Keeping Guests Involved is Key
Getting your guests involved and engaged is the number one reason behind the success or failure of many wedding receptions.  Every time I perform at a wedding reception I see first-hand why keeping guests involved is so important.  This is why some receptions end early, while others keep going to the very last song.  The best way to keep your guests involved is to include a variety of activities during the entire length of your reception.  These activities include traditional and non-traditional activities that engage all your guests.  The right amount of these activities will ensure everyone has a great time at your wedding reception.

Traditional Wedding Reception Activities
The traditional wedding reception activities include the grand entrance, first dance, parents dance, cake cutting, bouquet and garter toss. Other traditions may include the toast, blessing of the meal and money dance.  The traditional activities are what make up the main portion of the activities of the typical reception.  Everyone is familiar with these activities and knows generally what to expect.  Today many couples are opting to get creative with these traditional activities.  With the help of your wedding DJ you can find innovative ways to put a new spin on traditional activities.  An experienced wedding DJ should be able to explain all the traditional reception activities and the history behind them.  Your DJ should also be able to tell you the typical order for these activities and why the placement is important.  Although every wedding reception is unique there are some commonalities that all receptions share.

Non-Traditional Wedding Reception Activities
The non-traditional activities are all the other activities that happen during your wedding reception.  These activities may include things like contests, games, group photos, interactive dances and guest participation. These other activities serve many important purposes during your wedding reception.  The most important purpose is to keep your guests engaged from the beginning to the end of your wedding reception.  The second purpose that experienced DJs use to get the dance floor filled for open dancing. A good DJ will start open dancing by conducting some sort of activity that will get your guests onto the dance floor.  The third purpose for other activities is to get everyone to participate and build energy.  And, nothing builds more energy than an activity where all your guests participate.

Too Much of a Good Thing
There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.  Although wedding reception activities are important, too many activities can have negative impacts.  Most everyone has attended a wedding reception where everything seemed rushed and or chaotic.  Or, how about the wedding reception where there was almost no time left for dancing.  The culprit of these problems was likely too many activities in the time allotted for the reception. This is a common issue for shorter wedding receptions that are four hours or less.  Between the cocktail hour and the meal there is really only a short time left to include all the traditional activities of a typical reception.

Cheesy Vs. Classy Activities
The majority of brides have concerns about having cheesy games at their wedding reception.  As an experienced professional I can tell you without a doubt… “If you don’t want cheesy games, don’t hire a cheesy DJ”.  This makes the biggest difference whether activities are perceived as cheesy or classy.  There are of course some activities that most would agree are just plain cheesy. These may include the Hokey Pokey, Chicken Dance and the Macarena to name a few.  But just like anything else, it all comes down to what the bride and groom wants.  Some couples love all the cheesy stuff and it fits perfectly with their personalities.  The bottom line is you should have full control over all the activities at your wedding reception.  Make sure you clarify this with the wedding DJ before you sign a contract and make a deposit.

Conservative Does Not Mean Boring
Just because the majority of guests will be conservative doesn’t mean that the wedding reception has to be boring.  Most of the weddings I have performed have been for conservative Orange County brides.  The difference between the boring receptions and the exciting receptions was the interactive activities.  Professional wedding DJs have a large repertoire of traditional and non-traditional activities that they can recommend to you.  These recommendations are tried and true activities that will be highly successful at your reception.  Trust your DJ as he or she has the experience and knowledge to choose the right activities for your wedding reception.