Typical Wedding Reception Timeline

Wedding Reception Timeline

Keep Your Wedding On Track With A Great Timeline!

Building Your Wedding Reception Timeline

Do you want a fun, stress-free wedding? Of course! We know that’s a silly question but you just can’t wing your wedding day, having a well planned wedding reception timeline is key. In other words, a step-by-step timetable of events to share with your (experienced) wedding DJ so they can keep the night on track!

Create a Timetable

Evening wedding reception timelines typically begin at 6 p.m. and end around midnight.
  • 6 – 7:00pm

    • Guests arrive. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are served. DJ plays light music.
  • 7:00 – 7:15pm

    • 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 – 7:30pm

    • Toasts are made.
    • Grace is said.
  • 7:30 – 8:40pm

    • Dinner is served.
  • 8:40 – 8:59pm

    • Dinner is cleared while Bride & Groom pose for photos and visit with guests.
    • Guests are free to mingle, grab drinks, etc.
    • DJ gathers bridal party for the special dances.
  • 8:59 – 9:00pm

    • Special introductions (usually grandparents)
  • 9:00 – 9:15pm

    • Bridal dances
  • 9:15 – 9:45pm

  • 9:45 – 10pm

    • Bouquet & garter toss.
    • Anniversary Dance (OPTIONAL)
  • 10:00 – 12am


WATCH: We Make Brides Dance!

Want one of our Wedding DJs to keep your reception on time?

Wedding Reception Timeline 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.

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.

bridal veil reception

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

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. 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.

Are We Available On Your Wedding Date?

Mike Staff Productions: Trust Our Reputation! Love Your Wedding.

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”.

Why We’re Respected

  • We offer award-winning DJs, Photographers and Videography services.
  • Mike Staff Productions is referred by dozens of wedding venues, wedding professionals and most of all, thousands of past clients.
  • Our “Money Back Guarantee” is unprecedented in the industry, proving that there is no substitute for quality and integrity.


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 [email protected]


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