Things That Can Go Wrong at Your Wedding Reception

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Things That Can Go Wrong at Your Wedding Reception

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When planning a wedding reception, it can help to think ahead and anticipate possible problems that could occur. A wedding reception is a special event that requires careful planning and special skills. Here are some common wedding reception problems to avoid.

  1. The Videographer and Photographer Miss Your First Dance.

At a recent wedding, the DJ put on the music for the First Dance at the appropriate time, but he failed to make any announcement at all! The dance floor was filled with people sipping drinks and talking loudly; consequently, the bride and groom couldn’t do the entrance routine they had practiced so hard. The photographers weren’t ready and missed the first part of the dance and so did many of the guests!

What can you do?

Go over the announcement that your DJ will make for your First Dance and make it clear you’d like the DJ to get everyone seated before the First Dance. Make sure the DJ understands he is to make a formal announcement. When interviewing the DJs ask them to demonstrate how they would introduce the First Dance. Some couples like to have the DJ start the music first because they are shy about dancing and don’t want to have to dance through the entire song. That’s OK. But be sure to ask your DJ to prepare the guests for this special event.

  1. Guests Are Too Shy to Dance.

Everyone sits while the dance music plays. This can happen if the DJ just plays music and doesn’t have a plan for engaging your guests with a dance game or dance lesson. It can also happen if the playlist is too exact. Although a set prepared playlist helps to keep music flowing from song to song, a good DJ will be able to switch to different tunes if not many people are dancing.

What can you do?

When interviewing DJs, ask them, “Suppose few people get up to dance — how do you handle that?”

  1. Things Get Out of Control.

Music is played that you really don’t like! Your reception feels like a nightclub instead of an elegant wedding reception. At dance parties’ people are used to going up to the DJ and making requests, and DJs are trained to do their best to please. But this can backfire at a wedding reception where you want a certain mood and theme.

What can you can do?

Consider asking your DJ not to take requests. This will make it easy for the DJ to handle requests for music that may be inappropriate for your reception. He or she can simply say, “I’m sorry, but the bride has given me a playlist of her favorite music and I don’t really have time for requests now. If you have a particular type of music you want to hear, I can check the bride’s playlist and see if we have that.” You may want to suggest this wording to the DJ, so that guests will understand and not feel bad about having their request turned down. In any case, be sure to discuss requests with your DJ and whether or not you want your DJ to take them. Another approach is to give your DJ a “do not play list.” You could then ask your DJ to check that list before fulfilling any requests.

  1. Music Suddenly Stops or an Annoying Hum Ruins the Music.

The DJ may have an electrical power issue and his equipment may keep shutting down. Imagine this! You are having fun dancing and then the music just stops. It happens repeatedly and it is very embarrassing. This is usually due to a limitation of the electrical power facilities provided by the location.

What can you do?

When booking your reception hall and wedding ceremony location, ask whether the power outlets are suitable for DJ service. Hum. Florescent lights, certain dimmers, radio transmitters and similar devices can cause electrical pollution resulting in an annoying hum. Ask your DJ if she or he has an RFI/EMI interference filter. This device can prevent such problems.

  1. The DJ Can’t Be Heard.

He makes announcements that dinner is served. However, tables in the back and the adjoining outdoor area can’t hear him. Dinner for them is delayed and your reception schedule is thrown off. Vendors are confused. Many guests miss your First Dance because they couldn’t hear the announcements.

What can you do?

Ask your DJ to arrive early and do sound checks to ensure that his system will carry the music and announcements into every corner of the reception hall so there are no dead spots. Give your DJ a map of the reception hall and indicate where guests will be located. Discuss whether the DJs sound system is suitable. Discuss whether extra speakers need to be setup. Specifically ask the DJ to do a sound check at all key locations.

  1. Your DJ Doesn’t Show Up.

Your fiancé scrambles on the phone trying to find someone but all he gets is voice mail and then finally the best man offers to bring in his home stereo system. The music for the reception is delayed by 2 hours, but at last now you will have some music. You are relieved. But the home stereo system doesn’t cut it in a reception hall with 100 people. You can barely hear it. Your wedding reception goes well otherwise — the flowers are beautiful, and the food is great, but you are so disappointed — no announcements, no toasts, and no music.

What can you do?

Ask your DJ specifically what he will do if he is sick or for some reason cannot make it to the reception. Hire a DJ that has a good answer to this question and make a list of backups for all your wedding vendors, just in case.

  1. Equipment Failure.

Your DJ uses a computer system to help him play the music at your reception. While he is setting up his equipment, he notices a clicking sound from his laptop computer when he turns it on. Then the message appears, “fatal error cannot boot from hard drive. “I’m so sorry,” he tells you, “my computer just crashed. There’s nothing I can do.”

What can you do?

Ask your DJ what backup systems he has in case there is a problem with his equipment. Pick a DJ who gives the best answer to this question.

Your wedding reception is a big part of your special day. There are many things that could go wrong. However, with a little proactive planning you can ensure that things go smoothly.

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