Planning is the key to a successful event.
Just like no two people are alike, no two receptions are alike. They are a unique combination of the tastes of the bride and groom, the nature of the audience, the capabilities of the reception facility, and the dynamics of the moment. Underlying all these unique elements are a common set of principles. The goal of planning is to apply them correctly to your particular event.
Audiences get bored easily.
Plan your timeline so the audience always has something to do, including during the times when you are occupied with other events (such as pictures). Plan your meal activities so the audience won't spend most of their time waiting in line for their food.
Everyone wants to enjoy themselves.
Everybody just wants to have a good time - but everyone has their own idea of what they consider to be a "good time".
For some it's dancing, and for others it's visiting with relatives and friends they haven't seen for a while. Provide an environment where everyone can enjoy themselves - louder music on the dance floor for the dancers, and quieter areas where the audience can sit and visit.
Everyone has their own preferences.
Each of us has our own preferences and tastes. Some aspects of the reception are all about the preferences and tastes of the bride and groom (such as the type of decorations, the music selections for the spotlight dances, and the choice of activites that will be done at the reception).
Some aspects of the reception are all about the preferences and tastes of the audience (such as the choice of music for the dance). A successful reception respects and combines everyone's preferences so that everyone has a good time.
Don't let the audience get too hungry.
Most folks are used to having meals at the same time, and if they have to wait too long past their normal mealtime, they're likely to get grumpy. Grumpy audiences tend to drink more, and are more likely to leave shortly after the meal is over.
Empty stomachs and alcohol don't mix well.
Drinking on an empty stomach tends to exagerate the effects of the alcohol. If the audience will be drinking for a while before eating you should consider providing snack foods.
Nobody likes to be interrupted - so plan your reception so those activities that need the audience's attention are grouped together so you only need to interrupt them once to gain their attention.
Plan the photographic activities earlier in the evening.
Plan the photographic activities for earlier in the evening when you will be looking your best. This usually works best for the photographer's schedule as well.
Let folks know what to expect.
Your activities will flow smoother when everyone knows what to expect. Examples of this include:
Keeping everyone informed is primarily a responsibility of the Master of Ceremonies, but they can only meet that responsibility when they have a complete plan to work from.
There are many activities that you might want to consider for your reception. Some of them are easy to incorporate, and some require advance preparation in order to be successful. Be aware that different areas of the country have different traditions. Here is a partial list of the activities that are popular in the Wichita area:
The reception planning process starts early. Here is an outline of the basic steps in planning for the reception.
How soon do I need to reserve SignatureDJ for my reception?
Typically our services are reserved 6 to 9 months in advance. That being said, our availability depends mostly on the date that you've selected (the most popular dates are booked 12 - 15 months in advance, other dates are booked weeks in advance).
Since SignatureDJ only has one mobile rig (in addition to the Petroleum Club equipment), there are a limited number of receptions that we can schedule.
How do you help me plan my reception?
The planning is done early in the process - anywhere from 3 to 9 months prior to your reception date. Kathy Latham does the planning meetings for the Petroleum Club events, and Mark does the planning meetings for all the other events. During the planning meeting we'll work with you to determine the activites that you would like to have, develop a timeline for your reception, and capture the details needed. At the conclusion of the planning meeting you will have a documented plan for your reception - a plan that you can share with the other wedding vendors that you will work with (the caterer, photographer, banquet manager, etc).
What are the "spotlight" dances?
The "spotlight" dances are the special wedding dances. Typically there are three dances. The 1st is the Bride and Groom dance, the 2nd is the Father/Daughter dance, and the 3rd is the Mother/Groom dance. The bride and groom are responsible for selecting the songs for the spotlight dances. There are many DJ websites that offer suggestions of songs for the spotlight dances. One of the sites that tracks the most popular songs nationally is DiscJockeys.com. For a list of songs that we have played recently in the Wichita area, see the Songs link at the top of the page (in the Navigation bar).
How do I book SignatureDJ?
In order to reserve the date for your event, we require a non-refundable deposit of $500. See Pricing Information for information on the cost of our services.