Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ken & Melissa at the Chism House in Reno

I had the pleasure to be a part of Melissa & Ken's beautiful day at the Chism House in Reno recently.  If you haven't considered the Chism House for your outdoor, garden wedding and reception, it is well worth a look.  It is just west of downtown Reno- a tranquil oasis in the midst of suburbia.  The house dates from the 1800's and has quaint dressing rooms and plenty of great picture opportunities.  But the garden is the main attraction.  They have a lawn and pond where most ceremonies take place, and a permanent tent set up on the other side of the property complete with a dancefloor and tables and chairs.   A huge plus is that you can bring whichever vendors you'd like to go with the venue, which is not always the case at other venues.  Another plus is that it is just a couple of minutes away from all the downtown hotels, and many brides & grooms arrange for shuttles and rooms, keeping the party going all weekend.  Jerrine is one of the Chism House coordinators and she worked hard all evening making sure every little thing went smoothly.  I was so appreciative of all her help.
It was a warm Friday, but the ceremony by Russell was fun, very personal and quick.  Melissa and her bridal party all entered to Josh Radin's "Today" and the newlyweds exited to "Hey Soul Sister" by Train, with everyone singing along!  It was a fun group.  As the bridal party and families posed for pictures, the guests headed back to the tent and tree-shaded western end of the property where they enjoyed cold drinks and some big band and crooners that Melissa & Ken had selected for cocktail hour.
When pictures were through, Melissa & Ken had their Grand Entrance through the archway with "Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangster" playing them in.  Very fun couple!  Everyone was soon enjoying a BBQ dinner in the gorgeous evening air.
Cutting the cake!
Cake and Toasts soon followed, and then the dancing began.  I love that this young couple really knew their music and picked "Our Love Is Here To Stay" by Louis Armstrong as their first dance.  Never will I hear that song again and not think of them.  And that is the idea- pick a song and make it yours, and they certainly did.
Dancing to Satchmo...
The rest of the night was filled with laughter, dancing and music.  Melissa & her dad danced to Seal's "Kiss from a Rose" and Ken & his mom danced to "Simple Man" by Skynyrd.  "Unchained Melody" was the Anniversary Dance, and I loved their playlist had things like Kool & the Gang (there was a special dancer for "Hollywood Swingin"), Elvis, the Doors and Wiz Khalifa.  Really a wide variety which kept everyone happy.  When the limo arrived and it was time for the last song, Melissa & Ken exited the party with Josh Turner's "Time is Love" playing them out.  Just a fantastic evening under the stars.  Thanks to Jerrine at the Chism House and most of all thanks to Ken & Melissa for having me play their big day.  Congrats you two!
The Happy Couple!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Virginia & Mike at Silver Legacy's Silver Baron Ballroom with Philmclips Video & Zinser Photobooth

I had the pleasure of being a part of Mike & Virginia's reception at the Silver Legacy Casino's Silver Baron Ballroom along with Zinser Photobooth and Philmclips Video.  Mike & Virginia did a lot of planning for their big evening and it helped make a great reception a phenomenal one!  The 300 or so guests came to the Silver Legacy from an offsite ceremony and immediately felt right at home with appetizers and drinks.  They had the always fun Zinser Photobooth ready for their guests, and it was busy all night.  Phil from Philmclips was everywhere, capturing the sights and sounds, and the bride & groom, aware that there were several new mothers and some toddlers amongst the guests had arranged for a "Mom's Room" adjacent to the ballroom for changing and nursing.  What a nice idea!  Virginia & Mike had all kinds of touches that personalized the night and made it very special for not only them but their friends and family.  For example, for the Grand Entrance they had a song for each of their eight of their bridal party couples: everything from Dobey Grey's "Drift Away" to Black-Eyed Peas to "Lean Like a Cholo"... Very cool choices that the BP loved and responded to coming in.

The buffet was delicious and the Silver Legacy had two lines going on either side, getting the hundreds through quickly.  And while they had a cake to cut, they had for the main dessert a strawberry shortcake bar.  Their innovation did not stop there.  They had a great idea for their first dance... 
Michael and Virginia First Dance from craig musni on Vimeo.

They started with a nice slow song and then it evolved into an epic dance that they choreographed themselves.  My two favorite moments were when they revealed to everybody that they were expecting and when Virginia showed her "boots with the fur".  Awesome!  It took us a few meetings and me many tweaks to the mix but it was so worth it!  I forgot my camera that night, but Phil from Philmclips came to the rescue with this snippet.  A great guy to work with and just a great guy!

