Bruce Fagan Music
215-540-0540 • Fax: 215-643-3174 • PO Box 848, Fort Washington, PA 19034

A Guide to Help Make Your Wedding Day Run Smoothly

There is so much stress involved in planning a wedding that when the day finally arrives, many a bride and groom are too tense to enjoy their magical moment.  Hopefully, we will help relieve some of the stresses involved with these helpful ideas.

By the way, we love feedback.  If you have some tips of your own or have questions about any aspect of running a reception, please e-mail here and we'll get right back to you with a response. And don't forget to ask about "Stressbusters".

You've completed all the arrangements for your wedding day.  You've picked the hall, selected your wedding gown and hired your professionals:  band, caterer, photographer and videographer. Your invitations are finally in the mail and now it's time to sit back and just let things happen.  Right? Maybe not!

How will the events of the day come together so everything runs smoothly?  Are all the professionals working together with your best interests in mind?

• Your caterer wants to provide a splendid meal, served at the appropriate time, in a relaxed, unhurried manner.

• Your bandleader wants to involve all your guests in exciting and meaningful entertainment for the entire time for which they've been hired.

• Your photographer wants to get as many photographs as possible depicting you and your guests having a great time.

• Your videographer wants to capture all your guests, both on and off the dance floor, having a joyous time at your wedding.

Communication prior to the wedding day is important to make sure you will not be disappointed.  After all, you are the boss.  You are paying the bills and making the decisions.  Your input should be taken seriously.  You should want the wedding professionals you hire to make suggestions based on their experience. but they should be willing to work along with your wishes.  Remember it is your wedding!

Here are some proven methods to ensure a successful wedding reception:

Cocktail Hour: The mood is set with instrumental music.  From smooth jazz to current tunes, the music helps get your guests in gear for the party ahead.

Dinner/Dance: Your Band or Deejay sets the tone as your guests move from the cocktail area to the banquet room.  Once your guests are at their tables we usually begin with introductions.

Introductions: Choose from a variety of ways to enter the room:
• Bride & Groom only.
• Parents, Bride & Groom
• Parents, Grandparents, Bride & Groom
• Parents, Grandparents, Bridal Party, Bride & Groom
You could probably think of a few more variations.

Bridal Party: When we introduce the Bridal Party, we usually use the following order:
* Bride's Parents
(the groom's parents may enter first if they are paying for the reception)
* Groom's Parents
* Grandparents
* Junior Bridesmaids & Groomsmen
* Bridesmaids & Groomsmen
* Maid or Matron of Honor & Best Man
* Bride & Groom

First Dance: The bride & groom typically come into the room and go right into the middle of the dance floor for their First Dance.  This serves to immediately bring the crowd together and open the dance floor.  The bride & groom  dance alone and then are joined after a couple of minutes by their parents and the Bridal Party.

Dance Floor is now open. Guests are encouraged to join the bride & groom.  Depending on timing, there may be one more short dance before the guests are seated.

Blessing/Grace: Your guests are seated for the blessing/grace before the meal, usually an honor given to a family elder or religious leader if present.

Toast: The Best Man is usually called upon for the toast. He may be followed by the Maid/Matron of Honor and/or parents of the bride & groom. IF wine or champagne to be served during dinner, the toast may be held until all the guests have had their glasses filled.

Dinner is Served. Whether dinner is served in courses or as a buffet, the flow of the party continues:

• Courses: The band performs listening music at a volume level conducive to conversation at the tables.  Dancing continues between the courses and helps keep your guests from becoming lethargic.

• Buffet: Listening music continues throughout the meal at an appropriate volume level for conversation.  Usually dancing begins as soon as the guests at the bridal table have finished eating their entrée or after their dessert.

Cake Cutting: We like to have the cake cutting as soon as the bride and groom have finished their entrée.  This way your caterer has plenty of time to cut and serve it for dessert or to have it inserted in bags for your guests to take home with them.  Remember to be kind if you feed each other a piece of wedding cake.  It may seem like fun to "smush" it in your partner's face, but there are lots of brides and grooms who will tell you otherwise.

Additional Presnetations/Speeches/Toats: While you have your guests' attention this is a good time to for them.

Bride & Father Dance: Here again, you have choices:
• Bride & Father Song Followed by Groom & Mother Song
• Bride & Father Song with Groom & Mother joining in partway through the song

• Same as above with Bride's Mother & Groom's Father joining in after Groom & Mother.
And you can probably come up with a few more combinations of your own. In any case, we like to get the guests out dancing immediately afterwards.

Dessert: Once the caterer is ready, we seat the guests for dessert. If their is a dessert table, we may continue the dance music, allowing your guests to go up to the table at their leisure or stay on the dance floor.

Bouquet & Garter: if your are going to do these, it's a good idea to do it right after dessert rather than at the very end of the party. Some of your guests who have travelled from a distance may need to get a jump on the long trip home and will be glad to be able to enjoy all the highlights before departing.  If you do not want to have the garter placed on the leg of the person who catches the bouquet, a great  alternative is a "catchers' dance" for the two who catch garter and bouquet.

More Dancing: Dance music continues to the end of your party.

Information and communication are the keys to having the smoothest possible transition through the day's events.  Talk to your caterer, band leader, videographer and your photographer. They may disagree but remember they are all working to make your affair perfect.  If you don't like a suggest, speak up! It's your day!

Hopefully, this information will be of value in putting the finishing touches on your wedding day.  It should reduce some stress and allow you to relax and let the events flow perfectly.


Bruce Fagan Music
215-540-0540 • Fax: 215-643-3174 • PO Box 848, Fort Washington, PA 19034