Making you dance until your feet bleed since 2005

Wedding Planning 101 How to Curate The Perfect Reception Timeline And How D Js Help Make It Happen

Wedding Planning 101: How to Curate The Perfect Reception Timeline (And How DJs Help Make It Happen!)

Your faves at Toast & Jam team sit down to chat about wedding planning 101 – particularly as it concerns the perfect reception timeline, and how your wedding DJ makes it happen!

by Mary Nisi

Daydreams about your wedding day often revolve around exchanging vows with your partner at a lush, romantic venue in an iconic big white dress (if that’s your vibe). In your daydream, you’re surrounded by your loving family and friends whilst eating delicious catered food and dancing the night away. Idyllic and amazing, right? Exactly!

Now – let’s talk about the equally important aspects of your wedding that aren’t really the stuff of moony and swoony daydreams: The perfect reception timeline. Yeah, it’s not glam, but having that down pat can really make or break your reception.

That’s where the Toast & Jam team steps in. We may be iconic music magicians, but we’re also very skilled at working seamlessly with other vendors to ensure a smooth night and more than just one type of smooth transition. Heh. Get it? Okay – let’s get into it!

Setting the Scene: The Venue and Reception

Before we dive right into the details of creating the perfect reception timeline, let’s talk about setting the scene ahead of time. The venue and reception style you choose will directly impact the timeline of your wedding and how people move from point A to point B.

Let’s look at an outdoor venue as an example. Most outdoor weddings will require a chunk of time set aside for setup and teardown – usually more so than an indoor wedding will. This is especially true if your ceremony and reception are in the same location.

Consider how you can keep your guests entertained during these wait periods. Consider setting up some games or activities to keep your guests happy while the next phase of your wedding is set up.

It’s also important to consider the level of service that your venue is able to provide. If there’s no dedicated staff to take care of the small details like chair placement and table setup, that’ll be something that you will have to ensure gets done!

Creating Your Reception Timeline

We’re the first to say that there should be no hard rules for setting up your ideal reception timeline – it's your day! Yet, with that in mind, here are some key touchpoints that most couples will include in their reception:

  • Your entrance! This is where you and your new spouse roll up and make your big entrance as a married couple in front of your friends and family! It might seem a little daunting, but it’s super fun!
  • Speeches and toasts! Speeches are a great way to give your parents or members of your wedding party an opportunity to let you know how much they love you!
  • Food! Whether you’re offering a buffet or a sit-down meal, make sure your meal is always BEFORE the entertainment – and give them room to digest and mingle with your other guests!
  • Dancing! We’ll say it once, we’ll say it again: The Knot shows that almost 80 percent of couples say they wish they had bumped entertainment up to the top priority, and about the same percentage of guests say the entertainment was the most memorable part of their day! Let the people DANCE, we say!

Pro tip: Dancing is thirsty work. Keep water and maybe even some light snacks close by for your guests for when they’re a little sweaty! They’ll appreciate the gesture.

Remember, your timeline is your own. You don’t have to keep it strict or just limited to what we’ve outlined here. Feel free to mix it up and add your own flair!

Toast & Jam’s Role As Wedding DJs

As we say – we may be music magicians, but we’re more than just masters of the beat. We’re with you every step of the way.

We help add vital personality to events like speeches and toasts by acting as your master of ceremonies. We’ll announce each event so that your guests have a clear idea of what’s on tap next – and we won’t crack any awful dad jokes in the process – unless you want us to!

Your Toast & Jam DJ will work with you to create a personalized playlist – but you get more than just hiring a DJ for a wedding with us. We read the crowd. We know when to switch things up to ensure we keep the party going into the wee hours. We’ll also take firm note of your do-not-play songs, even if your old buddy boy from college begs us to play it. We’ve got your back!

We’ll coordinate with the photographer, the caterers, and your wedding planner to ensure everyone’s on the same page and that everyone’s where they’re supposed to be when things are supposed to happen! We have great relationships with scores of Chicago venues, and we’ll leverage those pre-existing relationships to ensure you have the time of your life with your new spouse.

Connect with the Toast & Jam team today!

We’re Toast & Jam, the best wedding DJ service in Chicago. We want to turn your wedding into a super-fun dance party that your friends and fam will reminisce over for years to come.

Sound cool? Cool. Fill out our short little contact form here so we can get a sense of your needs, wants, and desires - and we’ll go from there!

Bonus #1: Did you know that our DJ of DJs, Mary Nisi, has a pretty sick Podcast? It’s called All Up In My Lady Business. Mary, a working mom and entrepreneur, explores the fine line of having it all together – aaand losing her shit! She talks about running her business(es) and about how setting up structure in your day to day can create positive change in our careers and personal lives.

Bonus #2: We exist on social media! Here’s our Facebook, and here’s our Instagram. Happy scrolling.

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