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Six Awesome Ideas to Avoid Wedding Reception Fatigue

After photographing a lot of different weddings over the last few years, we’ve seen a lot of fantastic ideas. Today, we’d like to share some ways you can avoid the dreaded “Reception Fatigue” that happens when people are sitting for too long before the dancing begins.

Candid fun wedding photography Victoria BC

IDEA #1 GO STRAIGHT INTO YOUR FIRST DANCE AFTER YOUR GRAND ENTRANCE

After all, first dances are typically slower songs, so doing them after people have been sitting, eating and drinking wine, can really slow down the mood. People often take their bathroom or drink breaks, and there just isn’t the momentum if first dances are done after dinner.

A lot of Americans go straight from their grand entrance and into their first dance. It’s a fantastic way to start the reception. Everyone is usually on their feet cheering you on, and you have the full attention of the crowd.

Plus, if you aren’t having your wedding photographers stay through dinner it means you’ll have these awesome moments captured before they leave.

First dance ideas for wedding receptions
Alexandra & Alex went straight into their first dance after their grand entrance. The entire crowd gathered around them to cheer and we loved the indoor fireworks show!

IDEA #2 PACE THE RECEPTION GAMES & SPEECHES THROUGHOUT THE DINNER

Remember, you’ll only hold people’s attention for about five to ten minutes at a time — and that’s especially true if they’re having a big dinner and drinking wine.

Another idea we got from photographing American couples – have your speeches and reception party games paced througout the dinner. Have the parents open the dinner with a toast to the couple. Then have another speech or game before dessert, and after dessert.

Wedding reception party game ideas
Julia & Morgan’s reception party game.

IDEA #3 PLAY YOUR SLIDESHOW ON LOOP THROUGOUT THE DINNER

The five to ten minute rule can also apply to the slideshow, and people are more tired and want to get up and move after dinner. That’s why we recommend either playing your slideshow before everyone eats, or have it on a loop and play it over dinner. Your guests will love seeing all the photos go by and you’ll still get lots of tears and emotion. It gives people something exciting to look at while they’re eating.

IDEA #4 LEAD THE DANCING WITH SOMETHING COORDINATED

Have your reception party open up the fast dancing/party with an interactive, coordinated dance. If you’re up for a few rehearsals with your wedding party, you can really put on a show to get people on their feet. The best idea… have the coordinated dance during the first half of the song, and then have everyone go out and grab people from the audience to join you. It’s a great way to get everyone on the dance floor celebrating after the final speeches are over.

Wedding reception ideas
Party Hats and Wedding Favors

IDEA #5 BRING PARTY HATS

There’s often a little lull about an hour after the party starts. A way to get everyone back on the dance floor? Get a bunch of party hats and glasses and distribute them to people. It will wake up the crowd, and it’s also nice for the more senior folks who might feel more like sitting at the table and mingling since they can stay at their table, but feel like they’re joining the silliness.

Everyone will race back to the dance floor after the party hats come out! It makes for awesome photos, too!

IDEA #6 HAVE A PLAY AREA SET UP FOR KIDS

Bring a bunch of pillows and set up a little play area for the little ones in attendance. They’ll love having something just for them, and they can use the pillows to sleep while their parents hit the dance floor.

Wedding photography ideas for reception
We also love those portable confetti bombs. Bring a bunch and everyone will have a blast on the dance floor. They make for great photos, too!

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