Welcome to the blog, sort of like a digital garden where dreams are planted and grow wild! My name is Quianna and my family calls me “Qui” like key! I’m a destination wedding photographer based in Scottsdale and the Bay Area.
I love adventures and creating memories even more than I love photographing them—and I LOVE taking photos! In addition to capturing weddings, family milestones, and the best memories I also offer business tools, motivation and inspiration to help creatives turn their passions into their profession. We only get this one life, why not live our days doing what we love?
TIMELINE WEEK | Wedding Reception and DJ Logistics with Adam The Dancing Cowboy
Introducing our first guest speaker, Adam The Dancing Cowboy! Adam is a Northern California wedding and event DJ specializing in line dancing entertainment for your guests and fun dancing vibes!
We went LIVE on instagram to chat all about reception tips, logistics and helping couples discover what type of reception vibe they are looking for!
The Dancing Cowboy | Interview Recap
Q: What kind of vibe do you want for your wedding?
Many couples aren’t too sure what to expect for their reception and if this isn’t discussed in advance it can lead to misinterpreted expectations.
So… Do you guys prefer a FUN dance party or more of a low key and mingling reception for more conversations with guests and photo opportunities?
If you’re feeling more of a dance party and celebration, Adam suggests getting the traditions like first dances, cake, bouquet/garter tosses done early! This allows more time out on the dance floor without interruptions. It’s hard to keep escalating the dance floor when it’s broken up between events and photo opts.
If you imagine a more low key, mingling family reunion status reception, Adam suggests requesting more of a variety of songs to keep your evening feeling light hearted and fun, but still subtle enough to enjoy conversations.
Q: When is the best time to plan for toasts and speeches?
If you have a rowdy crowd and alcohol is involved, Adam suggests getting the speeches done BEFORE dinner. It’s also important to ensure everyone is seated and not stuck in the buffet line when speeches begin.
I also added that it’s a good idea to schedule toasts after dinner or once the couple/head table is done eating. No one wants photos of you chewing while enjoying toasts!
If your wedding party and crowd is a bit more conservative, it’s okay to plan speeches between plates or even after dinner before dancing begins. Adam suggests keeping speeches to 2-3 minutes – short and sweet! Also, it’s encouraged to refrain from offering an open mic! Giving you and your guests more time to personally chat instead of pausing the whole night for these drawn out (often tipsy) speeches.
Q: What are the benefits of offering line dancing and entertainment during the reception?
Family portraits during cocktail hour can take some time, it’s always a good idea to give your guests something to do while they wait instead of pounding drinks. Adam offers line dancing for all genres, not just country music to keep your guests moving and laughing while they wait for the wedding party to join the fun! Plus getting everyone out on the dance floor will be a great time to capture a full wedding portrait of all your guests and to help get THE PARTY STARTED!
Q: What’s a good timeline for the entire DJ experience?
Typically the average wedding needs about 5 hours of DJ services…
30ish Minutes of Prelude Music (Prelude is a fancy word for pre-ceremony music!)
30 Minute Ceremony
45 Minute – One Hour Cocktail Hour
3 Hours for Dinner, Speeches and Dancing
Some weddings may extend their dancing time, but on average Adam finds about 45 minutes to one hour for a dance party is typically enough as guests start to leave. Adam also suggests considering an after party location. This will be a great break to encourage young families and the elderly a chance to escape, without feeling rude. Then the after party can pick up at a local bar or private location for wedding guests still excited to dance and celebrate!
Tips and Tricks | Wedding Ideas from Adam The Dancing Cowboy
Cross Check Your Timelines – The week of your wedding connect all vendors to ensure they are all on the same team with a shared timeline. There’s nothing worse than having 2-3 timelines between the venue, photographer and DJ trying to piece it all together and communicate the best interest for the couple that same day!
Coordinate with Photographers – Typically by the end of the night, the catering crew and venue are in full motion and many of the talented vendors have tapered off for the night. Leaving the wedding coordinator, photographers, videographers and DJ left to run the show! Having great communication or a contact person to be 2 steps ahead of the wedding events will be key!
Set Expectations for Speeches – Encourage toasts and speeches to only last about 2-3 minutes to keep them sentimental, but to the point! Nothing puts a damper on the reception like long, drawn out and boring speeches!
Thank You + Share Gratitude – It’s always a good idea for the couple to grab the mic during the reception to share a quick thank you and appreciation for the day!
This week I’m excited to ask each guest speaker one closing question…
Q: What’s Your Favorite Moment or Memory from a wedding day?
Adam mentioned a wedding ceremony where the officiant shared the couples back story on how they met and how their relationship began. He noted that this couple was from his home town, so it was even more special to know about the locations and restaurants they were talking about! This gave insight to the couple’s story and was a special way to celebrate the whole reason why they gathered for the ceremony in the first place.
Another on of his couple’s celebrated their union by blending a glass of wine, one red and one white. This was the perfect symbol for a bartender’s wedding!
I love when couples can be creative and incorporate their love story into their day!
Thank you Adam for sharing your expertise and giving some insight to creating a wedding reception that couples and wedding guests will LOVE!
Thanks again Adam! I look forward to working with you soon!