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Wedding Formalities- Terrific or Tired?

Just read this and it got me thinking.

I loved the article not because I necessarily I agree with all of them, but because it reminds us that there should be a conversation with EVERY wedding couple and their Planner/DJ to discuss formalities and how they might fit into the timeline (or not!)

As your wedding DJ & MC our job (along with a good planner) is to help guide you in crafting a reception that feels personal and is reflective of your style and personality.  Too many times I think clients end up doing a formality (or skipping one) because they feel social pressure or too much advice from family or friends that have recently been married.

There is a time and place for most of these formalities and keep in mind that many of them are more/less relevant depending on the part of the country you live.  Here in Los Angeles many clients prefer to have a more laid back affair with less formalities, but if they have a lot of wedding guests coming in from the East Coast or Midwest then they might expect more interaction, games etc…
Our slogan has always been “DJs that please without the cheese” but does that mean we will NEVER be cheesy?  Of course not!
Sometimes a little cheese in the right spot can make the party but it’s all about customizing our performance & style to suit your taste.

I wanted to share this article just to get your mind thinking about what general atmosphere you wish to create for your guests on your wedding day.

It’s 100% your day, but you are also hosting a party and so considering which activities will make your guests uncomfortable or feel there is a disconnect between who YOU are and what’s happening in the room should be avoided, while the right activity can be fun, a great photo op and and bring all your guests together.

As an example. let me give 2 viewpoints on a couple formalities for you to consider. (Both sides are valid, so think about which apply to your style and personality)

The Money Dance-

Viewpoint #1-  It’s in poor taste to ask your guests for cash after they’ve already invested time & money to dress up, travel & bring a wedding gift.
Why I hate it as a DJ-  It can really kill the energy in a room and sometimes make guests feel awkward/uncomfortable as not many people carry cash anymore.

Lastly, it can look a little tacky if you don’t have a classy way to collect the cash.

Viewpoint #2-  It’s a tradition and allows loved ones to help contribute to your new life together.

Plus, are you paying for the wedding yourself and buying everyone dinner?  YEP!

Why I LOVE it as a DJ-   If you have a large guest count, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to visit every table and greet every guest so it gives everyone a chance to connect with you.

Often I’ll rename this the “Bride & Groom/Guest” dance to remove “Money” from the title and explain that it’s an opportunity for any guest that wants to have a personal moment with you to come up and do so.   Also, if it’s a long reception (more than 4 hours) or the guests aren’t in a dancing mood then it can be a great time filler while guests are resting and getting ready for the next dance set.

If you choose to do the money dance, perhaps using a nice silk bag (Yes the make these specifically for this function) instead of the bride looking like a stripper!


Viewpoint #1-
You’ve paid a lot for that beautiful pile of sugar…so you should show it off!
Plus, cake cutting is a way to demonstrate your synergy as a couple working on your first common goal as married couple.  We’ve surprisingly had guests complain when (per the couple’s request) we didn’t announce the cake cutting. It’s a very popular photo op for your friends & family.

Viewpoint #2-  
If not timed properly, making the DJ kill the dance floor and room energy to force guests over to watch you cut the cake can be annoying if they are more focused on the bar, photo booth & dancing. If not rehearsed (or have your planner/photographer guide you) then it can appear very awkward.

HOT TIP- Unless you’ve already discussed it, smashing cake in your new husband/wife’s face could backfire and not be the spontaneous moment you imagined.

Lastly, here’s another Formalities NOT listed in the article:


Honestly, I don’t have an opposing viewpoint to this formality.
It’s a nice moment but I do have a few general tips:

-When picking a song have your DJ guide you (or double check song lyrics) to make sure the words are appropriate for a parent and child dancing together.

-Discuss in advance how long you and your parent want to be dancing to make sure you are on the same page. 1:30-2 minute is ideal. Anything longer and as sweet of a moment as it is, your guests may start to get bored. (Just being honest)

– Per the past tip, many couples are now doing both parent dances SIMALTANOULSY to 1 song. This still showcases everyone but it’s shorter and less of an assembly line if you go from First Dance to Father/Daughter (or similar) & Mother/Son (or similar) back to back.

See more wedding tips to insure an AMAZING Wedding Reception here: