When planning your wedding you stress about everything, from flowers, to food and everything in between. A common anxiety for brides is whether or not people will have fun at their wedding, or if they’ll be packing up at 9:00. The key to making sure your guests have fun is all in making the reception a night they’ll never forget. Here’s how:

1. Have a killer MC:

One of the biggest mood killers at any party is awkward silences. These can be plentiful in between courses or speeches so you want to make sure that you have someone to keep the night moving along at a good pace. The best way to ensure this happens is to enlist a killer MC. Whether it is a family member, or someone hired to be the night’s entertainment– be sure to sit with them and make a plan. The MC will make important announcements, introduce the speeches and keep your guests informed about what is going on. They should be funny, relatable, and (mostly) sober.

2. Keep the speeches short:

There is nothing worse than a wedding toast that goes on forever. Give clear time limits to your speech givers so that they know to only highlight to most important things. Setting a good pace for the evening is paramount so that you can get your guests fed and onto the dance floor ASAP.

5 secrets to having the best wedding reception ever, 1

3. Keep your guests comfortable:

The number one enemy of a good time? Discomfort. Greet your guests with cool lemonade if your reception is in the heat of summer, or hot cider if you opted for a winter celebration.

5 secrets to having the best wedding reception ever, 2

4. Let your guests pick the music:

Surprise– the best way to get people onto the dance floor is to play the music that they actually want to dance to! Include a line on your RSVPs that allow your guests to request their favourite party tune – then, give your DJ the list before the event to make sure they have them!

MUSIC TIP #1: A sure-fire way to get people on the dance floor is to playgroup dance songs like the Cha Cha Slide, or Sweet Caroline.

MUSIC TIP #2: You’d be surprised how eager your older relatives are to shake their booties… make sure to include some golden oldies to really get the party hoppin’!

5. It’s the little things:

A basket of flip flops by the dance floor will make sure your guests’ feet aren’t in pain – having gum and bobby pins in the bathrooms will help your guests feel refreshed and making sure that there is a place to sit down away from the dance floor will give your guests a little break before they head back in to tear it up. Remember, it’s the little things that will make your guests want to party till the wee hours, and what will ultimately make your reception a roaring success.

BONUS: Have activities for the non-dancers:

Guest expect to come to your wedding for dinner and dancing. What they won’t be expecting are board games or lawn games such as oversized Jenga or corn hole. These are a great way for guests who might not want to dance to have some fun. You could even have a tasting station with beer and wine for a unique experience.

Whatever you decide to do with your reception remember this. This is your chance to thank your guests for coming and show them how much they mean to you! It’s time for fun, dancing, and a few drinks. Happy Planning!