The length of your event is very important. Having your celebration go too long affects how your guests remember it. The longer it goes past the appropriate ending point the lower it sinks in quality, when they look back and remember your day.
There is a time where the celebration is now over and it is time to go home.
When that magical time comes you need to make the decision to end, extend or do a fake last dance and extend.
For all Non Wedding events, 4 hours is best. Graduations, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Mitzvahs, Jack and Jills, etc.
First hour is cocktails. Second hour is the meal. Final 2 hours is dancing.
Wedding including cocktail hour should be 5 hours
Reception: ( Ex ) 6:00 – 11:00 ( Cocktails = 6:00 – 7:00 )
Wedding including ceremony and cocktails should be 6 hours ( Example, starting at 5:00 )
Pre Ceremony: 5:00 ( Baroque and Classical music played while friends and family take their places )
Cocktails: 6:00 – 7:00. 7:00 = Grand Entrance, First Dance, Blessing, Toast, Dinner )
Reception: 7:00 – 11:00
Shorter is almost always better than longer. 999 time out of 1000, in my opinion )
If you do decide to extend past normal established times, make a special announcement that the party is technically over and thank everyone for coming
When it is time for last dance , about 20 minutes before the designated stop time, as your DJ, first I check with the Bride and Groom to be sure they are ready and do not want over time.
If we choose to extend the time we will often do a fake last dance right then, to release all of the older and more tired guests.
Then when it is time for the Bride and Groom to dance, Bride and Groom are informed that the end of this current song will begin the “last dance” segment.
We check to be sure we are on the right page and everyone knows what is happening.
We announce it is time for last dance …”everyone to edge of the dance floor. Shoulder to shoulder, elbow to elbow, left to right… two wonderful families combining to form one for the final time tonight.”
We announce for the final time that the Bride and Groom are grateful to their guests for attending, “and if you are in this room right now, it is because we love you and we wanted you here with us on this important day in our lives and thank you for being a special part of this very special day.”
Then, if you have opted to extend your celebration I announce “at the end of this dance, if you are tired or have plans for tomorrow we understand, God Bless, safe drive and we will see you soon. For the rest of you, at the end of this song ”Club Smith” (the groom’s last name or married names,) will be open for business and we will party like rock stars until they throw us out. ( insert guests cheering wildly here )
Then we have the Bride and Groom go around the entire dance floor and high five every single guest. ( Strongly recommended ). Then the last dance happens.
With 40 seconds to go in your last dance I ask the guests to move in and get close for a group hug and it makes for great emotion, a great way to end your dance, a great way to end your celebration, great photos and great video.