• Reception Resources

  • Your reception is by far the biggest party you'll ever throw in your lifetime! We'll make sure it's incredible. Here's the flow for a typical reception - click or tap the links below for some suggestions

    Cocktail Music
    Music played at a muted level while your guests arrive and enjoy cocktails before dinner. Many couples choose music from the Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin). Other choices include instrumental jazz (John Coltrane) or vocal jazz (Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald). You can also choose current hits, oldies, country, or whatever you'd like. There's no right answer.

    Grand March
    Each couple in your wedding party is introduced as they enter the room, ending with the two of you. It can be as straight-laced or cheesy as you'd like! Many wedding parties will choreograph little moves or poses and really cut loose.

    Cake Cutting
    We recommend cutting the cake before dinner, giving your caterer plenty of time to cut it during dinner. We also recommend making sure that your caterer is willing to cut the rest of the pieces; you may need to designate a few guests instead.

    As with cocktail music, dinner music is played at a subdued level for ambiance. Rat Pack and jazz work very well. During dinner, you may want to do an alternative to clanking glasses. Very popular options include Tell a Story where your guests have to share a story about either or both of you, Sing a Song where your guests have to to serenade the room with a few lines of any song that has the word love, kiss, or marry in it, and the ever popular Fishbowl where you supply your DJ with couples' names beforehand. When the clanking starts, your DJ will pick a couple out of the fishbowl - they then need to show the two of you how to kiss and you must copy them exactly.

    If your dinner is plated, we recommend doing speeches after the salad and before the main course. This lets your best man and maid of honor enjoy their dinner without the sheer terror of knowing they're just 30 minutes away from having to stand up in front of everyone. Doing it early also cuts down on the number of drinks the best man and maid of honor have before they're given the microphone and control of the room....

    First Dance
    This is often one of the most difficult choices couples have to make. Our suggestion? Find something that has lyrics that you like, then worry about the version or artist. We have some suggestions for you. We also recommend taking some time to learn a choreographed dance. Many dance studios offer classes just for this. The best part? The two of you will have a guaranteed date once a week for a couple of months before the big day!

    Father/Bride Dance
    This is the most bittersweet part of the ceremony - dads usually turn into great big marshmallows during the first dance. Choose a song that will be meaningful not only to but to especially to him. Here are some ideas. And, if dad isn't a big dancer, you can fade the song out after a couple of minutes.

    Mother/Groom Dance
    While the day may be all about the bride and groom, this special moment lets the groom devote some time to the first woman who gave her heart to him. As with the father/bride dance, if mom (or the groom) isn't a big dancer, it can be faded. Here's a list of some of the popular choices.

    Garter Removal & Toss
    While it used to be a staple at ever reception, fewer and fewer couples are choosing to remove the garter. If you'd like to include it, it can be as tame or risque as you'd like and it will definitely make for some great photos.

    Bouquet Toss
    As with the garter toss, many couples are choosing not to do a bouquet toss and that's perfectly okay! If you choose to do one, it'll be a great photo op. It's also perfectly acceptable to do a bouquet toss but not a garter toss.

    Once all of the traditional dances are done, it's time to party! Work with your DJ to create your 'must play' as well as 'do not play' lists. You can choose as few or as many songs as you'd like. We suggesting picking only a dozen or so and leaving the rest of the music up to your guests' requests and DJ's experience. If you book with You Had Me At I Do, we'll give you a web page that your guests can visit ahead of time to make their requests. You're notified each time a request is made and have the ability to veto it. For some inspiration, check out the top 200 songs requested at wedding receptions.