After months of investing much time and money for your party, you want to be sure you will enjoy it and take it all in! Depending on if you have a cocktail hour and a possible viennese hour, the 4 to 6 hours can really fly by. Even though the average party reception is 4 to 5 hours, dancing time may be limited to only about 2 to 2 1/2 hours because of formalities & courses unless you are having a buffet. Here are some helpful tips on how to enjoy, mingle, and dance the night away at your party with your family and friends.
⁃ Deliver such things as favors, place cards, table numbers/names, etc. to your venue several days before your party properly packaged & labeled. In this way your won’t have to worry about the day of your event.
⁃ Most guests of honor are now electing to mingle during their cocktail hour for a Sweet 16, Anniversary, etc. This will facilitate them saying hello & having brief conversations with the majority of their guests in an informal atmosphere. Sweet 16 girls, anniversary couples, etc. will then not feel obligated to go visit each and every table during the reception and miss out on dancing/partying. Especially, if you’re possibly having 100 possible guests for example, that’s possibly 10 tables you may feel obligated to visit and say hello to which will cut into your dancing and partying time.
⁃ Toasts by the dads, children, etc. can cut into dancing time if they run on too long. It would bode well to give a gentle respectful restriction on the time allotted (such as 2-3 minutes for each) before the party. If there are many toast/speeches(ie, more than 4) it would be well advised to split them up and possibly have several up front & then several during the first course when you have a captive audience & not cut into dancing time.
⁃ If you’re going to have any family or friends sing/perform, it would be prudent to have them do so during downtime such as during salad, appetizer, or main course, etc. so as not to cut into dancing time. This would bode well if you have any type of montage presentation as well.
⁃ After singing happy birthday/cake cutting (and possible dessert tables) it will be well advised for guest of honor to stay away from their sweetheart,main table, dais. That is usually the time that some guests may be looking to leave early. That is the first place they will look for you and if a line forms by your main table, you will be stuck there for the last dance set, which is the time you want to party it up with your immediate family and friends now that all the formalities are over. Guest of honor should be mingling and dancing around the dance floor area so guests leaving can give you a quick hug and goodbye and you can continue partying to the end of the party.
⁃ If you are providing transportation for your guests to and from hotels or a particular central meeting place, you should have your first shuttle/bus come 15 minutes after the reception ends. Keep in mind after the reception ends there is a time of mingling, socializing, & saying goodbyes. Too many times the shuttle/buses are scheduled before the reception ends or at the reception end time. The entertainment is making announcements regarding the shuttle/buses being outside your venue essentially chasing your guests off the dance floor and out of your venue, which is the last thing you would want to do after all the time and money invested into your party.