Following the epic first dance was a Father-Daughter Dance with "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts and a Mother-Son Dance with Skynyrd's "Simple Man."  A night-full of fun dancing ensued with occasional neat special touches by the bride & groom.  For the Anniversary Dance, I played "At Last" by Etta James and Virginia & Mike had me especially honor 2 couples who had their anniversary on the very same day.  Classy gesture.  They also had me acknowledge several birthdays.  It was a great crowd and I played all kinds of music to a packed dance floor late into the night.  What a great party!  Congrats to Mike and Virginia and thanks for including me in your fantastic night!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Leah & Will at Montreux Golf Club with Tiers of Joy Celebration Cakes

I had an awesome time last night at Will & Leah's reception at the gorgeous Montreux Golf Club.  Absolutely great people all around: the bride & groom, their families & friends, and the super staff at Montreux.  
Leah & Will are a great match.  When you meet them, you can tell immediately that they are a couple.  They look great separate- both are tall and good-looking, but they walk into a room and a glow of warmth & confidence & ease just fills the space.  There is no doubt that they are together and are each other's soulmates.  They provided me with an inspired songlist of slow, romantic ballads during cocktails, a great selection of jazz during dinner and some fun dancing selections for later.  That they appreciate music was immediately apparent as the guests' tables were all named for love songs.  
The bridal party entered to "The Final Countdown" by Europe and the newlyweds to "All You Need is Love" by the Fab Four.  Indeed, the Beatles were quite apparent throughout the evening as their first dance was "Till There Was You" and right before that... well I'm getting ahead of myself.
The Father-Daughter Dance
After their Grand Entrance, the servers started bringing out the salads and then the main courses.  The waiters do this incredible ballet when they serve: four or five of them, each with two of three plates.  They wind their way through the tables and simultaneously serve everyone seated at a table.  When I saw their coordination, I was impressed, as the guests had three choices from the menu for their main course!  Not an easy task, but they made it look seamless and were very efficient as everyone had their meal in no time at all.  They were very kind to feed a hungry DJ as well, and I had swordfish on mushroom risotto with delicious sauteed veggies.  One of the best meals I have had the pleasure of trying this year!  Billie, Montreux's coordinator is always hovering around, making sure everything is going smoothly and that everyone is happy- bride and groom, guests, and even the help (me).  It is such a pleasure to work with her and all of the staff there- true professionals!
Will serenading Leah!
The toasts were great, but one line from Gary's toast (Leah's dad) really stuck with me.  He said that 35 years ago, on his wedding day, he looked down the aisle, saw his bride-to-be, and he had never seen anything so lovely.  Until today...  Wow.  Just a proud, happy father.  After the toasts, Will had a surprise for Leah. I helped him with a pair of microphones and with the same guitar that his dad had serenaded his mom on their wedding day years ago, he sang and played a Beatles tune just for his new bride.  What a perfect moment.  Then they danced their first dance, and the evening was off and running.  Gary & Leah then danced to "Unforgettable" by Nat & Natalie, and then all the married couples came up onto the dance floor for the Anniversary Dance, one of my all-time favorites, "At Last" by Etta James.  There were so many couples, the dance floor overflowed into the tables.  There were at least a dozen couples over 20 years, and half that over 40 years!  The longest married couple (54 years!) had also travelled the farthest (Hawaii) and I found out their wedding song, "April Love" by Pat Boone and played it for them later that night.
Cake by Tiers of Joy
The cake was from Tiers of Joy here in Reno at the Victorian House, and it was delicious- red velvet.  Tesla & Leigh Anne do such an amazing job with not only the look of their cakes, but its taste as well.  I don't usually have cake at an event, but with cake from Tiers of Joy I always make an exception.
Leah & Will and everyone at the end of the evening
Dancing was a blast with music from all genres keeping the floor hopping.  The Motown set was especially busy, and I was introduced to a couple of new (to me) songs that rocked the house: "Gangnam Style" by Psy and one that I recently heard in Spain, "Ai Se Eu Tu Pego".  They are now in my library.  Thanks to Leah's folks for making me feel so at home.  Thanks to Billie for her hard work making everything run perfectly.  And thanks to Will and Leah for allowing me to be a part of their night.  It is getting old, me saying this, but I love my job!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Kyle & Courtney at Northstar Overlook Pavilion with Reverend Kris Dahir & Tiers of Joy Cakes

Had a blast at Courtney & Kyle's wedding reception up at the gorgeous Overlook Pavilion at Northstar.  Northstar is a special venue which I have had the pleasure of working several times now.  The Overlook Pavilion is a big deck above the skating rink complete with a large open tent, an enclosed bar building, a firepit for later in the evening, and plenty of space for guest tables and comfortable alcoves to sit in.  The meadow next to the party area is a beautiful spot for a wedding ceremony and that is where Kris Dahir presided over a thoughtful & fun exchanging of vows.  I had the pleasure of working with Kris again the following evening and I like how he tailors the ceremony to the individual couples.
Their ceremony
I spent a couple of hours a few weeks back with Courtney planning the music and events.  She is super fun and her music choices set a uniquely upbeat and joyous vibe throughout the ceremony and into the reception.  One of her favorite artists is Jimmy Buffet and we were able to find a Vitamin String Quartet album of Buffet songs for seating.  Imagine 'Margaritaville' done in strings- classy but fun!  Her bridal party members entered the ceremony to a guitar rendition of Canon in D, and then she came in to an instrumental snippet from 'Weather With You', another Buffet song.  She and Kyle then left to the entire song, and began posing for pix as the guests enjoyed hors deurves and drinks.
The staff at Northstar are exceptional.  Joey the wait captain was very involved and efficient all evening and Nancy the coordinator made sure everything ran very smoothly and is a true professional.  Tiers of Joy made Kyle & Courtney's cake, and like I have said in the past, their cakes are as good tasting as they are looking, which is a rarity amongst bakers these days.  I usually like to have a piece whereas I don't any other bakers, but it was cut & passed out efficiently by Joey & staff and the extra pieces were eaten up quickly thereafter.  A couple of things that were really neat: Courtney & Kyle had a Time Capsule and also had s'more favors.  The Time Capsule was a wooden box that they will open on their first anniversary and everyone wrote little notes and left surprises in the box for them.   What a great idea!  The s'mores were a plastic box with all the ingredients that you could take home or break open and use at Northstar's firepit that was lit after dark.
Tiers of Joy Cake
Courtney & Kyle had different songs played for each of their bridal party pairs, from Social Distortion to the Specials to the Beach Boys and Baha Men.  When the newlyweds were announced, they came in to Darth Vader's theme from Star Wars.  Very cool.  Dinner was family style, which is a nice change from the countless buffets I see.  After some great toasts they cut the cake and then danced their first dance to "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?" by Thompson Square.
First Dance
Lots of dancing followed, with everything from Clapton to Katy Perry, from MJ to Buffet, and lots in between.  Just a super couple, with a lot of great friends and family who celebrated the night away under the tent and stars up at Northstar.  Congrats to the newlyweds!
Courts & Kyle
Winding around the Pavilion

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Choosing Events For Your Reception


  While many weddings are still held in churches and temples, the growing trend is for the ceremony site and the reception site to be one and the same. I don’t believe this is any statement on religion but instead a realization that many of the reception venues are outstanding ceremony sites as well.  And the Reno/Tahoe area has some absolutely stunning venues.  I can set my equipment up to play those special songs or amplify those vows making most any music or program you have dreamed of possible.

Seating Music
  You may want to impart a certain mood on your guests as they arrive at the wedding site and find a seat.  I can help you pick songs to make this possible and play them as seating commences.  Some people like classical music during this time.  Some prefer jazz or light instrumentals.  There is no right or wrong choice.  My suggestion is to pick beautiful, elegant music that elevates the mood of the people coming to witness your marriage.  I have hundreds of songs that I use towards this end and I can go to some of my best ones if you don’t have a preference.  I usually gravitate towards Enya or Vitamin String Quartet or classical but there is no right or wrong.  Whatever you envision, I will make it happen.  Some weddings have a special song for the seating of the moms or grandparents.  This is a nice touch but it is one more thing you may have to work on during rehearsal so many couples skip it for simplicity.

Ceremony Music
  In the 24 years I have been deejaying weddings I have witnessed many changes in preferences for both events and music.  One of the biggest changes has been in ceremony music. 
  When I was a brand-new wedding DJ in 1988, almost every wedding used Here Comes the Bride and the Wedding March for their processional and recessional.  The Bridal party’s processional song was usually Pacbel’s Canon or Ode to Joy or one of a few other classical songs.  Not that this was bad- these songs are beautiful and I still get requests for them, but the advent of the internet and iTunes has really changed music selection.  It allowed people to find new versions of these tried-and-true songs and have them played at their ceremonies.  Then people began to think, “Hey I really love that song by….” and had it incorporated into the ceremony.  Now the old standards are rarely played while a myriad of songs has replaced them.
  This brings me to an ongoing theme of mine: don’t be afraid to put your stamp on your reception, whether it’s a twist on a traditional event or a unique song to walk down the aisle to.  People will vividly remember that you kissed and left happily married while Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer was playing instead of the Wedding March, for example.  Plus whenever you or they hear that song, those memories will come flooding back.

