Image by DJ: Plus! Entertainment

There are many options available to end your reception in a memorable way. Some couples choose to do it simply by saying good-bye on the dance floor or with a farewell dance to an upbeat song and others leave a little more extravagantly with a sparkler exit or fireworks. Which ever way you choose to end your reception, at DJ:Plus! Entertainment, I am guessing that you wish to end it on a high note and keep everyone buzzing all the way home! But what if a large portion of your guests have already left, what will those that are left go home feeling?

In some cases, guests will start to leave the reception earlier than the scheduled end time, until you only have 40 – 50 per cent, or less, of them left at the end of the evening. When this happens, it can give the impression that the wedding has ‘fizzled out’. This can happen for a number of reasons, but more likely this will be the case at a Sunday night wedding reception with a scheduled late finish time; the guests will start thinking about the fact they will need to get up early the next day to go to work or if there are a lot of children at the wedding, most parents usually want to put them to bed by a certain time. It is also important to understand that a wedding day and night can be really exhausting, not only for the couple but also for the guests who may feel wiped out after a long day and an hour or two of dancing, so may decide that it is time to head home before the scheduled finish time.

Image by Love, Katie & Sarah via Claire & Jason’s Modern Yarra Valley Wedding

Accordingly, some of the many questions I cover with my couples are firstly, should we start earlier and end earlier or what do we do if the guest numbers start to dwindle? Do they wish to stick to the schedule or wind things up a little earlier and end the celebration on a high? We go through this so that the best result possible is obtained and exactly as they desire. Are they happy if at the end of the reception it is just them and a few close family and friends left or do they wish to end it a little earlier and leave the guests wanting more?

One of the most important aspects of great entertainment and creating memories is knowing when to end the wedding. Just because the wedding has been scheduled to end at a certain time does not mean that the reception needs to end at that particular time. If you did have something such as fireworks planned for the end of your reception, wouldn’t you want all your guests to enjoy them, rather than only those that are left? If you wait until your guests have started heading for the door, you have waited too long. If you plan a fun, upbeat and finite ending to your reception, your guests are much more likely to remember it for how much fun they had, rather than how tired they were and that they decided to leave early. If there are some guests that you know will want to party on, you always have the option to organise a small after party elsewhere.

Image by The White Tree via Sophia and Andrew’s Botanical Southern Highlands Wedding

So don’t necessarily leave it until either of you are ready for the reception to end or wait for the scheduled end if you are seeing a mass exodus of tired guests. If you trust your entertainment professional to help you decide on the key moment when you should “end” your wedding reception or party, I assure you, it will be much more effective and end on a high note. Why is it that many successful performers and business people retire at the height of their success? It is so they are always remembered for how great they were, instead of how they fizzled out into oblivion. Don’t sacrifice the energy of your reception to get the last few minutes out of your contracted time with your venue. Know “when to say when”. Have the best day ever and end it with a bang!!

Ms Chinoiserie Says: You never want your big day to end – but I love the great advice about leaving on a high note…. and save the ‘best’ until last!!!

About DJ:Plus! Entertainment: We are a premium, boutique style, wedding DJ & MC entertainment service, designed to offer creative planning to make a wedding so much more personal, engaging and meaningful, resulting in an original celebration that totally represents each couple and is heaps of FUN. This is coupled with polished announcements and customised ideas for guest involvement, all tied together into a smooth flowing agenda that will be simply unforgettable.