If you are planning to start the new year off at your wedding, here are some great tips and ideas to create a memorable night.
Plan early. If you have a venue or caterer in mind, book them as quickly as possible. Not only are most vendors busy with weddings, they may also be planning other functions for the holiday.
While it is customary to send save the date cards four months before your wedding, plan to send them eight months prior instead. This is a popular time of year for festivities and plans, so you want to let your guests hold the date in advance.
Plenty of Bubbly. Everyone will be excited to celebrate at midnight so stock the bar with plenty of champagne. After you allow time to toast the bride and groom, chill more bottles for the countdown. This celebration will keep your guests partying longer and excited to ring in the new year with romance.
Dance the night away. Most weddings are filled with smiles, laughter, and love. Let your New Year’s Eve celebration take the party to another level. This is an evening where many guests will arrive in a happy spirit and ready to have a good time. It’s a great night to turn the music up a little and get rowdy for hours on the dance floor.
Decorate and honor the holiday. Remember that you are sharing your wedding night with a major holiday. Do not feel blue if ringing in the New Year shares the same amount of joy through the evening. Celebrate both by decorating, tying in festive music, and hosting a memorable countdown celebration.
It is a time-honored wedding tradition for key people to take the floor and give a speech to honor the happy couple. Fathers, members of the wedding party, and old friends have brought tears and laughter to celebrate old times and the new union. Here are some tips on how best to incorporate this custom into your own reception.
Wait until everyone is seated
While there are options when deciding on what time is best for your wedding toasts, waiting until everyone is seated is the best way to keep the room engaged. As your guests make their way to the dining hall after the ceremony, allow some time for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and mingling. Once your guests are fed and settled with a drink in hand, it is appropriate to pull their attention to the stage and commence. Here are a few prime opportunities to consider.
- During the meal: If you are not one for waiting and prefer to get the party started right away, now is a good time for toasts. Those speaking may even be grateful to eliminate any waiting, especially if they are nervous in front of a crowd. It also kicks off the party by drawing attention to the happy couple.
- Before the cake cutting: This is a good opportunity to grab the attention of full and happy guests. When the toasting is finished, you can direct their gaze to the wedding cake. Many times, guests can miss the cake cutting simply because they didn’t know it was taking place.
- Before the first dance: For some, dancing is the highlight of the party. Raising your glass and sharing stories about the happy couple is always a positive way to get the crowd cheering and ready to groove.
If your evening is set up to flow gracefully and you have someone to announce the special moments, there are plenty of opportunities to give a toast to the newlyweds. Make sure you have someone to videotaping so you can share the laughter and tears for many anniversaries to come!
Some brides are look forward to their shining moment on the dance floor as a newlywed, and some prefer to keep it simple. Whatever your style may be, here are some ideas to help you choose how to incorporate this time-honored first dance wedding tradition at your reception.
Romantic and Sweet
If your preferred style is simple, select a sweet, romantic ballad and commence the dancing with a special moment alone on the dance floor with your new husband. Wait just a minute or two and invite parents to join in. Then, open the floor for the rest of your guests to celebrate along with you. A special song that represents your love is an excellent choice for a traditional first dance without the extra flare. Consider songs such as these:
- “As Time Goes By,” Dooley Wilson
- “When You Say Nothing At All,” Allison Krauss
- “Crazy Love,” Van Morrison
The Ballroom Dance
If you and the groom want to steal the show, pick a song that you can partner with a rehearsed ballroom dance routine. Many local studios are eager to help couples prepare fun numbers for their first dance. You may even be surprised to learn how talented you are! Consider songs such as these:
- “The Best is Yet to Come,” Frank Sinatra
- “At Last,” Etta James
- “Because You Loved Me,” Celine Dion
If you like to think outside the box, take the choreographed idea to the next level. Choose a hip song and create a unique dance routine. You have the freedom to show off your moves, be silly and fun, or even tell a story. Your wedding guests will certainly be entertained and maybe even a little amazed. Nevertheless, it will be unforgettable. Consider songs such as these:
- “Uptown Funk,” Bruno Mars
- “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You),” Marvin Gaye
- “Happy,” Pharrell Williams
Wedding bands and DJ’s have the library and sound equipment to help you make your first song selection and dance dream into a reality. Just be you…and let the good times roll!