In the planning process I think its really vital to consider and ensure the speaking parts flow on your wedding day. The reception is the opportunity for key people to say a few words and it is also important to inject an element of fun into the proceedings and get the guests interacting at their tables. Let me paint a picture of the flow of a standard reception for you.
All the guests are encouraged to take a seat at their tables. Your MC will announce the couple and address the crowd with a welcome. The MC will then map out to guests what will be happening during the course of the evening and any instructions from the venue.
The reception and the wait time between courses is a great opportunity to enable interaction at the tables. Generally, when I’m the MCing, I will introduce two aspects to the table to assist with table engagement; firstly a table dare, and secondly a piece of paper that asks for some fun facts about the bride and groom. The purpose of these is to get guests to communicate with their table and engage in discussion. Examples of table dares are; guests at a particular table do a surprise Mexican wave at some part during the evening, or perhaps a standing ovation for the father of the bride when he gets up to speak, or a conga line! The options are endless. The fun facts can be shared by the guests, perhaps between the speeches or they could be included in the intros of the guest speakers. You can add some humour and some snippets of information about the couple which responds well with the crowd, including memories, thoughts and fun times, the things guests know and love about the couple.
Another key suggestion is to break up the speeches. Once the guests are seated and watered, start off with a couple of speeches before the mains are served and then have the rest of the speeches after the mains. This means that the guests are not having to sit and listen for extended periods of time and assists with the flow of the evening.
Once dessert is out of the way, traditionally a cake cutting would happen, then this leads on to the first dance – finally it’s time to party the night away and celebrate.
Lastly, I encourage all couples to consider hiring a professional for this role to so that this responsibility does not have to be imparted to a family member or guest so that they may enjoy their evening from start to finish. Let an expert guide the evening.