Typical Wedding Reception Timeline

Typical Wedding Reception Timeline


Keep the Energy High With a Great Timeline!

A fun and stress-free wedding reception is a well-planned wedding reception timeline. A step-by-step timetable of events, and an experienced DJ / Event Director to oversee them, will keep your party going.

Create a Timetable

Evening wedding reception timelines in the southeast typically begin at 6 p.m. and conclude at midnight. Here’s an EXAMPLE:
  • 6 – 7:00 Guests arrive. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are served. DJ plays light music.
  • 7:00 – 7:15 Guests are seated. Bridal Party is introduced into the room. Bride and Groom enjoy their Grand Entrance. Cake is cut. Bridal party is seated at head table.
  • 7:15 – 7:30 Toasts are made. Grace is said.
  • 7:30 – 8:40 Dinner is served.
  • 8:40 – 8:59 Dinner is cleared while Bride & Groom pose for photos and visit with guests. Guests are free to stretch, visit restrooms; go outside to smoke, call home, etc. DJ gathers bridal party for the special dances.
  • 8:59 – 9:00 Special introductions (usually grandparents)
  • 9:00 – 9:15 Bridal dances
  • 9:15 – 9:45 Dance & party music
  • 9:45 – 10 Bouquet & garter toss.

Anniversary Dance (OPTIONAL)

  • 10:00 – 12 Dance & Party Music

Important Considerations

Regarding your Hall
If you have invited out-of-town guests, and there is more than an hour between the ceremony and the reception, ask your reception hall what time it will open its doors and if you’ll be charged for asking staff to open early for your visiting guests. Remember to share opening and closing times with your vendors, too. These are all important factors for the wedding reception timeline.

Bridal Dance Alternative
Occasionally, the bride and groom will choose to do their bridal dance immediately upon being introduced into the hall. This has become fashionable in New York City where, due to time constraints, wedding receptions generally last 3-4 hours. However, in Michigan, where wedding receptions are much longer, it is best for the bride and groom to enjoy their first dance after dinner, thus inviting other guests to join the party immediately following. The wedding reception timeline should reflect this.

 

Cake Cutting
Brides & grooms have found that the best time to cut their cake is immediately upon walking into the room. If the cake will be served as a dessert course, it should always be cut right away, allowing time for the cake to be plated and served. If the cake will be made available on buffet tables for self-service, although not recommended, it can be cut after dinner.

 

 

 

 

Who Will Give Speeches and Toasts?
Once the Bridal Party is seated at the head table, toasts can begin immediately. Speeches which accompany toasts should be kept between 2-5 minutes. It is VERY IMPORTANT to do all speeches, toasts and grace consecutively. It is very difficult to interrupt your guests table conversations multiple times. It’s also easier to hear without the clanking of forks during dinner service.

 

 

 

Traditional Order of toasts, speeches & grace:

– Father (or mother) of the Bride (IF he/she so desires)
– Father (or mother) of the Groom (IF he/she so desires),
– Best Man
– Maid or Matron of Honor (increasingly popular)
– Anyone else who wishes to toast or give a speech (Remember, less is best!)
– Bride and Groom (If they want to thank their guests, etc.)
– Grace (Always last. Usually said by clergy, parent or grandparent)

Bridal Dances
Avoid the temptation of having too many formal dances. If you want to share a special dance with your grandmother, for example, it is best to do it while guests can also dance. Remember, your guests attention will wander if asked to watch the newlyweds dance with everyone special to them. Our DJ will keep this moving!

Order of Dances:
Bride & Groom
Bridal Party (Including parents, flower girls, etc.)
Father – Daughter Dance
Mother – Son Dance
Open Dance Floor for guests

Remember to use the timeline and considerations listed here as examples. Tap into the knowledge of wedding professionals to help guide you toward a timeline that works best for your wedding reception.

 

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Mike Staff Productions is a different kind of wedding DJ Company.  It was founded in 1986 by former 101.1 WRIF on-air personality, Mike Staff. Staff made sure the company was built on a foundation of quality, experience, and unsurpassed client satisfaction.

“I refuse to accept payment from a client who doesn’t feel as if we exceeded their expectations”, says Mike. “First and foremost, we take care of the client. Everything else will fall into place naturally”.

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Ready to bring your wedding to life? Mike Staff Productions is here to help with any of your wedding planning questions! Feel free to give us a call (877.689.0777) or email us at greatservice@mikestaff.com

 

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