Over the past 25 years, we have worked with thousands of amazing couples across the world. Recently we have seen many couples spend a lot of time, money and energy trying to figure out what to do. Across the world we have seen Indian wedding receptions online and in person that might've really benefited from this blog. Although we can't help them, we would like to help you in your planning process. We have some great tips that will make everything smoother and better.
When making this blog we kept our couples in mind. Half of the Indian weddings we DJ are with both the bride and groom being of South Asian descent (Hindu, Christian or Muslim). The other half of the weddings we do are mixed or fusion weddings where one person is from South Asian descent and the other is not (White, Black, Hispanic or Asian).
The reception is one of the most fun parts of the entire weekend. Couples look forward to this event the most. They finally get to let loose and party with friends and family.
8 Tips for Indian Wedding Reception Program Notes:
- We have seen how couples, their families and guests react to the flow of events
- The program needs to reflect your tastes and style
- This should help you figure out what you want and need.
8 Tips for Indian Wedding Reception Program are ranked in terms of importance
The entrances not only kick off the night but also have a huge impact of the overall vibe and feel of the reception. All the entrances need to be fun, energetic and quick. Everyone needs to be smiling and having a good time while making their entrances. The music has to be right. If you need help with suggestions, check out our blog. Think about who will come in and what the order should be. If you want a free guide on the right flow of events, fill out the form on this site and we will send it to you. It may seem obvious, but the couple should be the last entrance.
2) The First Dance
After the entrances, do your first dance. Everyone is very excited to see you and this is the perfect moment to have your first dance. Here are some suggestions for first dance songs. No one dances to the entire song anymore. 90 seconds should be your minimum amount of time dancing. The photographers and videographers need the time to capture this moment. If you really like to dance and want to have a performance, think about having your DJ make you a custom edit with 2 songs. We have done this for our couples. Its either one American and one Indian song or one love song mixed with a fun song to end the dance. You can also add special effects to your first dance to make it epic. We have done Fireworks, Dancing on a Cloud, Fresh Rose Petals and Confetti. We are proud to be one of the best special effects companies for Indian Weddings in America. Here are some suggestions for first dance songs.
This is a tough one for many couples. You have to decide how many speeches you want to have, who will speak and how long are they allowed to speak for. Pick the minimum number of speeches you can. If you can get by with two speeches, do that. People get bored hearing the same thing over and over again. Most people will have four speeches. Some will push it to 6. If you have more than 6 speeches at your reception, change the name of it to an award show. This way people know what to expect. When it comes to who will speak, have an equal representation from both sides. If you have 4 speeches, each side should get 2. There are 3 types of people that usually speak at receptions: parents, siblings and friends. Try to pick the same categories on each side if it makes sense. If someone hates public speaking, don't force them. Have someone else do it. How long do you want them to speak? This is also broken up to three different types of people. The first being quick and easy. Usually not personal but more for checking the box. The second is sentimental or funny. Usually the best speeches at weddings. The ones that hurt the vibe of the reception the most are the long ones. The father of the groom that goes on for 10 minutes about random things, the brides bff who is talking about every inside joke they have and the grooms friend who is so drunk that he is slurring or cursing on the microphone. Try to space these speeches out if you can between other things you may have planned. If you want a free guide on the right flow of events, fill out the form on this site and we will send it to you.
The best way to breakup speeches is with good performances and fun games. Notice we said "good" and "fun". Seeing your 6 year old cousin doing the same steps for a 5 minute song is not good. If you have friends and family that are talented dancers, singers, musicians, etc. Please include them in your program. It will not only breakup the back to back speeches, but it will also keep everyone entertained and awake. The overall vibe of the evening should stay maintained. If you want a reception thats fun, make sure you don't have slow songs or long performances. Some couples even hire professional dancers for their wedding, check out our favorite one here. You can also do a father/daughter dance, mother/son dance or play a same day edit from the videographers. Good games ran by your MC can be a lot of fun. Don't have your family members do it. Read more about why its a bad idea here. The two most popular games are the shoe game with the couple and scavenger hunt with the guests. Buy some Amazon or Starbucks gift cards for the winners. These links will let you personalize it with your names, picture or monogram. If you need a DJ for your wedding that knows great music and will take care of you, contact us here.
5) Cake Cutting
25 years ago, when we first started djing weddings, most cakes were real. This meant as soon as you entered the ballroom you needed to get the cake cut so the venue staff had enough time to get it cut and served for dessert. Most couples now use a faux cake that looks amazing and has one real layer or part for them to cut. These couples end up getting a fantastic dessert bar or dessert station that their guests love and talk about. Check out the only dessert bar company we see doing quality events and always has consistently great tasting sweets. You need to come up with a song for this. We tell our couples to pick one of the songs they were considering for their first dance, but didn't end up using. Here are some suggestions for cake cutting songs.
6) Thank you
Some couples forget to do this and feel bad about it later. Think about family members and friends who really stepped up and helped from the proposal all the way till the reception. Maybe someone traveled from really far away that you want to highlight. Don't forget to make half the speech about your significant other. They are the reason you are there. If any vendor has gone above and beyond for you, let them know in this speech. If you want a free guide on the right flow of events, fill out the form on this site and we will send it to you. This doesn't have to be long. You can make it short but make impactful. You are standing in the way of dinner and people love to eat. Keep that in mind. When planning your program, keep it between 45-60 minutes. Anything over an hour, is a meeting not a wedding. If you want a free guide on the right flow of events, fill out the form on this site and we will send it to you.
Some weddings have plated dinners which makes the logistics a lot easier for the guests but is usually more expensive and not Indian. Most weddings have buffets. You can either let everyone go all at once (only good for smaller weddings) or call people by table numbers. The number of tables you release is based on how many buffet stations you have and if they are single sided or double. For larger weddings we have seen 2-3 stations setup with double sided buffets. You can release 5 to 10 tables at a time. Think about people that you want to eat first. Usually its immediate family members, bridesmaids and groomsmen. Followed by close friends and then the rest of the guests. At this time the bars are open which means the other tables have something to do. Some guests don't care and go get food whenever they want. I know it sounds weird but it happens all the time. You will have lots of people come up to you and want to talk or take a picture of you during this time. This is also a time for all your friends and family to meet people and talk. If you can, eat your meal during cocktail hour. You will thank us for this tip. If you can't, then do it while people are entering the ballroom and you are waiting for everyone to settle down before your entrance. If that doesn't work either, carve out time during the dinner time to eat. Its best to wait 20-30 minutes and then eat so many people have food and less people will come up to you. Plan on dinner taking a hour. It may be a little bit more or less, but its a good estimate.
Do not start the dancing until most people have eaten. If you start dancing early, you will have all the older people in the room asking you to turn down the music because its too loud. Dance music at low volumes is fine for your car or home. At a reception its going to be much louder than background dinner music level. Dancing is planned at receptions from 1-3 hours. Most events will have 2 hours of dancing. Think about what music makes most of your guests dance. Play mostly that style of music at the beginning of the open dance floor. Save the second half of music for the people that will stay and party with you till the end. Is that friends, coworkers, cousins or family members? This will be the highlight of the weekend and what these people will talk about for years. Let your DJ know what you want the vibe to be and make sure he understands you. Don't settle for a cookie cutter DJ that won't take care of you. Make sure you ask your DJ these questions before booking. This is how our events look..
A wedding is the happiest moment in your life and you should vendors that you love. Over our 25 years of bringing joy to thousands of couples, the DJ Riz Entertainment team has been a part of thousands of couples dream wedding weekends. Given these points, if you would like to talk about music and lighting for your wedding contact us here.