Hiccup in the music? Guests don't know where to go? For some, interruptions to your wedding flow are a nightmare, and we're here with tips to make sure things run smoothly on your wedding day.
There are worst things, of course, then a broken flow on your wedding day. But, if your dream is a banging party from start to finish, there are things you can do to ensure things keep moving. What do I mean exactly? I mean events stay on schedule, traditions take place seamlessly, playlists & music transition from one vibe to the next. All without abrupt stops or notice at all.
A wedding with “perfect flow” is a wedding where all the events took place without any effort. Without anyone checking in. Without any corrections to music, timelines, service or party enjoyment. And that, in my personal opinion, is the dream wedding.
Our friends at Be Inspired PR have tapped a few wedding professionals to give insight on how to seamlessly keep your wedding moving. DJ Malike (who helped us get over our first dance jitters), Lisette OC Photography and Wedding Sitter share their best tips below. Plus, a little first-hand tip from yours truly!
Hire a planner or coordinator!
“I cannot stress enough that a wedding coordinator is the most helpful vendor to have on your wedding day if you want the timeline to go smoothly. As a photographer, I have to be the coordinator when one hasn't been hired, and it makes my job a lot tougher having to make sure every event of the day starts and ends when it's supposed to!” – Lisette Gatliff, Lisette OC Photography
Be strategic in your location choices.
“Besides hiring a pro to help your day flow smoothly, there are a few other logistics you can plan beforehand. Cut down on travel time by choosing a getting-ready location that is close to the venue. Speaking of venues, one where you can get ready and have the ceremony and reception all in one place is the most ideal for a stress-free day.” – Lisette Gatliff, Lisette OC Photography
Curate playlists that cater to your guests.
“A good playlist that captures your guests' attention says a whole lot. I love when I drop songs that my couples have specifically told me their guests would like. I literally watch them and wait for their reactions. It could be a chill background song from the year all your college friends graduated or a song that sparks an inside joke with your cousins. This is just a simple way to keep the vibes going no matter if it is when the prelude, cocktail or dinner music is playing. Your guests will feel connected to the event.” – Malike Adigun, Owner, DJ Malike
Host a relaxing cocktail hour.
“Speaking of cocktail music, the cocktail hour is key to filling that space of time between the ceremony and the reception. While you are off taking beautiful pictures, you can still be a great host by having guests move from the ceremony into your cocktail hour. Having some chill music that sets the tone or even gets them singing helps relax them. Don’t forget the hors d'oeuvres and some drinks to make it a fun wait. Guests won’t even realize they are waiting for you to arrive as husband and wife as they catch up with old friends and family members, taking selfies amidst laughter.” – Malike Adigun, Owner, DJ Malike
Informational signage is always a good idea.
“It’s possible to have signage that helps direct guests AND make it look good. We’d recommend signage to lead your guests to the cocktail hour and then to the reception area. You can also point out the photobooth and the food & beverage destinations so there are plenty of options!” – Jessica Flores, CEO + Founder, Wedding Sitter
Batch your formalities together.
“Though all your guests are there to party, we know there are some formalities that we need to get through. There's a fine balance between doing too much back-to-back, interrupting the flow of the night, and seamlessly getting through events. I always suggest batching the formalities together. For example, if you're going to do your speeches after dinner, then you might as well flow right into the cake cutting while you have everyone's attention. The bonus here is that you can have a longer time to mingle with your guests without having to cut them off for the next event. Three formalities at a time works best.” – Malike Adigun, Owner, DJ Malike
Keep your guests well fed, well hydrated & provide enough restrooms.
“Hungry & thirsty wedding guests can absolutely interrupt wedding flow as they look anxiously around for provisions. Long lines for the bathroom? That'll keep guests off the dance floor & away from special moments. Making sure your guests are well taken care of will keep unforeseen special care interruptions at bay.” – Claire Eliza, Editor-in-Chief of Bridal Musings
Have a signature cocktail at the bar.
“Everyone loves a good bar selection at a wedding, but no one likes to wait too long to get their drink. It can really hold the party back and stop the night from flowing. A creative and fun suggestion would be to have one or two signature cocktails that can make it easier for people to order and keep the dance floor packed. When one person remembers they need a new drink, it reminds the others! But your drink menu will keep the flow going and make your bartender happy too. Also, guests will love the touch because who doesn’t love a themed drink?” – Malike Adigun, Owner, DJ Malike
Be smart in planning your reception to keep things moving along.
“Decide what kind of dinner service you'd like, whether it be a plated meal or buffet, based on how many guests you'll have and possible time restraints. Keep the toasts to a minimum, i.e. best man and maid of honor only, since they're so varied in length of time.” – Lisette Gatliff, Lisette OC Photography
Direct the littlest guests to a “kids only” table.
“Make the kids table LOOK fun by having preordered snacks and beverages displayed, and personal place settings with gift bags full of exciting goodies. You can also include an activity such as making a card for the bride & groom to keep the kiddos occupied during speeches and other quiet moments.” – Jessica Flores, CEO + Founder, Wedding Sitter
Keep the DJ in sync.
“Just imagine a DJ announcing the cake cutting but the caterer didn't prepare the cutlery. Or the DJ announces the toasts but the champagne hasn’t been poured. Or, wait for it, the photographer was not told either of those were happening and they were in the greenroom eating and did not capture any of it. Yes, horrific I know. The biggest key is to make sure everyone is on the same page. Hiring a planner can help tremendously. You can also make sure to hire a really well organized and communicative DJ or MC who will partner well with the rest of your vendor team.” – Malike Adigun, Owner, DJ Malike
Feeling a bit disorganized? We have a number of beautiful wedding planners, journals & organizers to help keep all your plans in check.
These tips were gathered by Be Inspired PR, a PR + Social Media Agency for wedding, wellness & lifestyle clients. With over 10+ years of experience, we’re here to take our clients to the next level! Find oodles of stylish wedding inspiration on their Instagram & Pinterest.