Rob from The Singing Waiters offer his tips on how to avoid an awkward wedding breakfast

‘Picture the scene if you will…

The best day of your life is upon you – it is your wedding day and thus far all is going to plan. The ceremony went off seamlessly and no-one laughed at the wedding vows you had written yourself. The wedding photography is completed: it didn’t take three hours and all divorced parents behaved themselves impeccably. Despite your generosity with reception drinks no one seemed to get embarrassingly inebriated on champagne and try to start the speeches early. Finally the Master of Ceremonies calls people through to the next room and you get to enter your wedding breakfast to rapturous applause and a room of adoration. As you sit down and take stock on the wonderful day thus far, surrounded by those you care most about in the world and certain that nothing can now go wrong; you are faced with a problem you had not anticipated. There is just a small issue with the perfect scene laid out before you.

There is just one small detail that you had not planned for. Why are my guests not talking to each other?

From a man whose profession means that he has been to wedding breakfasts that number in their hundreds. This is a situation I come across with alarming frequency. I diagnose the problem as the following: “the formality of your occasion is working against your wedding”.  Do allow me to explain: You have chosen a beautiful venue and spent a great deal of time and effort ensuring that you have a room suitable to host such an auspicious occasion. The occasion and the beauty of your room combined with the fact that in all likelihood your guests are sitting with a number of people that they do not know – this creates the perfect storm for awkward social interaction. You also have the pleasure of sitting at the top table looking out from the ideal position to view the silence.

Now just to be clear. I am not suggesting that any of your guests are a stranger to formality. Nor do I try to paint the picture of your friends and family being dull and socially challenged. But rather than looking out on a room of chatting, bubbly enthusiastic guests; can you risk the opposite? A sea of silence interrupted by the occasional request for another bread roll.

In avoiding this problem the seating plan should be your starting place. But you are faced with the difficult decision – do I sit people next to those they know and feel most comfortable with?  This could lead to one or two “fun” tables being outnumbered by many more “quiet” tables. Do I spread the more lively individuals across the room? This could lead to every table having one or two people that are sure to liven up the party but you risk spreading the “party” too thinly. My advice is to sit people next to similar guests and preferably ones that they know. Also where possible – put the tables you know will be more interactive closer to the top table.

Of course you could employ some kind of entertainment to see you through the wedding breakfast (Cue shameless plugging of our own services – the Singing Waiters). Music is always a great idea and I am often amazed at the number of weddings that don’t even have simple background music playing. I always recommend arranging your own CD or playlist to set a nice atmosphere as relying on the venue to choose appropriate tunes could be musical suicide. Live music is always more impressive – but of course very formal music can make the problem worse i.e. a harpist or even our formal opera “Singing Waiter” brothers.

We prefer a more light hearted and relaxed approach – music and the delivery of it designed to put everyone at ease and transform the dynamics. We inject energy into your wedding day – exactly when it is needed. By the time we are done – you will struggle to get them to stop talking. Promise….

Don’t suffer in silence’

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