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Category Archives: Wedding Reception

Hiring The Right Entertainment/DJ For Your Wedding

We recently asked brides “What are you most worried about for your wedding?”

We received so many different answers – many said rain which we blogged about earlier, but several said they worried about the entertainment, that no one would dance and their guests would be bored.

We got some quick advice in that blog, but there is so much more to say so let’s get into it! Introducing our friend and guest blogger Art Armani of Armani Entertainment to give you the best advice for the reception you want.

Art Armani of Armani Entertainment
Art Armani, Armani Entertainment

Before hiring a band or DJ, ask yourself if you can remember the flowers or linens at the last wedding you attended? Most likely not. 

You will remember the bride’s dress, the food, and the entertainment.  Prioritize your budget in that that order and you will most likely have the wedding you dreamed of!

As an entertainer of 20 plus years and owner of Armani Entertainment I can tell you from a DJ’s POV that there are many factors that can affect the outcome of a wedding reception’s success. I want to share this knowledge with you.

Use these factors below to set your dance floor expectations:

  • The Bride and The Groom’s involvement is the biggest factor to success.  The focus of the reception itself is always on the Bride and Groom.  Guests will follow them around the whole night so if the bride and groom are outside taking breaks, people will follow them outside.  If the bride and groom don’t hit the dance floor, the chances of a full dance floor for the whole evening is decreased.  So we always encourage at a minimum, the Bride to get out there and dance.
  • Day of week and time of reception.  If the wedding is an early one and on a Sunday we usually see less activity on the floor as people are used to the party / dance atmosphere in the evenings and on a Friday or Saturday night.  So if your party is in the middle of the week, early in the day or on a Sunday evening when most people have to get back to work on Monday, the guests may take it a little easier than they do on a Friday or Saturday night.
  • The venue itself.  We have been at a few venues where the room was too small, not well ventilated and the party was spread out between multiple rooms and even outdoors.  Having a situation like this can also hinder a dance floor.  If it’s too hot, people tend to go outside for fresh air or where it’s cooler thus making it harder to keep a dance floor full.  We often see this in the barn venues and historic house venues.
  • Too many formalities and breaks in the flow.  These days we are seeing longer dance times and fuller floors when there are less breaks such as formal cake cuttings, garter and bouquet tosses, parents dances, sparkler sendoffs that happen too early and end the party too soon.  Get the formalities out of the way as soon as you can including the introductions, parent dances and toasts so that those are out of the way and you can get to dancing right after dinner. 

Give the DJ an idea of the age groups and types of music your guests may like.  Giving this information to the DJ can help them prepare the right entertainment for your guests ahead of time. Include a note in the invitation asking for one song that would make them get up and dance.  Then compile these for the DJ and present at your final planning meeting.

Don’t have a Must Play list over 25 songs – doing this can make the DJ part seem staged and confines the DJ to not be able to have some creative freedom.  Instead hand over a few must plays and describe the styles / decades of music that the guests are into.  Dictating too much of a playlist, you might be better off just hooking up an iPod.

Along the same lines, don’t have a huge Do Not Play List.  Doing so handicaps the DJ and leaves less room to play the hits that your guests will want to hear. 

One thing I tell my couples is that the dance part is a way to thank the guests for taking the time to attend, book hotel rooms, travel etc.  Thank them by allowing them to hear the music that makes them dance.

Definitely warn us if Uncle Joe has a habit of requesting the ‘odd unknown B side track from a 70s album’. We know how to handle that and sometimes fit it in at an appropriate time as to not disrupt a dance floor.  If Uncle Joe comes up later and requests that song later in the evening while the dance floor is packed, we know how to curb it politely.

Hire a DJ that knows how to read a crowd and notice what is working and can build on that, and one who knows how to seamlessly mix out of a song that isn’t working.  A good DJ should be able to end a song early if it’s not working and mix into another one to keep testing until people are on the dance floor. 

If the floor is completely empty and the DJ lets the track play until the end.. you hired the wrong DJ.

Don’t panic during the coffee / desert time if the dance floor is less.  Let them eat cake and refuel for the final hour/s of the reception.  That time is actually a great time to fit in a snippet of Uncle Joe’s oddball song request!

Just because people are not dancing does not mean they are not enjoying the music or aren’t having a good time!  Sometimes guests are very content with a laid back reception dance floor.

Hire a DJ that knows when to and when not to jump on the microphone.  The DJ doesn’t always have to be yelling into the microphone… let the music speak for itself.

Hire a DJ that knows how to control the sound volumes so that it’s not so loud that people don’t want to get near the dance floor.  The volume should be at a point where people want to move to the dance floor to feel the music, and feel safe at their tables to get away, relax and chat etc.  Creating that safe buffer zone works wonders.

Have a question about the entertainment for your wedding? Let us know – or contact Art directly through his website! He is an entertainment professional with over 20 years experience, 5-star google ratings and a consistent winner of the Happenings Lists!

New and Unique Wedding Desserts

There are many choices the couple-to-be will have to make during wedding planning, but the sweetest of them all is choosing the desserts that you’ll be serving to your guests at the end of the night!

