Monday, June 7, 2010

Ten Reception Wreckers Not Covered By Wedding Insurance

One of the biggest worries for couples in regards to their wedding is that their reception is fun, which is something wedding insurance doesn’t cover! Specifically, they say that they want people to dance, but the reality is, as long as your friends and family enjoy themselves, you can consider your wedding a success—even if there’s no dancing. Here are 10 easily avoidable reception wreckers most couples, wedding coordinators, location consultants, and more never consider. One or two might not apply to your event, but I believe most will.

1. The bar is not in the same room as the rest of the reception.
This one is not an obvious problem, but it has a huge impact on your reception, which is why I list it at number 1. Many couples think having their bar in another room, out in the lobby or patio, or in some cases, down a long hallway, is a great idea because their guests can take a break from the reception room to go have a drink. The problem is half of your guests will be out of the room getting their drinks at potentially critical times like the toasts, first dance, and so on. An even bigger problem is half of your guests like to hang out at the bar and these are usually the fun, loud partying types. Now your reception is only half full and the obnoxious drunks aren’t even in the room. The solution is to make sure your location will put a bar in the room. You can have another bar elsewhere for overflow but having your main bar in the room will keep most of your guests there. And if they drink too much, the less walking they do, the less chance you’ll need wedding insurance to cover you.

2. The photographer takes the couple away at a critical time.
If this happens your guests may look around, see that you’re gone, and use this as an opportunity to take off. This is tough because sometimes the couple wants to get sunset pictures or something. If that’s the case do your best to get back quick! Otherwise, try to get all of your pictures finished before the reception dinner.

3. The couple get stuck talking to guests in the lobby.
If the bride and groom head off to the restroom, on the way back, some of their guests will inevitably catch them in the lobby and want to hug and talk and sometimes say goodbye. I know, using the bathroom can be a 30 minute ordeal for the bride, and that’s fine. My suggestion is, if guests want to talk to you for an extended period of time, have them follow you back in to the reception room and talk to you there. Hopefully your DJ isn’t playing the music so loud you’ll need a wedding insurance policy to cover eardrum repair. This way, your guests can see you haven’t left for your honeymoon and that you’re dying to go dance.

4. The cake cutting.
Some coordinators or DJ’s will schedule the cake cutting for late in the evening. This is fine if you’re having a mellow event with no dancing. If not, there are two problems with this. First, a lot of guests will already be gone so they don’t get a slice, leaving a lot of left over cake. Second, late in the night is when the dancing is usually going strong. You have to kill the music and turn up the lights, thereby killing the atmosphere. I suggest cutting the cake right after dinner. Don’t worry. People don’t leave because of the cake cutting. They leave because of were the cake cutting is scheduled. Also, who says, “Man, I can’t wait for that awesome cake cutting ceremony!”

5. There’s nothing going on during dinner.
If your friends and family are up and moving around, engaged in lively conversation, and having a blast during the meal, you should be fine. If not, your energy in the room is at a 2 and then when it’s time for level 10 fun, they can’t make that jump. Wedding insurance coverage won’t help you here. You’ll need to do something fun and engaging to get the buzz going in the rooms when dancing starts, they are ready to rock. Ask your DJ for some non-cheesy things to do or go to Wedding  Songs Timeline Planner for some great ideas.

6. The dance floor isn’t centralized.
Some locations will have the dance floor on one end of the room and all the tables filling up the rest of the space. When the guests at the tables that are furthest away from the dance floor hear a song they like, they may stay seated because of how far away they are. They also might miss some events being so far away. If you have 100 people or less you should be fine. If you have 150 or more, try to centralize the dance floor.

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7. The dinner is served in one room, and the dancing is in another.
Really? Yes, some locations are set up like this. This causes the same issues as not having the bar in the same room. Plus, a lot of guests stay at their tables and if the rest of the party heads to the dance floor area, they are left out. There’s so many things wrong with this set up, avoid it at all costs.

8. The lights don’t get dimmed for dancing.
This is a small, but important factor. Sometimes people are shy and don’t want to dance if it’s too bright. This is easily remedied by asking the catering manager to dim the lights before dancing starts. Just make sure the lights aren’t so low that you’ll need wedding insurance coverage for when someone trips and hurts them self.

9. The entertainment is either bad or nonexistent.
Great music does not make your wedding fun. It’s the atmosphere leading up to the dancing. It’s important to hire a DJ or band that knows this! Don’t sacrifice on your wedding entertainment or you will be very sorry you did.

10. Wrong musical selection.
Playing the perfect music won’t have a big impact on the success of your wedding. You heard right. You can play just about anything if you follow the advice in this article. I’m referring to the wrong music in two ways. First, you play boring songs during dinner. Nobody wants to listen to two hours of classical, smooth jazz, or love songs. Make your music lively and fun and your party will follow. Second, make sure your DJ or band will play to the crowd. You don’t want 45 minutes of hardcore rap if no one is dancing to it.

Remember I’ve done weddings where people have said that it was the best wedding they’ve ever been to—and there was no dancing. Don’t focus on the dance floor. Direct your attention on getting your guests involved in fun and unique ways, and your wedding will be awesome. And remember, if these things mess up your reception, if you buy wedding insurance, it won’t kick in to allow you a new party.


Anonymous said...

Any suggestions if there will not be any dancing to keep people entertained?

Anonymous said...

If you have different generations of people (say grandparents in their 80's and your college buddies), you can do what my cousin did. Following the ceremony, there was a lovely dinner, cake cutting, some slideshows and embarassing videos of the bride and groom when they were younger, and plenty of time to socialize. After a couple of hours, they announced that those who wanted to do more hard-core partying were invited to join them at another location, while those who had had enough were free to go home.

Bonita said...

With no dancing, it is best to get people involved some other way. For instance, during dinner, when people tap their glasses to make the bride and groom kiss, make other married couples stand and kiss, too! Give away the centerpiece in a fun and interactive way. Keep the 1st 4-8 people that RSVP'd and have them stand up. Ask the crowd why they are important to the wedding day? Reveal that they were the very 1st to RSVP! More ideas can be found at Fun Wedding Ideas!.

Wedding Insurance said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Am I the only one that sees a problem here? 8 of the 10 reception wreckers involve getting people dancing, yet the writer says at the end "don't focus on the dance floor, some of the best receptions didn't even have dancing." Then why don't you offer some tips for making a daytime reception (where there may not be dancing) fun, rather than focus your whole post on making sure you get as many people as you can possibly fit on the dance floor?

On another note, who wants somebody that can be described as an "obnoxious drunk" at their reception, running around embarrassing themselves and the bride and groom in front of their older family members that have chosen to stay? I have friends that aren't the loud and partying types - does that mean they're not fun? That seems to be where #1 is going. My friends that don't drink suck, according to this post. It's a wedding reception, not a frat party or a night club.

Bonita said...

Hey Anonymous,
I think you need to reread the article! 6, 7, and 8 are the only ones that strictly refer to the "dancing" aspect, therefore, 7 out of 10 have nothing to do with dancing.

#1 refers to obnoxious drunks in a funny way--do you really think I'm wishing that on anyone's wedding? It's more about keeping guests together, mainly so they don't miss events.

Finally, I offered a link to a great (and cheap) downloadable planning tool that has those fun ideas! You can even get it at a discount if you follow this link:

Again, REREAD this article...and maybe rethink what you're saying. Smiles!

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