Your Lancaster wedding reception is going to be incredible! With those most important to you on hand to share in the occasion and make memories, it almost seems like the terrific food, beautiful décor, and a great DJ pumping out the jams would be sensory overload.
That might be the case if we only experienced one wedding in our lives, but most of us will attend any number of weddings over the years. That is a blessing because it means that we live a full life and have fostered relationships. It can also be a bit daunting if you want your wedding reception to be remembered for years to come.
There are any number of ways to create that memorable experience that you desire for your family and friends. While we are first and foremost a DJ / Photo Booth / Lighting Company striving to meet the needs of our engaged couples throughout the Harrisburg and Lancaster area, we love to provide useful tips to help couples create the wedding celebration of their dreams!
Listed below are 5 ways that you can make your Central PA wedding event stand out from every other wedding reception your guests have attended:
Wait just a second! I know exactly what you are thinking, wedding favors? Really, that is the first tip? Yes it is, and here is why. Literally everyone provides favors for their guests. The problem is way too many of the guests leave them behind. I cannot tell you how many shot glasses, small pieces of sand art, or candles I have seen scattered in the venue as we pack up. What a waste of money!
Take a few moments to think about your favors. Is there something personal about you and your love story that you can share and they will relate to? Is there a story about how you met or the mutual love of a sport that you share? If your reception is smaller with mostly family and really close friends, those are interests and bonds that are easy to share.
An overlooked wedding favor that is truly worth much more than the $2 - $3 per item cost is engagement! Much of the wedding celebration is and should be a spectator event. After all, the guests were invited to witness the wedding.
But what if instead of merely watching the ceremony, watching the toasts, and watching the first dance; you invited them to share a moment with you? You can do that! It doesn’t have to take away from your celebration and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
For the same dollar amount that you would spend on trinkets that might be left behind, you can create moments that not only your guests care share with you. But, they will have fun and you will get some incredible photographs! Talk about a win – win.
There are two items to make this happen. One is sparklers. Have a nice inexpensive paper sleeve with your event details and use these as favors. Later, when the time is right; invite your guests to participate in a sparkler exit. This is one way. but to tell you the truth the sparkler exit isn’t all that unique anymore. However, I have a second suggestion.
Glow sticks and glow necklaces. I know what you might be thinking. “Glow sticks are for sweet 16 and graduation parties. I’m not doing that at my wedding!” You are both wrong and right. You are right that if not done correctly it could be incredibly tacky. But, it doesn’t have to be.
The secret is in knowing when to introduce them to your wedding reception. You would never want to simply place them on every table like you would a traditional favor. You keep them stashed away, often with the Disc Jockey who breaks them out at the appropriate time. That time is after all of the formalities are done and it is time to “party your a - - off” for the rest of the night.
What makes glow sticks and necklaces better than sparklers? They are more colorful. They can be used both on the dance floor and for and exit which means more great photos for you! They are safer. No one gets burned. (That’s a memory no one wants!) And, the number one reason….your guest love them more!
At every wedding, be it Lancaster, Frederick, Harrisburg, or around the world; there are dancers, occasional dancers, and non-dancers. For the dancers a great wedding DJ is all that you need-- well, that and a drink or two to quench their thirst.
For the occasional dancers you need a great DJ who can read the crowd and use their knowledge and experience to pick the songs that will entice these folks to hit the dance floor. They, too, will require a beverage or two preferably for the 21+ song set. These folks will dance from time to time and mingle with other guests, but, if left off of the dance floor for too long, they will take the “early bus”.
That leaves the non-dancers who may or may not even hit the dance floor to sway to a slow dance classic. They spend their evening in conversation and in observation. If neither holds their attention, they, too, leave the reception early.
So, how to you make the night memorable for the latter two groups? Easy! Add a second entertainment option that will appeal to all guests regardless of the interest in dance.
One option is to add a photo booth. As with the sparkler and glow stick favor suggestion above, this is about engagement. Dancing certainly allows guests to interact but only if they are interested in dancing. Some folks simply can’t dance due to physical ailments.
A photo booth allows everyone to interact with anyone they choose too. Grandparents with grandchildren, cousins, friends from college, all of these impromptu reunions provide photographic opportunities that a traditional wedding photographer is simply not going to capture. There is no age or rhythm requirement to participate. You can even cut the cost of the booth by providing photo strip holders and make the photos their wedding favor.
Lawn Games & Amusements
These are another terrific wedding reception option! The Lancaster / Harrisburg area is surrounded by so many venues that offer outdoor wedding reception options. If your wedding is being held at Lily Manor, Moonstone Manor, or in a tent in Gettysburg, lawn games are a terrific addition and another way to encourage your guests of all ages to interact.
This may seem like an odd suggestion, and it is not for everyone or every wedding for sure. It all depends upon your timeline. Most of our couples do not plan weddings on a regular basis so they sometimes do not see the schedule from the guest’s point of view.
If your Lancaster wedding ceremony is scheduled to start at 3:30 pm, your guests will begin arriving at 3:00 pm. Depending on your guest lists the majority may be local, or, if it is destination wedding, they may have stayed locally. Other times the guests are driving to the event that day from distances of up to 90 minutes away.
If your wedding reception is ending at 9:00 pm I would suggest that you pick another option than snacks which may very well go uneaten. However, if your reception is going until 10:00 pm or later, that is the equivalent of work day. I would definitely consider the Late-Night Snack option
if you plan for your guest to be at the venue for 7 hours or more.
Pub type fare is perfect for this. A Taco Bar, Mini Sliders, a Pretzel Bar, all of these are great quick bites to refuel for the final hours of the celebration and the big send off your deserve!
Creating an amazing wedding reception can certainly be stressful. I hope that you found this article useful and if you did I hope that you will share it with others who may be seeking this type of information.
I also invite you to check out our other blogs that pertain to DJ events and questions that we have experienced and been asked from engaged couples we have had the pleasure of celebrating with.
At Perfect Harmony Entertainment we provide DJ | Photo Booth | Lighting services to couples and business seeking professional, quality DJ services at a terrific value! We serve clients in Harrisburg PA, Frederick MD, and Northern VA.
Contact us today to check availability or to chat about your event needs.