  A couple of suggestions for ceremony music- the processional songs of both the bridal party and the bride should be something that you can find a natural cadence to.  If it has a nice steady tempo you and your bridesmaids will adapt to it naturally and your walk down the aisle will flow that much better.  Also, the mood of the song is important.  It should impart the beauty and focus of the moment.  Finally, you may want to think of the length of the song as well.  The longer the better, because the I can fade out if it is too long, but if it is too short, you may be halfway in your walk when it runs out, if you have a long way to go.  But I can always loop a song so it continuously plays, making almost any short song long enough.

  When you have kissed and the officiant has introduced you as husband & wife, your recessional song can really make this a special moment.  I think upbeat songs work best, and if you have a song that means something to you or is an inside joke to some of your family or guests, so much the better.  Another nice idea is for the bridal processional and the bridal couple’s recessional to be the same song but by different artists.  For example, an instrumental, slower-paced version of a popular song would work for the bride, and when the couple walks away the full-blown regular song gets the crowd in a festive mood.

Ceremony P.A.
  I do have wired and wireless hand-held & clip-on microphones which can be routed through my equipment or the house system.  They can be used for the officiant, for vows, songs or readings.  But performance can be affected by the environment, especially when the ceremony is outside.  Wind, distance, and the proximity the user holds the mic from his or her mouth can affect the quality.  Most officiants are able to project their voices and some don’t like to hold a mic, so check with yours for their preference.  But it is nice to have the ability to amplify and I can help you with any of these needs.


  There are lots of possible events that you can have at your reception.  It just depends on your tastes and those of your guests.  You can do some, all or none of the following events in pretty much any order you choose.  However some events go better at certain times.  I’ve listed them in the most logical order, but again, it is your wedding and how you envision it is how it should be.  You may have another event that I haven’t included- no problem.  Basically what I’m trying to get across is that nothing is written in stone about how you schedule your reception.  You are the boss!

  Setting exact times for events usually does not work well at a reception, except when it comes to the caterers.  They like to know when to serve dinner or pour champagne.  But they are more flexible than they’d admit, and many times it is they who screw up the schedule.  Photographers tend to eat up time.  And just the normal events can go off schedule quickly.  Something you expected to take a few minutes stretches into fifteen or vice-versa.  I’ve found through hundreds of receptions that a list of events in the order they occur works best.  That way we can adjust as we go and if you want to scratch or add an event at the last minute or completely change the order, we can do it and the guests won’t be the wiser.

  Basically besides providing the music at the reception, I’m also emceeing the events, coordinating with the photographers, checking with the caterer and dealing with your guests.  I’m  your reception coordinator, keeping the reception flowing, guests happy, and your other hired help informed and pacified.  Let’s take a look at some possible events:

Grand Entrance
  Usually the bride and groom arrive at the reception somewhat after the guests.  I’ll play jazz or background music for the guests, setting a party atmosphere but without going into dance mode.  Photos at the ceremony site or the bride and groom just wanting a bit of time alone is usually the cause, plus the fact if you want a Grand Entrance, you probably don’t want to beat your guests to the reception.  Nothing is more awkward than announcing the bride and groom to a handful of people or without your loved ones there to cheer you on.
  Some couples want everyone in the wedding party introduced.  Some include their parents.  Some just want themselves.  There is no “correct” way.  Whatever feels right to you.  If you intend on having a Receiving Line (see below) then it is good to introduce everyone in the line.
  One thing about introducing everyone- it takes some coordination.  You have to get everyone together, making sure you don’t leave out anyone who’ll get their feelings hurt, and you have to give me a list beforehand.  Some couples just have themselves introduced and then during the second dance they have the wedding party and family introduced instead.  That works well.
  There is no right or wrong way to be introduced either.  You could do any of the following or something else.  Whatever you are comfortable with, for example:
   “Mr. & Mrs. John Doe” or “Jane & John Doe” or John & Jane” or “The Does” etc…

 Receiving Line
  This is not as popular as it once was.  Usually the more formal the wedding, the more you’ll find it done.  Also you’ll see it at big weddings where the two families don’t know each other well or there are a lot of guests who don’t know the families well. 
  Basically, it is a line that begins or ends with the bride and groom, usually includes the parents, and also the bridal party.  The guests file through and are able to talk briefly with everyone in the line.  It takes some time, depending on the amount of guests and the size of the wedding party, but it is nice in the fact that everyone gets the opportunity to talk and meet and greet everyone in the wedding. 
  Most newly-married couples instead opt to mingle, spending time wandering from table to table which is much more personal and allows you to get to people who may be too shy or disabled to come up in a line.  Some couples do both- have a line and make it a point to mingle as well.  Again, there is no right or wrong way- whatever you are most comfortable with goes.

