A wedding reception is NOT just a food function. If that were the case, it would be set up like a restaurant with private booths and separate dining rooms. The reason for the openness of the floor plan is to offer inclusiveness to all guests. The entertainment is not always a background role, but a focal point to bring the family together so as to celebrate as one.
Remember that the entertainment not only plays music but will act as your Master of Ceremonies. This means they do not just utilize their set up space, but they also use the dance floor/pathway as their stage for making announcements and creating a flow. Here are some tips and sample setup photos for your convenience:
1.) SPACE REQUIREMENTS – This is a very important detail that is overlooked and quite often misunderstood. Today’s DJs & bands are very diverse and each one entertains uniquely. Equipment is also a huge factor and no two companies have the same setups. Sound systems, lighting trusses, stages, and overall booth designs are night and day from one another. Ask your entertainment how much space they will need and have them coordinate this with the venue before you complete your timeline.
2.) PLACEMENT – Keep the entertainment’s setup as close to the dance floor as possible. Not only is the flow easier for the announcements, but the volume will be significantly lower as they won’t have to project sound further away. Keep them centralized with no tables in the real estate between their setup area and the dance floor. Putting them in the corner, blocked from the dance floor, or even in another room can limit their ability to perform efficiently and effectively.
2.) FLOW – From the MC’s welcoming announcement to the evening’s finale, the flow is extremely important. Try keeping each event at the wedding carefully coordinated so people aren’t moving around so much. For example: If you are having guests eat dinner in one room and dance in another, it might be a good idea to couple some of the formalities for a smooth transition. Have your grand entrance, welcome remarks, blessing, toasts, and cake cutting in the room where the dinner will be, then move people into the dancing area for your first dance, parents dances, games, and formal dancing. One movement for the guests without going back and forth (especially for the disabled).
3.) SEATING MISTAKES – It is inevitable that the entertainment is going to have a couple of guests tables that are close to them and their sound system. Avoid putting grandparents or older folks at those tables as they may complain about the volume. Put younger guests or children at these tables and the family and grandparents further away.
Thanks for reading and please don’t forget to visit my website and Facebook page. We specialize in wedding entertainment and look forward to the opportunity of making YOUR special day a great success!
Jake Ritchie, owner & operator of Dream Day Djs