Once the ceremony is over, the rings are exchanged, and the first kiss is shared, the couple just glides off the aisle like they’re walking into a whole new life (and they are, #thatnewlywedlife). Then cocktail hour comes, the energy of the party starts to build, and like any good transition from one stage of the day to another, the couple and their bridal party have to make it into the reception in a way with utter and total sway. Their entrance sets the tone for the rest of the night, so it’s either go big or go home. And we opt for big. All the time.
Sure, it’s easy enough to have a conversation with your band manager a few weeks out from the wedding, just to go over proper pronunciations of everyone’s names and what music should be played during their entrances, but for guests who have been having a crazy-good time from ceremony to cocktail hour, they want to keep the momentum going. And Chris Brown and “Forever” aren’t exactly going to accomplish that. ((No disrespect to any bride or groom who’s done it this way, we’ve done it ourselves)). That’s why we put together a few tips and ideas to make sure your grand entrance is everything you want it to be.
But before we talk about those ideas – here are some things to keep in mind:
- Preparation. For anyone who’s ever been in a wedding, there’s always some degree of anxiety that sneaks up on you while you’re waiting to be introduced into the reception. Whether it’s because you hardly know your escort and don’t feel 100p comfortable with him/her, or you hate being the center of attention, you’ll undoubtedly have ALL the butterflies before your name is announced. That’s why the couple should do their best to make sure whatever ‘routine’ they want to play out IRL is discussed well in advance. So no one feels unnecessarily nervous.
- Practice. We’ve all been there, trying to strategize an OG entrance right before walking into the reception. It’s usually cute and cocktail-fueled, so it’ll get a lot of laughs from the crowd, but at the end of the day, it’s always pretty ill-conceived. If the whole bridal party has direction on what they should be doing, though, that awkward ‘waiting’ time can be spent practicing and getting psyched up. So that once everyone makes their debut, the energy in the room is electric, and people turn to their date and say ‘OMG, this is what we came for!!’
- Priority. Of course, everyone in the bridal party – from the parents (of the bride or groom) to the peanuts (flower girls and ring bearers) – will be announced. But the newlyweds are priority #1, they’re the guests of honor, so they should get all the attention. Their intros should be the strongest. All 👀👀👀 on them! What does that mean for everyone else? Well, just don’t try to steal the spotlight. Be fun, have fun, but make sure it’s all on behalf of the couple!
- [Same] Page. The best kinds of entrances have everyone on the same page. From the photographer to the videographer, entertainers to the entourage, everyone knows what he or she should be doing to capture the creativity and the candidness of it all. This is what all of those FINAL pre-wedding meetings with vendors is all about. To get everyone aligned and shore up success for the big day.
Claps all around.
See it in their faces? This couple couldn’t be happier to join their guests at their reception – and even more than that – they’re over the moon about their just-married status. Their bridal party is clapping, their guests are out of their chairs, and the overall mood in the room is just ridiculously happy.
But first, gotta take a selfie.
Every photographer loves the meta ‘photo of a photo’ picture. So, if you can assemble the tribe, once everyone’s been introduced, to take a group shot, you’ll start the night out on a great foot. Plus, it’ll signal to your guests that you want them having fun, taking pictures, making memories. It’s such a fun way to kick things off. ((Every epic night deserves its fair share of selfies… Super Bowl, Academy Awards, etc. At Leonard’s Palazzo, we’re veryyy aware of the trend!))
Dance it out.
Whoever said that flash mobs were dead obviously didn’t watch one happen at Leonard’s Palazzo. We loveeee us some fancy footwork, and if the couple can get their bridal party and their favorites – friends and fam – up on the dance floor and into the groove, it’s a guaranteed great start to the reception. So much fun, so many photo opps, an awesome way to show off that gown (before it’s bustled).
Old school aisle-style arch.
You can’t argue with those facial expressions – they’re both thinking ‘it’s our day, we did it, let’s blow this thing out!!!’ And it all starts with an arch. Just make sure the soundtrack in the back is just as sassy!