Laugh and Applaud…But Don’t Just Follow

Shortly after a wedding from a couple of years ago, I received a Facebook message from the groomsman that had presented a toast to the Groom at the reception. In part, it read as follows:

“Hey Dave!

I was thinking back the other day and the nerves really died off a lot quicker because of some early laughter a few times. I realized that you were right there letting out the chuckles loudly. I don’t know if you were being sincere or just helping a brother out but in either case thanks a ton cause it helped out!”

Ever since that day, I’ve made an extra effort to keep myself seriously engaged with all laughter and applause at a wedding (whether from speeches or something else).

Then, I started noticing something else. I didn’t just have to follow the guests’ responses, I could actually lead the applause. I could make it happen when maybe no one else would.

If I was properly understanding where the guests were at in relation to what was being said in a speech, where they were in a particular moment, I could prompt applause more often and thereby bring more enthusiasm and meaning to those moments!

I fondly remember participating in Chris and Jillian’s wedding a while back and consciously catching myself at least 5 or 6 times (yes, I was counting!) prompting and leading the applause. Even though that wedding didn’t have a lot of dancing, those extra moments of applause…

…made for some really great moments.
…helped build the confidence in the speakers and what they were sharing.
…raised the energy of the room.
…created more respect for the person speaking.
…made people smile.
…further connected the guests to what and who was being spoken about in those given moments.

If you’re looking for happier guests, happier parents and needless to say, a happier bride and groom, of course you should laugh and applaud…but don’t just follow the applause, lead it.

* This is a newly edited, rewrite, of a post I originally published here on this blog on May 27, 2014.

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6 thoughts on “Laugh and Applaud…But Don’t Just Follow”

  1. Love it. I knew this from many years of performing. Depending on the audience, many, if not most, people feel they need “permission” to laugh or applaud or have any response or perhaps it is that they do not want to be the first. I have always prompted them by doing it myself first. It gives them the “permission” they need. I have always thought of it as one of my primary duties when I am assisting my husband and as just another thing I do when performing by myself.

  2. Yes! Great DJ Thought! Dave, this is just one of the ways that our couples / our events can benefit by each of us “being in the moment” at all times during a reception. The more I can do that, the better the results- everytime. But don’t sell yourself short on what it takes to do what you describe……a big part of being able to participate like this starts with preparation. The better prepared we are in knowing all of the details (and envisioning how they are going to unfold), the more time we have during the event to be in the event! I know that you are great at that– and you’ve reminded me here just how important it is.

    1. I get what you are saying Rich…but this has far more to do with just being in the moment. It just takes “being there”. 🙂

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