A wedding is commonly considered a reunion opportunity for clan members and old friends. Because of this, the sight of newlyweds going through the cake and wine ceremonies with nobody but the photo/video crew paying attention, while unfortunate, is nonetheless common.
How do you engage your guests in your reception program? The key is to be creative and to try new things.
Here’s a sample traditional reception program sequence:
1. Couple welcomes guests into the reception hall
2. The entrance of the primary sponsors, the secondary sponsors and the parents, is announced.
3. The couple’s entrance is announced.
4. Food is served. The bride and groom go around and have their photo taken with the guests of each table (or the guests have their photo taken on the couple’s table) .
5. The best man and the maid/matron of honor offer a wedding toast.
6. The parents of the bride & groom give short speeches.
7. The couple cuts their wedding cake and drinks champagne/wine.
8. The couple releases the wedding doves (it depends on your reception venue, if possible, some couples releases their doves after the wedding ceremony).
9. The single ladies pull the cake charms/favors (single ladies game)
10. The bride tosses her bouquets to the single ladies.
11. The groom removes the garter from his bride and tosses it to the bachelors (or any reception game for all the bachelors)
12. The bachelor who catches the garter places it on the leg of the lady who catches the bouquet. Alternatively, the pair gets to dance together after the newlywed couple.
13. The couple gives a thank you speech.
14. The couple has their first dance. The parents and the guests follow.
See where you can inject special features, such as surprise numbers, AVP presentation or a tribute to your parents. To get your guests really involved, you may even have one or two games. Just make sure that there are not too many items in the program; consider the attention span of your guests and the ideal program length (an hour at most, perhaps)
Our AVP presentation picture:
Surprise number from Noel’s sister:
Noel was very emotional hehehe
Me too :) (we’re very surprised with that number, special thanks to my sister in law, Ate Ives)
You may also opt to go non traditional parts of the program, such as the doves and the bouquet and garter tossing.
One of the important aspects of the reception program is the music, so make sure that you can get a good band or mobile system that will give you great value for your money. It is common among Filipinos to have several friends and relatives volunteering to render a song during the reception, but you must not feel obliged to accommodate everybody. To avoid uneasy situations that many couples have already experienced, assigned somebody to make sure that “surprise numbers” do not include songs that are inappropriate for the occasion. Also, double check your venue’s sound equipment and request to have extra microphones as well as stand by equipment pieces as a contingency measure.
Lastly, make sure that you get a really good master of ceremonies. Anexperienced professional is great if you want a smooth-flowing program, because he or she will know just what to do to keep the crowd engaged. A professional is also experienced in avoiding or handling uncomfortable gaps. However, also consider getting someone close to you and/or your groom and familiar with the other people at the wedding. Not only will it save you some costs, it can also ensure that a personal approach will be taken. A friend or relative with a really good hosting sense will not have to rely only on the script when introducing people and running the program flow.
Our emcee, Marjorie “Marj” Dizon. We love her!
Hope this helps! Happy preps everyone