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With it now officially being “summertime” (yes, really!), peak wedding season is fast approaching. For all you blushing brides and strapping grooms to be, it is the biggest day of your life. But while you worry about whether the flowers match the colour of the bridesmaid’s eyes, all your guests are really interested in is a free meal and a right good “perty” (Party!)

Glasgow’s Gordon Boyle, aka Gordy is a DJ, has been in the entertainment business for over 20 years, after being drafted in as an emergency replacement for a 600 strong Christmas party at the Crowne Plaza, aged only 15. He won the prestigious Scottish VOWS (Voted Outstanding Wedding Supplier) award for music and entertainment in 2016. GlasgowLiving sought out his professional opinion to help your big day go off with a bang… What should any potential newlyweds consider when planning a wedding reception?

When you get a gut feeling for your preferred venue you should go with it. As soon as you have done that, start thinking about entertainment. Whether you’re booking a band or a DJ make sure you know what you’re getting – go and see them and meet them beforehand. You will get what you pay for and good entertainers get booked up quickly. Don’t hang about. And make sure you are very clear about the date you are booking for.

I’ve had calls before to rush to a venue where a band or DJ has failed to show, having taken a booking for the wrong year!

A lot of couples and probably some grooms, in particular, will worry about their first dance. What is your advice?

Some couples spend a lot of time on dance lessons and I would say don’t lose sleep over it. If you feel self-conscious with everyone looking at you then a lengthy track will become the longest 3 or 4 minutes of your life! If you dance like your dad, keep it short and sweet, and get the rest of your wedding party on the floor sharp to take the pressure off.

Speaking of first dances, what is the strangest first dance request you have ever received?

Callum Scott’s Dancing on my Own was a huge hit last year and was very popular but really, dancing on my own, as you dance with your new husband or wife!?

I also had a couple request The Verve’s The Drugs Don’t Work. It was a big hit as they grew up and brought back memories for their close friends but seemed to leave the wider family a little perplexed.

Whatever you do, make sure you’ve given your request to your entertainer and don’t leave them scrabbling about. A friend of mine, doing his first wedding way back in the 1970s, quickly found what he thought was an appropriately slow song for the first waltz at very short notice. Unfortunately, when the panic in his mind cleared he realised the bride and groom were dancing to a popular song by Connie Francis called Who’s sorry now?

What should newlyweds and guests do to ensure the evening is a hit?

If couples want their guests to get up and dance then get up yourselves. All eyes are on you if you’re on the dancefloor people will soon follow. Don’t request too much of the same sort of stuff as you risk alienating some of your guests. Try to find something to appeal to everybody and you’ll have a much better night. And always do your speeches before the meal. I’m often at a venue setting up and see a chalk white groom terrified of their impending speech and really not enjoying the meal that has been a big expense for them. Get your speeches done and then enjoy your dinner.

And what should people avoid doing at a wedding reception?

Lots of couples spend a small fortune on a wedding cake. No guest remembers a cake! They’ll remember a good night much more. Prioritise that.

Of course, people enjoy a drink at weddings, especially in Glasgow, but try to be sensible. As the bride or groom, you obviously want to remember your big day. As a guest, don’t make everyone remember your mate’s wedding as the time you made an arse of yourself. And absolutely do not play practical jokes on the couple. A DJ friend of mine was once convinced by a Best Man the couple had changed their first dance request and proceeded to hit play on a CD that contained Frank Sinatra’s The Lady is a Tramp! It didn’t go down well.

If a wedding party is falling flat then what is the one song to get the dancefloor rocking?

Proud Mary, the Tina Turner version, is usually very well received so that will probably get a reaction. The Slosh can often be a good way to get people off their seats as well.

And what should guests avoid requesting in order to keep the dancefloor occupied?

Your favourite song isn’t always going to make for a party anthem. And do try to think about the content of songs you’re requesting. Dance the Night Away by the Mavericks might be a catchy song but the newlyweds probably don’t want to hear a song that starts…

“here comes my happiness again, right back to where it should have been, cause now she’s gone and I am free”!!

What is your favourite Glasgow venue for a wedding?

House for an Art Lover in Bellahouston Park is a personal favourite. But if you want to get out of the city a little then Glenskirlie Castle, near Falkirk, so not too far to travel, is a hidden gem. It is my favourite venue in the country. But venues are personal. Go with your gut feeling.

What sets a Glasgow wedding apart from elsewhere?

Bits ‘n’ Pieces!! As sure as night turns to day you can almost be sure that you’ll hear Bits ‘n’ Pieces at a Glasgow wedding. It’s so popular in this neck of the woods, Glaswegian’s just seem to love a bit of GBX!

So there you have it, the professional advice to ensuring your Glasgow wedding goes down a storm.

Get the GBX on, hit the dancefloor and enjoy yourself. Just go easy on the free bubbly!!

***Words By Alistair Sargent***