Useful Wedding Tips

Useful Wedding Tips from Tim Pringle.

Having performed and MC’d at over 181 weddings these are a few tips to make the night run smoother for you.

The most important thing to be mindful of is the scheduling of the night and formalities so you don’t run out of time and end up with only 10-20 mins of party time and dancing time at the end.

Wedding venues in this part of the world always have a room hire end time of 11pm – 12am.
(In Europe they typically go until 2-3am! – basically because Europeans don’t usually drink to excess like Aussies & Kiwis do )

So if you are hiring live music you really want to have at least 60- 90 mins dance music time after the formalities are over.

Cocktail weddings or buffet weddings don’t usually have lack of time issues but with a regular sit down formal wedding with large guest numbers of 100 or more here are some tips.

For most weddings it’s best to group the formalities like this.

•Speeches
•Straight into Cake cut
•Straight into first dance

Dance music

By the end of the first dance (or by end of any other follow on special songs) – all guests should be on the dance floor joining the Bride & Groom – then it’s party time – the band kicks into the dance set.
It’s harder to get guests up out of their seats during the first few dance songs – but very easy to get them to join in with second half of the first dance – then they are there on the dance floor ready to party!
This is the MC’s job to muster guests to join the Bride & Groom during the second half of the first dance.
If it’s a rehearsed first dance the MC needs to know to ASK guests NOT to join the Bride & Groom – otherwise trust me some will just get up and join in. 

When to have speeches?

Best to have speeches after mains are cleared or after dessert is cleared – rather than during mains or dessert or during clearing otherwise guests attention is not really on the speakers.

As a guideline try to begin speeches no later than 2 hours prior to room hire end time – this way you’ll end up with 60-90 minutes of dance time.

If things are running late then speeches 90 minutes before room hire end is just ok.

If things are really late then have speeches during the main or dessert if you have to so you can buy some time.

Tips to plan your wedding to ensure you’ll never run out of time for dancing.

• Instead of a sit down dessert – have a simple buffet dessert at the Tea & Coffee station – served once dancing has begun.
Or a help yourself style simple dessert served on each table – served once dancing has begun.

• Never let the MC open the microphone to unplanned speakers – this can turn into a 20-30 min roll of rambling speeches and really cut into your party time.

MC tip to save the day if things are quite late.

If dancing hasn’t begun with dessert or formalities & dessert still to be served then skip the dessert – start the dancing – and ask the kitchen to serve dessert after 15 mins of dancing.

That way you still get some party time – dessert then more dancing instead of just perhaps 20- 30 mins dancing right at the very end.

I always have this option up my sleeve as MC to make things go right!
Some guests will stop dancing to eat dessert – others won’t.

The kitchen and staff may say it’s a good way to waste desserts by serving them during dancing but…….if it’s a case of sit down dessert and only 15 mins of dancing or lots of dancing and a few not eaten desserts – which would you rather have?

This has only come about as I’ve played at weddings where the MC wasn’t aware of these time pressures and we ended up playing for – in one actual case at Linton Gardens at a wedding for 120 guests – we played for 10 mins then lights on – end of the night!

That’s about all.  

Tim