Wedding Planning: How to Make an AWESOME Entrance to Your Reception
"What kind of song should we pick for our 'Grand Introduction?'"
I hear this question almost every time I meet with a new couple.
The Grand Introduction is one of the most exciting parts of the evening. Think about the excitement level up to that point: excitement is high when the bride and groom kiss, after the ceremony the excitement mellows during the cocktail hour as people catch up to old friends over cocktails. Pretty soon the guests will unwind and relax and before you know it, they will feel very lazy as all the day's activity catches up to them. The next part of the evening is dinner, and people just might be ready for a nap at your reception if the music is too soothing and the lights too low. We can't let that happen!
This is where your DJ can help. Any experienced DJ will know how to keep the excitement level up! But I can tell you the key is to have exciting events and exciting music intermittently throughout the night to get the crowd tapping their toes at the dinner tables and dancing while they wait in line at the bar and buffet.
The Grand Introduction is one of those exciting events. This is the time when the wedding party is finally finished with all the photos after the ceremony and they are ready to join the guests, have a drink and a bite to eat, and CELEBRATE the union of two of the sweetest people they know. Getting the whole crowd to welcome them into the reception space in a grand fashion will make you all feel like VIP's at the reception and it also signals to guests that the party can truly start. This is an important maneuver that has to be done right and it sets the tone for the rest of the reception!
So choose something fun, upbeat, fast-paced, and play it LOUD!
Traditionally, the whole wedding party is announced in the order they entered the ceremony space, then a special announcement is made for the lovely bride and handsome groom. But there are lots of options here:
The Sneak Attack
Some couples choose not to introduce the wedding party at all, instead just letting the wedding party join the reception when they want so they can mingle with the crowd. This is fine, and nobody will be disappointed, I promise. Once everybody's inside the reception space, the DJ can announce the entrance of the new bride and groom only.
The Whole Gang is Here
There's nothing wrong with introducing the whole wedding party as a group. Have your DJ start a fun song and get the crowd's attention. Then introduce the whole wedding party by saying something like, "Ladies and gentlemen, let's hear it for YOUR FABULOUS WEDDING PARTY!" Then the whole group busts into the room enthusiastically. Sounds fun, doesn't it?
Two of a Kind
Some people want individual pairs of bridesmaids and groomsmen to be introduced, usually if they entered the ceremony as pairs. Your DJ should introduce them with their first names, naming the bridesmaid first. You can also elect to use each person's whole name.
It's also fine to introduce your wedding party as individuals, and the DJ can call out each of their names one at a time (usually the full name in this case). Of course the bride and groom are introduced as a shiny new couple.
There are lots of fun things you can do to make the introduction really pop!
- Everybody dance! If your wedding party struts out showing off their best moves, the crowd is going to LOVE IT. Bonus points if anybody can pop and lock, or a few people have synchronized moves ready to go!! Get out your phone and check out some old Soul Train clips before the introduction if you want to really nail it.
- Ask your DJ to play a new hip-hop hit that will boost the crowd's energy!
- Get some goofy props from your photo booth and give the crowd something to chuckle about.
- Your DJ needs to have really high energy and practically shout above the crowd. A timid DJ = a timid reception.
- Get your DJ to announce your goofiest groomsman with a silly, made-up middle name!
- Don't forget to make sure the DJ tells the crowd to make some extra noise for the Maid of Honor and Best Man!
- And be sure to tell your DJ how YOU would like to be introduced as a brand new couple. Will it be Mr. and Mrs. Morris? Zach and Kelly Morris? Mr. and Mrs. Zach Morris? You decide what sounds good to you!
- Consider having a different song for each couple or individual in the wedding party! This is extra work for your DJ to cue a new song each time, but boy is it fun!
If your DJ doesn't nail down these details before the Big Day, make sure you bring it up in your planning so you can make sure you have the most memorable day possible to celebrate your sweet love together.