  This is not done at every reception but when it is done it is usually right before the meal, but often comes before the toasts or after the Grand Entrance.  Most have their minister or priest say something, but others will have a father, uncle, or friend say a few words.

  This usually takes a while.  It is a good time to relax a bit before some of the other events.  It’s usual for the bride and groom, the wedding party, and immediate family to be served or go through the buffet line first.  This is practical for a couple of reasons.  First it ensures you get something to eat!  It’ll be a long, emotional day and you’ll need the energy and the break.  Also, you get ahead of the majority of the guests, which is good, because while they are eating you can mingle or visit tables, the photographers can get missing shots, or you can start with other events.  If you are worried about time, buffets are the quickest for all involved while full service sit-down meals take longer.  I’ll usually play background music throughout, at a lower level so that people can talk with their tablemates.

  The first toast is traditionally given by the Best Man or Maid of Honor, or by one or both of the dads, but it could be given by anyone you wish. A typical reception will start with the Best Man’s initial toast, perhaps followed by the Maid/Matron of Honor’s toast and maybe a family member.  Many couples want me to ask if anyone else would like to propose a toast, either coming up to use the mic or just from their table.  Couples also use the opportunity to toast their guests and thank them for coming.  There really is no set way of doing it. 
  The catering crew will need five or ten minutes notice to pour champagne for everyone.  Some couples have cider or champagne for themselves and the guests use whatever they have in front of them.  The toast is a great way to segue into another big event, like the cake or the first dance.

Cake Cutting
  This is another event which refocuses the event back onto the happy couple.  The caterers will need some notice as they will probably be cutting, plating, and maybe distributing the cake after you make the ceremonial cuts.  This is a great time for the photographers to get some of the special shots they need, and they’ll direct you in getting those poses.  I’ll play some appropriate background music and coordinate the event.  One word of advice: don’t be the first to feed cake to your new spouse…
   The guests will need some time to come up and get cake or have it served to them so after the cake it is a good time to go into another event that only you and the wedding party will participate in such as the First Dance.

 First Dance
   This is typically the most romantic moment of the reception- you and your new spouse dancing to that song that has a special meaning only to you two.  Everyone’s eyes will be on you, flashbulbs will be going off, people will be clapping and yelling, and you won’t even notice.  It’s one of those moments you’ll remember forever.
   Maybe you don’t have a special song.  No worries.  I can suggest lots and one will usually work great.  Maybe you have several songs that mean something.  Also no problem.  We can work them in to following dances or into the mix of the music later on.
   There is no set type of music.  I’ve played lots of songs that haven’t been hits or that their guests maybe had never heard before.  No big deal.  It is what you like that matters.  Also some couples have waltzed, some have done elaborate tangos, and some have just stood still while the world spins around them and enjoyed the moment.
   Usually the entire first song is just for the two of you- others begin to join you in the next song or so (see below).

Second Dance
   This is where the dancing really starts to kick in.  You can have your parents and the bridal party introduced here, and they can get a little of the spotlight back on them.  This is great for the photographers so they can get more shots. 
   Some couples have just the parents join them on the floor the second dance while the bridal party enters on the third.  Other couples have me invite all the guests up to dance floor right afterwards.  Others wait until the third dance.  Again there is no right or wrong way. 

Father-Daughter/ Mother-Son Dance
  Many couples think they should dance with their parents or relatives in the second dance.  That is cool, however it is nice to have a special Father/Daughter and/or Mother /Son dance that is just for them.  It usually is the most sentimental moment in the reception and gets a people teary-eyed before it is finished.
   This dance can be right after the first dance, but some brides like to separate it from the first dances to make it a bit more special.  Some possible songs that might be played include Daddy’s Little Girl, Butterfly Kisses, Through the Years, Daddy’s Hands, My Girl and Unforgettable.  It’s even better if you share a special song with your mom or dad.

