Wedding Basics: Reception Floor Layout
Hello there, my name is Stephen Scott, and I am a Las Vegs Wedding DJ, the following post will share some of my insight on how and why the Wedding Basics are important, and how easy it is to turn the basic activities into an Amazing Wedding.
What’s wrong with this picture?
I hope this is obvious when you see it set up, but this floor plan is horrible. We’ve got two tables directly between the dance floor and the DJ table. Just fundamentally horrible, set up by people who don’t know what they’re doing. I won’t give this venue the benefit of being named in my blog, but trust me, I did voice my complaints in person. If a bride and groom are planning their first wedding, and say something like “let’s just have the dance floor in the middle and put the tables around it” I understand they might not have a lot of experience with wedding planning. The venue, on the other hand, did not do their job, and set this up in an unprofessional manor.
Wait, what’s the big deal? What’s wrong with this picture?
I’m going to keep this answer simple – my blog audience is aimed at brides and grooms looking for insight and advice, not professionals. (there are certain technical aspects of speaker / light placement that I’m not going to go into here).
In general: by placing the entertainer in the corner, you’re not likely to have premium entertainment coming from a secondary location. People like to say that the bride & groom are the stars of the day, but in my 20+ years of experience, I have yet to see a B&G get up and put on a show for the guests. It just doesn’t happen – that’s why professional entertainers are called upon. So, when putting the main form of entertainment back in the corner, this in practice means you don’t really care about your guests having a good time. Right off the bat, you’re letting your guests know it’s going to be a boring night. (that doesn’t sound like an amazing wedding to me)
SPECIFICALLY: there are two tables between the DJ table and the dance floor. All of the people sitting at those two tables with have the speakers blaring in their ears, and the disco lights will be shining right in their eyes. So there’s 16 people who will be annoyed, not entertained, by the DJ you’ve paid money to entertain. (that doesn’t sound like an amazing wedding to me, or a good use of your money)
How do you fix this?
This is VERY easy to fix. As a rule of thumb, the DJ should be DIRECTLY next to one edge of the dance floor. Always. Every Time.
And if you’re not sure where the dance floor should go in relation to the DJ, guest tables, head tables, and the room in general – ask your DJ to meet you at the venue and go over the room beforehand.
This should be a good test for both the venue and the DJ. please read below
What does this say about the venue?
This is an easy way to tell if the venue is LAZY. I mean as a business, not the individual people that actually work there. There are many times a lazy business will be staffed by people that work too hard (by design)
What I mean by a LAZY venue, is that they try to cut corners and costs. They want to hire as few people as possible. It takes time and money to move the dance floor around for a variety of room layouts. The floor plan shown above with the DJ in the corner ALWAYS comes up at places that are understaffed. The managers try to have a one-size-fits all approach to their business. Which might be great at McDonald’s but aren’t you looking for a special place to have your wedding?
They know that you as a first time bride & groom probably won’t notice something like the floor plan until it’s too late to change, and try to get away with a shortcut based on your lack of experience.
What other shortcuts are they going to try to get away with? (how’s that food taste? how long will it take the servers to come by? how much do they help with the planning and stress?)
What does this say about the DJ?
This is an easy way to tell if your DJ is average or premium. It’s the same thing for a DJ business – they can be LAZY for the same reason. If they don’t want to meet with you and go over the floor plan together, it’s probably because they’re trying to keep costs down. That’s one less meeting they have to go to.
Unless the DJ has worked at that particular venue enough times to go over different floor plans by memory, than you’ll know instantly what kind of DJ you’re dealing with.
A DJ that doesn’t want to take the time to see the room beforehand is NOT going to take the time to personalize the performance – they’re going with the one-size-fits-all approach. Is that what you want?
Trust me, the floor plan will not make or break your Wedding Reception. I would be surprised if the Event from the picture above was even aware something was wrong (except for those 2 tables – who all stood up and walked around when the music got loud) I made sure to spend some extra time walking around the reception so that the guests enjoyed themselves. But it’s an important indicator.
Is your DJ willing to do the extra effort, meet you in person, go over things together so that you’re comfortable AND you make the right choices. Or will he just show up and play music? If you don’t want a boring wedding reception, don’t hire an average, one-size-fits-all DJ.
I’m Stephen Scott, and I believe the little details DO matter, and they DO add up.
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The Real DJ Steve:
Stephen Scott (The Real DJ Steve) started his first Wedding DJ business in 1996 while living in Honolulu. During his 20 years of entertaining since then he has mastered the art of reading a crowd. He’s an open format DJ that always stays current, mixing the hottest hits of today with the all-time favorite songs.
He has performed across the country, playing whatever musical style fits that particular crowd. His move to Las Vegas in 2015 has been so successful that he has started his own talent agency to book events together with other local artists so that they can also enjoy the DJ lifestlye.