)  819-0405   

                                                    (also visit:  http//                                            




                                                         Zack's Tunes                                                    Dean Rusch Entertainment


     4.  Throw the Bouquet and Garter early!

     Many inexperienced DJ's place the throwing of the Bouquet and Garter toward the end of the Reception, only to find that a vast majority of possible participants have already left.  Throw the Bouquet and Garter early-on while the level of enthusiasm is highest!




     5.  Avoid the dreaded "Dollar Dance"

     Dollar Dances have fallen out of favor in recent years - and for good reason.  They offer limited participation (two people at a time) and sometimes drag on for up to a half hour, dropping the crowd's energy level, and sending people to the exits.  Just a suggestion, but you may want to nix the Dollar Dance altogether.


If you are looking for more Tips and Suggestions as you plan your Wedding Day, you can find more hints at



                                                           We're here to help make your Wedding an Incredible one!


Until next time,


For more information about Robert Charles Photography,  see us at   or call us directly at  517-394-2192



Categorized In: grand rapids wedding photography | michgan wedding photographers | michigan photographers | wedding hints | wedding photography lansing michigan | wedding tips and suggestions


Encore Event Group  commented on  June 20th, 2012

Hey Robert, I run and on the other side of the state (by Detroit) and just happened to come across your post. This is a very great article. Also, I love your photos! It really captures the moment. Hope all is well and have a great wedding season! ~ Rob

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