Money Dance
   This is a dance where the guests dance with the bride or groom providing they bring up some money.  I’ll play one or more slower songs, depending on the line.  It is a staple at about half the weddings I’ve done.  It is a very old tradition from countries around the globe.  Some couples think that asking for money at the wedding for a dance is too much, as your guests have most likely already brought a present.  However it can be a very meaningful way to connect with your guests one-on-one (and very lucrative as well!).
   Usually there are some guests who will be too shy to cut in on a normal dance to visit with one of you.  This gives them an easy way to do that.  You may have someone just wanting to make your honeymoon that much better with a few twenties, while there may be that little girl with a dollar who just wants to be a princess for a moment and dance with the groom.  Either way you are making sure that your guests have a great experience and also have a chance to help out the new couple a bit more if they’d like to.
   I am very diplomatic, saying that this is their guaranteed chance to dance with you and that it goes for a good cause- making your honeymoon that much more special.
   There are different ways to accept the money.  Some couples have the Best Man and the Maid/Matron of Honor collect the money from the guests in line.  Others accept it when the guests come up- often the bride has a special silk bag to put hers in.  Still others have the guests pin the money on the groom’s tux and the bride’s dress.  This looks cool and can make for some interesting placement of bills, but it also takes a lot of extra time, and more than a few times I’ve seen the bride or groom pierced by a nervous guest…ouch!

Bouquet/Garter Toss
   This is usually done towards the end of the reception.  Traditionally, it was done right as you were leaving for your honeymoon, the last thing as you exited the reception was a fling of the bouquet over the bride’s shoulder.  This is rare now.  Most photographers charge by the hour and they like to get the shots of the tosses before they leave.  Plus most couples now stay until the end of the reception. 
   Typically the single girls and women will gather together on the dance floor and the bride will toss it over her shoulder, with the catcher supposedly the next to get married.
   The same goes for the garter, though the groom usually retrieves it from the bride’s leg before he sends it flying towards the single guys. 
   This can be a very fun event- usually everyone gets a kick out of it.  The photogs will want pictures with you and the two that caught the garter and bouquet and that sometimes is the end of the tosses.
   However there is a tradition that many couples want included after the tosses:
The higher the guy who caught the garter puts that garter on the gal who caught the bouquet’s leg (following me here?), the better the luck for the bride and groom in their new marriage. 
   So I’ll do the garter toss music again, and explain everything, and the guy will sit the bouquet catcher down on the chair the bride just vacated and will put the garter on her leg.  It can be very fun and memorable, but it is up to the bride and groom if they want it done at all.  Sometimes also a child or teen will catch one or the other, making it a possibly very embarrassing event for them so then we’d just cancel the whole thing.  I’ve also had the two people related or even exboyfriend-exgirlfriends who get the bouquet or garter, so I’ll always check to make sure you still want it done or not.
Anniversary Dance
   There are other special dances that you may want to have at your reception.  One of my favorites is an Anniversary Dance, where a slow song is played and all the married couples in the audience are invited up (including you two!).  The song starts playing, and I’ll then start asking those couples married less than a day to leave the dance floor (you!).  Then less than a year.  Then two, three, ten etc. until we have only one couple left.  It gives them and all the other married couples special recognition and everyone will applaud the various couples as they exit, especially the longer they have been married.  For a moment it sends all those couples back to their wedding day, and acknowledges them for their accomplishment and love together.

Novelty Dances
   There are lots of dances that you see at receptions.  Some couples don’t want any of them played, others want them played more than once.  Regardless, I will get requests for some of them so I’ll need to know where you stand.  People either love them or hate them, but usually those who request them will dance to them so if you don’t want one or all of them played I’ll diplomatically tell them I don’t have it so the blame will be on me.
   They are all somewhat corny, but they get people who wouldn’t normally dance up on the dance floor and they can be a lot of fun.  If you two participate, it will break the ice for many people and you’ll get more participation.
   Some of them include the Hokey Pokey, the Electric Slide, the Chicken Dance, the Macarena, the Stroll, the Locomotion, the Limbo, the Conga, and some of the newer ones like the Cotton-eyed Joe, Cupid Shuffle, Cha Cha Slide and the Dougie.

A Few More Ideas
-Announcing close birthdays or anniversaries is a nice way to recognize friends or loved ones.
-A group shot of all your guests can be really cool and a great memory.
-And finally, finding out your parent’s, relatives or friends favorite or first dance song is a great way to make the reception special for them as well.  Be sneaky about it & it’ll be a nice surprise when it is played, bringing them right back to their wedding day.