If you’ve attended any weddings as a guest, have you happened to see an evening party that doesn’t take off, a desolately empty runway an evening party with very high expectations left unexpected?

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Organizing a complex event like a wedding takes a lot of time, planning all the different moments of the day, coordinating all the different services involved, relying on professionals to help you structure the best service in line with your tastes and ideas.
All the different stages of the day are important and in different ways should bring out the tastes of the bride and groom and tell a bit of their story.
All the bride and groom in organizing the day aim for one goal: to make all their guests comfortable with the goal of entertaining, dancing, and interacting, so that they experience a day that will remain in the memories of friends and family for years to come.
It seems unbelievable and yet in structuring the day as best as possible, one of the most important moments of your wedding is left out or rather downplayed: The welcome drink.
The bride and groom at this stage are either not physically at the venue or are intent on taking photos so they consider the welcome drink to be an unimportant moment where at most it is enough to have a minimum of background.
Obviously it is important for me to fulfill the client’s requests, but on the other hand, it is also correct, given my experience, to reason with the couple about the importance of the welcome drink for the guests. To make them understand how important this moment of the day is, I make the bride and groom reason about a common behavior we all have when we have the opportunity to meet someone we have never seen before. Our mind automatically creates an image, a slide of the person based on the person’s appearance, how he or she is dressed, how he or she is combed, how he or she is made up, and on a whole series of behaviors, how he or she looks, how he or she walks, how he or she talks etc.
On the other hand, the first impression that arouses in you about that particular person also determines how you will interface with him or her and is unlikely to change over time, unless you get to hang out with him or her several times and get to know him or her in more depth. Think, for example, if you are about to meet a guy who is hyper-tattooed, face included, full of pearcing and with torn clothes etc. do you approach each other in the same way as you approach a person who shows up in a suit and tie!
You’ve probably already understood then what I’m getting at, the aperitif is the first or second slide of your wedding that guests will remember clearly.
There is a saying, and I quote, “The first impression is the one that counts,” so you will agree with me on the importance of the welcome drink and how important it is to organize and synchronize this phase of your wedding to the best of your ability from a musical point of view!
Your goal of course is to make the best first impression possible, to give your guests a preview of the wonderful day you have so carefully prepared for them.
Guests often arrive at the buffet already rehearsed after a ceremony that may have been long, uncomfortable and perhaps held in church in high temperatures.
Guests’ expectations are high, they arrive at the location and observe everything very carefully, the decorations, the arrangements, the surroundings before storming to the table with prosecco or non-alcoholic drinks to seek refreshment. The bride and groom arrive half an hour or an hour later depending on whether they are going for extra location photos or not however, unless otherwise arranged by the bride and groom when all or most of the guests have arrived the buffet begins.
After half an hour, all the guests are satiated, and providing the background to this convivial moment is the music of the live lineup or the DJ to whom the whole day is entrusted.
At this stage, a professional DJ takes the opportunity to try to get to know as many guests as possible to understand their tastes, any requests or needs; Before the wedding, he or she has had a chance to make arrangements with friends for any jokes, games, videos and whatnot.
He serves as the “director of works” having protempore created a collaborative team among the various services that must forcibly interact for the success of the wedding while respecting the tastes and requests of the bride and groom.

There are DJs, on the other hand, who go from wedding to wedding always proposing the usual set list for the aperitif. A mix of Jazz / Soul / Blues / Tropical house songs etc. Assuming that the music must exclusively fill the moment. Others you see plumping by going from starter to starter heedless of the image an empty console can give, or you see them on their cell phones so much as there’s the classic recycled “wedding playlist” that’s ‘going.
If the groomsmen then approach the console to agree on the timing of the video or jokes prepared for the bride and groom, they hear back that he is paid to be the DJ, not the entertainer.
But how is it possible to even think such a thing?
I’ve never met a married couple who are just looking for a DJ;
Everyone wants a person who can speak the microphone, is professional and can get everyone involved in partying.

Musical figures such as these you don’t need only risk, by hiring them, seeing your marriage ruined forever since:

  • They don’t have the slightest grip on the situation
  • They give a tired and boring image of their work;
  • They do not create an ad hoc playlist to make guests relax while waiting for the bride and groom and are unable to vary the “set list” to meet guests’ tastes;
  • They are unable to manage the volumes in a way that does not bother the guests
  • They lack the skills to organize and manage friends by planning and optimizing the timing of games and pranks.

Such situations make guests nervous, bored and tired, and you will be to blame because you failed to meet the high expectations they placed on your big day.

To be guaranteed that none of the above will happen to you, you need to make sure that the person you entrust with the music aspect for your wedding knows:

  • Coordinate the cocktail hour by planning it in detail with the bride and groom so that the entertainment is enjoyable, relaxing and makes guests feel serene while waiting for the highlight with the arrival of the bride and groom;
  • Know how to create a playlist tailor-made for you based on your musical tastes and the mood you want to set for your wedding, but be equally able to adjust the pitch if necessary to meet the tastes of your guests as well;
  • Know how to create the right atmosphere with a background that promotes the conviviality of the moment while being relaxing but with panache otherwise while waiting for the bride and groom to arrive your guests will have already started to get bored.
  • Knows how to be an unobtrusive entertainer; Available to coordinate the various moments of the wedding with the right music in the right place, becoming the conductor of the situation but never becoming pushy or rude.

That said.

I hope I have made you realize how important the welcome cocktail hour is, but more importantly, how important it is to plan and structure it in every minute aspect.
If you opt to have live music the above in part must be respected because the live lineup will also have to:

  • Create the best calling card to let everyone know that they will not forget that wedding for a lifetime;
  • Create suitable music for the wedding aperitif by understanding people’s expressions and understanding what most people’s tastes are;
  • Making sure people do not get bored while waiting for the bride and groom by offering a soft but lively repertoire and interacting with guests to make the wait a pleasant companion.
  • Advise friends to interface with those who will be in charge of the evening party to arrange pranks and games by certainly being able to rely on their experience to determine the timing and manner.

I hope you have found useful insights, ideas and advice on this article;

I am Paolo Furlan the first Wedding Music Planner in Veneto and founder of the Wedding Symphony music agency specializing in music for civil or religious ceremonies and music and entertainment for wedding receptions.

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