How to have the best reception ever – an unbiased opinion, of course.

AnjieDarrenReception Post2

This past October I had the opportunity to photograph a co-worker’s wedding (during my October-Wedding Fest). It was the middle event that month and I kind of am weird about the middle of things. Before anyone thinks I have a weird jinx let me explain…

If you have a strain of events, say for instance a test, more specifically the GRE; you want to start out doing really well because this sets the bar for the remainder of your exam. I’m not 100% on this analogy, but from what I remember, the better you do in the beginning, the better you do as a whole. That includes the slump that occurs in the middle of the test. You know, that part where your eyes glaze over and you’re semi reading the questions you’re answering…but then you look up and see you have one section left, so you put some oomph into it! That way you can proudly click that ugly button that says, “Are you sure you want to submit?”.

I was scared, that since this was in the middle, I was going to have this slump. Anyone who has ever shot a wedding knows how exhausting it is. Being that I don’t do wedding photography as my full time job, I was so nervous I was going to be worn out and tired by my middle run, and specifically the reception. Receptions can be really weird, and if not done right, and kind of boring.

Luckily, Anjie and Darren know good people who know how to have a really good time. Somethings I picked up on, in order to have a really awesome reception (if you want the partying type of reception):

  1. Invite your friends. I know family is really important,but there are several instances where you have a count crunch on guests and it comes down to family vs. friends. You need your family, but you also need your friends, they are going to be the ones stirring up the dance floor, unless you’re lucky and have a dancing fool family, (Unfortunately, not all of us do).

  2. Play music for everyone! Not many of us feel confident or comfortable dancing to music we’ve never heard of. You’ve got to get music for the young people and the older, especially if your grandparents are there! Give them a reason to be out there with you!
  3. YOU pick the music. (Spinning from #2) Don’t let your DJ pick it all out… they don’t know your group, like you know your group. Pick some songs as dedications! ( At my wedding, we did Tootsie Roll- inside joke)
  4. Make sure you feel comfortable with your crowd.  I’m a believer in smaller weddings. If your guest list is smaller and you have a head count on who all is coming, you can predict how the night is going to go and feel good about it! Knowing there will be people there you don’t know well or haven’t met before can be kind of weird…
  5. Have a place for people to go cool off or escape the music. Anjie and Darren had a sweet little outdoor patio for people to refill their drinks and socialize. Sometimes receptions are mini family reunions. Give them that option. 🙂
  6. Make sure your DJ has lights. Dancing in a room with normal lights can be sort of intimidating for people who aren’t comfortable with dancing. You just see too much… Plus, lights can totally set the mood and make everything look cool for your photographer 🙂
  7. Lastly, Play Gangnam Style. No, but really. I never saw a group of people react to a song like they did. You can see in one of the images the girl is totally into this. Her and her dancing partner went nuts when this came on.

Any one else have ideas for having an awesome reception?


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