Success Plan:


Somebody’s Daddy

A Success Plan for Your Wedding Reception

First of all, thanks you for inviting us to share your special day. We will work hard to make the reception a memorable event and the talk-of-the-town by your guest.

This information is designed to outline our experience and thoughts for a successful reception.


Depending on the wedding site and reception location, we normally arrive 1-2 hours before the reception start time to set up the P.A., stage lights and major equipment. That gives us ample time to not only set up, but also debug any sound issues, EQ the room and perform a sound check prior to guest arrival.

The bandstand should be a minimum of 12’ deep and 16’ wide to provide ample space for the band to perform. Before you take out your tape measure, be assured that we have worked in some pretty tight spaces. The recommendations are provided for optimal space. We are very flexible when it comes to space.


By now, you should have made some preliminary decisions about the special dance music we will play. Some brides choose to follow the traditional rules for a formal reception. There really are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the wedding reception, so you are free to do pretty much whatever you want. It is your party and you can choose according to your wishes. However, it has been our experience that some traditions need to be considered to make it a classy event.

    Consider if the entire wedding party (the bridesmaid and groomsmen) will be formally announced. Some brides desire this degree of formality while others only need the wedding couple announced as they arrive and enter the reception area. If the entire party is to be introduced formally at the reception, consider using the same pairing you used during the wedding ceremony itself. This add continuity and eliminates the need to reorder the couples before the reception. You will need to furnish our script for these announcements a few days before the reception. Please be sure and include pronunciation tips for those questionable names on the list. Some brides have also furnished some anecdotal quips about the individuals to lighten the moment. (Example: John Doe, brother to the groom, is single and has made it known that this is the first and last time he will wear a tuxedo!)

    We recommend you perform the “First Dance” as soon as possible upon arrival since most guest will feel awkward dancing prior to the “First Dance”. Performing the first dance as soon you arrive will free others to follow suit and enjoy more of the music.

    Please notify us in advance if you wish for us to emcee these events or if there is another person doing so. If you have another person doing this task, please advise them to see us during the set-up to coordinate the events to follow.

    The Wedding Coordinator usually handles the duties of advising everyone on the order of the evenings event. If no coordinator is used, it is usually the photographer who directs the process so he can be ready to capture the special moments on film.

    Following the “First Dance” (if you have planned to do so) proceed with other special dances. They are as follows but not limited to:

    Bride and Dad Dance

    Groom and Mom Dance

    Wedding Party Dance

    (All groomsmen and bridesmaids dancing as a couple and as a group)

    Mother and Father Dance (usually both couples simultaneously)

    Grandmothers and Grandfathers Dance (also performed simultaneously)

Again, if you have all the special dances performed prior to other guest dancing, you avoid the awkward moment of asking your guest to clear the dance floor. You want your guest to enjoy the band and dance. Performing the “first dance” (and any other special numbers) will make for a better flow for the party.

One additional note to consider: A few brides have provided us feedback stating the special songs are too long and they do not enjoy being on the dance floor during the multiple verses being played. If you wish for us to play a modified version of the song, let us know. If you and your fiance have been taking dance lessons for a year and you want to take full advantage of the song, let us know. If not directed otherwise, we will play the song as written - all verses and chorus included. Its your preference, so consider this detail and decide how you want the songs played.


Depending on the number of special dances performed, the band can then play several more slow and soft numbers to encourage your guest to dance. At that point, consider performing the cake-cutting rituals during the first break that follows the first set. The guest and wedding party can view these activities with no distraction. This also gives them the opportunity to hear the banter between bride and groom as they attempt to feed each other cake and punch.

Unless told otherwise, we provide a soft mix of pre-recorded music during the break. This will fill the dead air and will provide a soundtrack for the events taking place during the break. These playlist can also be modified to suit the theme, mood and overall desires of the wedding couple.

As the evening progresses and the band takes the stage for the second set, the tempo and energy level of the crowd should now begin to build.

The garter and bouquet toss can be performed just after the second band break. These rituals would be performed as we take the stage preparing for the set. A well-timed drum roll provides an excellent soundtrack for these activities and really creates suspense as the garter and bouquet are thrown. Immediately upon completion, the band will be in position to begin play. This will create a smooth transition.

The second set will be a bit louder and we typically encourage the bridesmaids and groomsmen to get on the dance floor and boogie. Some high-energy, audience participation numbers are selected to encourage their participation and get the party really going.

If you have a reserved seating chart, you may wish to put the older guest farther away from the dance floor/band and seat the younger guest closer. We always monitor our volume level but putting grandma under a loudspeaker may not make for an enjoyable evening for her.

If possible, the band should be set up directly in front of the dance floor with no tables between the band and the dance floor. This gives us a good connection with the dancers and insures no one is seated directly in front of the speakers.

You need to review our song list and determine if there are songs on the list you do not want to hear played at the reception. Since the list is inclusive of songs we are requested to play in various environments (club, wedding, festival, corporate event, etc.) we are pretty good at picking those that get the audience on the dance floor. However, if some particular song was the favorite of your fiancee's “old flame”, we certainly need to know that so we can eliminate it from the list.

I’m sure that when you selected our band, one of the criteria was the diversity of music we play. We pride ourselves on appealing to not only the baby-boomers but also the younger crowd as well. We play a broad cross-section of music from the 60’s and 70’s that will appeal to your parents generation. We also can play music from the 80’s and 90’s that also appeal to your generation as well. If you are like my daughters, (Age 26 and 22) you enjoy dancing to these oldies as well and they really capture the best of both world’s musically.

If you would like to review our set list prior to the reception, please request to do so. We do not mind and it will resolve a lot of potential problems if you do. But please grant us the right to choose the songs we know will appeal to everyone at the reception. We do not perform any original songs and every tune we play will more than likely be recognizable to a broad cross-section of your guest.


In some instances, the bride and groom leave the reception in grand style at the height of the party. Some choose to stay till the very end and depart, escorted out by those remaining guest. Either way, the band can be instructed to play a “last song” in order to announce the exit of the newlyweds. Please let us know you preference. By announcing this last song, we can help point the audience to the departure and make it the focal point of the moment. We do not want the music to be a distraction from the wedding couple’s departure.

The number of sets to be played by the band is usually defined in the performance contract. Should the bride and groom elect to leave the party early, we will always assume we are to continue playing for the duration of the terms of the contract. Some guest will linger and enjoy the music while others see your departure as the official end of the reception. Since you are absent, we normally rely on the father of the bride or the wedding coordinator to give direction on this matter.

Please remember that all of these suggestions are based on our experience playing wedding receptions. If you, or your wedding coordinator have other ideas, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your wishes. This is your day and we want it to be a memorable one.

Call if you have any questions!

Tommy Ellison

Somebody’s Daddy



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