About 70 percent of the planning that you will do for your wedding is for the reception. Because though the ceremony is the most romantic part of your big day, what your guests are really looking forward to is the rocking wedding reception where they can let their hair down, let loose, and have fun! With the stakes so high and only one chance to create a memorable experience for your family and friends, here are 5 things you can do to guarantee a fun wedding reception for everyone!

1. Live music!

If you get this one right, you can even ignore the rest of this list. Nothing beats live entertainment at a wedding. It simply supercharges the whole atmosphere! When choosing live music for your wedding reception, you have two options:

  • Hire a wedding band

A bigger party calls for a whole band set up. A jazz quartet is a classic and pleases young and old guests alike. The best wedding bands will accommodate your song requests and will know how to play according to the mood of the crowd. And if you are looking to really party, you can add a percussionist to go around the dance floor for more energy. Keep in mind that a wedding band could work out for a smaller party, too, as long as you communicate your needs and expectations properly.

  • Hire a solo singer/musician

A solo singer or musician can serenade a smaller, more intimate crowd. It’s also a fantastic option if you are on a budget or want live music for the ceremony itself.

Either way, there is no shortage of talented solo musicians and great wedding bands in NYC.

2. Get a DJ

DJs aren’t in charge of the music alone. They can be in charge of the entire party! A wedding DJ can work a wedding reception alone or can be complementary to a live wedding band or a solo percussionist.

3. Plan your break music

If you decide to hire a wedding band as your live entertainment, it’s important to plan the break music. At some point during the reception, the band will have to take a break but the music shouldn’t. It could kill the mood when nothing takes its place. When you discuss the music you like for your wedding, make sure to bring this up with the band you hired and find out ahead of time what you can do to fill this time. Some bands will agree to have a part of them keep playing. If not, you can plan something else.

4. Personalize the seating arrangement

Not everyone is gonna know everybody else at your wedding (though that’s a great goal to have). And if the party turns out really great, that could actually be the result! But until then, make sure that your guests will be seated with people they are comfortable with. This could also be your chance to play matchmaker by putting together two of your single friends who you think will hit it off in one table!

5. Table games

While you are busy having your wedding photos taken, changing into your reception outfit, taking a break, etc., your guests can bond right at their table with table games. There are tons of games you can get your guests to play right at their table! You can also encourage everyone to take photos to post on social media using a hashtag that’s specially created for your wedding!