As more couples begin to do away with old-fashioned wedding traditions, the customary wedding cake may not be present at the reception or just one option in an assortment of sweets. The dessert arrangement can be just as unique as the couple themselves! If you are in the process of deciding what desserts you want to serve at your wedding, here are a few ideas for you.

Wedding Cake

New twist on a dessert cake, bite size squares in pink and gold stacked up amid pink an white macaroons and roses
Who could resist a bite of this cake?

The traditional wedding cake is still the most popular of all desserts for couples – no surprise! The ability to mix and match different cake flavors to a variety of frosting choices makes having a cake a very versatile dessert option. The cake can also serve as a very delicious piece of decor!

Customizing the cake with flowers, cake toppers, or edible decorations can transform it from being just a cake to a gorgeous statement piece. Couples also typically choose a cake for the traditional cake cutting or to save the top tier for their first anniversary. Regardless, the wedding cake is a staple of most weddings and is a tradition that is here to stay!


Cupcakes in white and shades of blues decorated as flowers
Almost too pretty to eat!

If you are interested in the cake but want to provide more flexibility to your guests, cupcakes may be a great option for you! Cupcakes are a great choice of desserts if you are looking to offer a variety of flavors (or maybe some un-traditional flavors) to your guests without having to commit to an entire slice. Since each cupcake is individually decorated, this could be a fun way to incorporate a theme or interests of the couple (ex. sports, pets, etc).

If you are a COVID couple in the midst of planning a minimony, cupcakes are an amazing way to limit exposure among guests as they are already portioned out as opposed to having someone cutting slices and handing out plates.


Sugar cookies shaped as mannequin forms iced in white looking like actual lace and silk wedding dresses
Say yes to the cookie!

There are few things better than a good cookie! The options that you have with cookies are nearly endless to appease any differing tastes or dietary needs. You can even kick the personalization up a notch by having the baker ice the cookie with the couples’ names, monogram, wedding date, and so much more. Not only can you serve these during dessert, but you can also provide bags for guests to take some home as favors at the end of the night!

For the COVID couple, consider having some individually wrapped for your guests to grab and go at the end of your reception.


Any bride with a wedding board on Pinterest has seen the infamous doughnut wall! It is essentially a peg board with doughnuts hanging from it where guests can walk right up and claim one for themself. The self serve option of a doughnut wall is perfect for a minimony! For couples holding out for post-pandemic celebrations, consider having a doughnut truck in attendance. Having the truck on site offers your guests fresh doughnuts and can provide a fun backdrop for photo ops!

Cake Pops & Chocolate Strawberries

lavender and gold chocolate covered strawberries
Chocolate Strawberries in gorgeous colors

Both of these delicious little treats have really taken off over the last few years! If you are a fan of sampling a little of everything offered, cake pops and chocolate strawberries are a great substitute for the cake or cupcakes. Cake pops are a perfect choice for the couple that has many tastes as you can customize the flavors of the cake and the frosting on these little bites.

For anyone who isn’t up for cake, enter the strawberry that can be decorated in any number of ways! They fit nicely into any dessert display and are the perfect treats for both minimonies and big celebrations alike! Individually boxed cake pops with personalized stickers also make great favors at the end of the night if you are looking for something that your guests will really enjoy!

Caramel or Candy Apples

caramel apples decorated as bride's lace and groom's tuxedo
Bride and Groom Apples!

An unconventional choice for many – I know! If you are a couple with a Fall wedding, you may want to consider these, though. Many people really enjoy a good caramel or candy apple but rarely go out of their way to seek them out. Having a display of caramel and candy apples can not only serve as a cute and timely piece of decor, but offering your guests a sweet and seasonal treat will absolutely stand out in their mind when they think back on your big day!

Depending on the venue, you could even have a station where guests could make their own and choose toppings like nuts or chocolate chips. Provide boxes for your guests to take their creations home and go down in history for having the best favors of all time!

The desserts you can offer at your wedding are truly limitless. Explore options with your bakery and see how you can work to create the perfect assortment for you and your guests!

About the author: Daria Capaldi is the manager of Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo and one-half of its namesake. On the cusp of the Millennial/Gen Z divide, she is uniquely suited for understanding the wedding industry both from a business perspective and a bride’s planning perspective. A graduate of James Madison University and the Disney Internship Program, Ms. Capaldi upholds the customer experience as key. She is also a Wish Granter for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. A Warrington, Bucks County native, she currently resides in Huntingdon Valley.

Guest Blogger: Photo Booth for Your Wedding Reception

Armani EntertainmentThinking of a Photo Booth for your reception?  We spoke with Art Armani from Armani Entertainment to get more info on his business which also includes DJs, Karaoke, and Trivia services!  A great package to consider for the ultimate in guest entertainment.

One of the most fun ideas you can incorporate into your wedding reception – or any event – is the Photo Booth.  Consider at a wedding not everyone may want to dance and a photo booth offers an entertainment option for those guests as well as those who do like to dance.

Continue reading "Guest Blogger: Photo Booth for Your Wedding Reception"