All good things must eventually come to an end….and that unfortunately includes your wedding reception.
Your guests have had a good time, they don’t want to go home….but the party’s come to an end.
“Play one more” comes the cry from the dance floor.
Unfortunately, on many occasions, I’m not LEGALLY ALLOWED to continue playing amplified music after a prescribed time as will be set out in your venue’s licensing agreement with the local authority. Breaching these conditions can lead to your venue losing their entertainments license, and me being taken to court for loss of earnings….it’s that serious!
However, there IS a way around this situation which I use an awful lot.
It’s called the “Dummy Ending”
With your permission, this is the perfect way to end your evening entertainment. It keeps your guests happy (believe me….I can go from hero to zero for NOT playing one more!), and it satisfies all licensing requirements.
In practice, I finish five minutes before the official end time.
No, it doesn’t mean I get paid for five minutes work I haven’t done…..far from it. This is how it works….
At the times agreed with your venue, I will call last orders and time at the bar. It’s usually a cue to your guests that the party is coming to an end and you’ll notice guests starting to make tracks for home at this point.
It’s also something the venue has to do by law.
If your reception is due to end at midnight, last orders will normally be at around 11:30-11:40, with time at the bar being at the venue’s discretion (normally between 10-15 minutes after last orders have been called). I will generally look to have the “official” last track end at 11:55 pm and make the “thanks and have a safe and pleasant journey home” announcements to signify the end of the party.
At this point (and this is sadly a true fact), many of your guests will have no idea that I’ve finished early. The normal procedure then is for some or many of your guests to insist “one more” track is played. It happens at 99% of weddings.
Now…if I’d timed everything to run to the last possible minute – I’d have to refuse (as already mentioned, it’s not my choice but legal restrictions that insist that I turn off at a certain time). It tends to leave a sour taste in the air because I’m seen as the bad guy 🙁
However, if I’ve ended with a dummy ending…I still have time for the elusive “one more” to be played. Your guests are happy, your venue is happy, and nobody has broken any laws!
It’s a simple concept, but it works! It’s definitely something to consider at YOUR wedding reception.
Of course, if you’ve specified what the last song of the evening is to be, then this will be the “one more” (it’s rare for the last song to be a guest request unless you’re happy for that to be the case).