Make it Grand with Peter Merry and Liz Daley!

Back in my reception days, I always contended that entertainment could make or break an event. All you need is for one band leader to mispronounce an entire list of wedding party names, and you no doubt felt the same way too. 🙂

So I was thrilled to hear that Peter Merry and Liz Daley would be making a stop here in Richmond en route to their Make it Grand workshop in DC.  Join Peter and Liz on Monday July 9 at an open meeting of the Richmond ADJA this coming Monday. For more information, click here or  contact ADJA Richmond president JB Bostic at  If you’re north of Richmond, they’ll also be making a stop Sunday night at the launch event for the new Prince William Wedding & Event Network.

I had the pleasure of chatting with Liz further this  week and she was kind enough to share a bit of insight into the world of wedding entertainment. Without further ado, here’s Liz!

What are the key ingredients to a successful wedding reception?

Short and Self- Serving Answer: Hire great entertainment.

Long Answer.  First, decide exactly WHAT you want your wedding reception to be (fun, laid-back, elegant, over-the-top, simple,  a throw-down party or a pleasant cocktail party,  etc) , then determine the most important facets of your vision, then spend the majority of your budget on those items. Following these guidelines, you will have a party that is successful, because it will be what you have envisioned and what you want.

What do you find to be the most frequently asked question from brides?

How much?  LOL. Everybody asks that.  🙂   Actually, today’s brides are very well informed because of the internet.   But they always have lots of questions.

Typical questions:

1.   “How long do wedding receptions normally last?”  (4 to 6 hours)

2.  “Do I really have to have a receiving line?”  (no you do not….unless your mother will kill you if you don’t)

3.  “Can I have two Maids of Honor” (absolutely)

4.  “Can you shorten my first dance song or a parents dance song, I don’t want to dance in front of everyone for five minutes?” (absolutely)

5.  “How will we get everyone’s attention for the formalities?”  (hire a great Master of Ceremonies)

What I WISH they would ask at the first meeting….What makes you different, and how can you make my wedding amazing?

How about from wedding professionals?

I don’t have a lot of interaction prior to the wedding day.  But usually at the reception as everyone is arriving and setting up…the typical question is.  “What time is the music ending?” Which is understandable because people have kids, puppies, kitties, spouses, etc.    The next question is usually when are the formalities are happening.  Such as, “When is the Grand Entrance, what time is dinner,  when is the toast, cake cutting and garter/bouquet”?

What I WISH they would ask….What fun things are we doing tonight?

What wedding entertainment trends are catching your eye right now?

Up Lighting and Lighting Design to augment decor and Photo Booths

With your upcoming talks here in Virginia, what kind of takeaways can attendees anticipate?

Peter and I will be talking about how to make wedding receptions more fun from the entertainment perspective.  We will talk about real ideas and solutions everyone can immediately put into practice.

Thanks Liz for stopping by!  I hope wedding pros in the area will take advantage of these great events!

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding pr firm OFD Consulting. She is the exclusive wedding pr columnist to wedding marketing journal WedLock magazine and is a highly sought after speaker in the wedding industry. She loves ruffle table runners and Royal Wedding Tchotchkes. To learn how OFD Consulting can assist you with your wedding marketing and wedding pr, please contact us today.


Meghan Ely

Regarded as one of the leading wedding publicists in the US, Meghan Ely combines in-the-trenches event experience with a love of wedding PR. She has earned coverage for her clients with the New York Times, People, Brides, Bridal Guide, The Knot, Martha Stewart Weddings, CNN Money, and more. She is a WeddingPro Expert and long-time contributor to and