Lighting and styling are key for gorgeous looking receptions. You want to be able to dim the lights for eating and mingling with family and friends then be able to turn up the lights just enough for people speaking and your first dance. If you can manage it, always have a real DJ or live band/musician, never just whack a digital music player into the house system for your music. A true DJ knows how to work the crowd, timing is everything when people are involved and the same goes for a live performance. Consider staging a fake exit while folks still have the energy! Some of your older guests might not be up as late as you. Working in some sparklers is an epic way to exit. Perhaps after the cake, first dance or bouquet and garter toss then let the party begin. I can leave sooner as you do not need me until 2:00 am taking a lot of repetitive dancing photos. Another tip – As you can appreciate during your reception people don’t love being photographed while eating meals. If we ( your photographer/videographer ) get our dinner at the same time as you get fed, then we can finish our meals together and then go outside for some photos while your guests are still getting eating. Once your guests are finished, you’ll have more time to mingle once everyone has eaten. If we get fed after all your guests then you’ll miss out on photos of mingling with guests and outside photos. While I’m talking about food. Can you please inform the kitchen that my dietary requirements are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and onion free. I love meat!