Reception Area Configuration
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Reception Area Configuration

When planning your big day, one of the most important things to get right is the reception venue and its configuration. Over the years, I have seen some great ones, and some awful ones. Many couples, planners, and venues make a great effort in determining the room size and configurations based on the number of anticipated guests, but place lesser emphasis upon guest/event traffic flow, and DJ/dance floor placements. Let's take a look at these sometimes overlooked concerns, and apply two tips to perfect the night.

It's extremely important for your event to have an ease of traffic flow through your event timeline. From your grand entrance, to the last dance, you won't want to have to snake your way through tables, (or in the case of a very large reception) travel back and forth across a huge room. 

1. Match your configuration to your timeline: 
For example:
Looking in from the main entrance: If your cake is located in the far left corner of the venue, your wedding party table is right wall center, and the dance floor is straight ahead toward the rear wall, you would be best served by cutting your cake prior to your first dances. It allows you to flow back toward your table (if needed) as you cycle through your timeline. This gives the venue staff ample time to portion the cake for your guests while you dance, and toss the bouquet/garter, and puts you on the dance floor when open dancing begins.

Some venues will have a tendency to place the DJ in a corner. In the worst cases we have seen, placement of 20-30 feet from the dance floor with guest tables between! Often this terrible configuration is done in an effort to make the dance floor the center of attention, and while I agree with the concept, the execution makes for an uncomfortable evening for the guests at those tables.

  • Corner placement of the DJ is fine, assuming that the placement allows the sound to radiate evenly through the room, and has a balanced and primary focus on the dancefloor. If this cannot be achieved naturally, then consider an extended sound set up. Extended sound set ups place additional speakers (with separate volume control) strategically in the room.


They say that typing in all caps is the equivalent of yelling....Well maybe I am, but that is only because of how important it is to never do this. Never allow your venue to do this. Never allow your planner to do this. Did I say NEVER?

While this won't affect the reception during dinner, it will when the party starts. Professional speakers put out anywhere from 200-1000 watts RMS of sound with SPL's of 90 (a jackhammer)-136 (rock concert) db. That's technical jargon for "the poor folks sitting at these tables are at risk for an unpleasant night at best, and hearing loss at worst."

Utilizing these two tips will help you to insure a fun and memorable evening! For more ideas and advice on planning visit the link below, and share your comments and questions with us!


5 Comments to Reception Area Configuration:

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Coolum Accommodation on Thursday, August 28, 2014 2:04 AM
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ben on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 1:06 AM
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Audio Care on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 10:50 AM
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Google on Friday, December 20, 2019 8:33 AM
I am glad to read this article.
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