Wedding Reception Entrances (No, They Don’t Have To Be Grand) by Meg Keene I got this excellent question from reader Laura: I am not a “grand entrance” kind of girl. In fact, I think they are downright silly. And, I’d prefer to stick with the tradition I grew up with (and that my family is used to), in which the first dance is after dinner, not before. The DJ we met with last night and our caterer (who is great, really) are totally confused by this. They think that the party “won’t get started” without a big entrance followed by a dance. Are they right? Am I nuts? I just can’t see making all my guests watch my new husband and me sway like 6th graders for 3 minutes before allowing them to eat. Um. No. You are not nuts. I actually AM a grand entrance kind of girl, and there was no way that I wanted any part of that for my wedding. We just were not having that sort of party. So what did our entrance look like? So, after our ceremony, we had our yichud (do this, people) and then our photographers pulled us aside for five minutes of photographs. And then we wanted to party. We were so excited to party. So we just walked over to the cocktail party going on, like so:And that was it. I’d tell you our first dance happened after lunch and after cake cutting, and it did, technically. But we also snuck away during the cocktail hour to dance to Nina Simone’s “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free,” just the two of us. Because that’s what getting married felt like (especially the last two lines): I wish I knew how It would feel to be free I wish I could break All the chains holding me I wish I could say All the things that I should say Say ’em loud say ’em clear For the whole round world to hear I wish I could share All the love that’s in my heart Remove all the bars That keep us apart I wish you could know What it means to be me Then you’d see and agree That every man should be free Meg Keene Founder & Editor-In-Chief Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.