suggestions wedding ceremony timeline?

June 21st, 2011

For our wedding reception: first hour is cocktail hours…then bridal entrance followed by our first dance, father/daughter dance and mother/son dance. After these dances, guest make their dinner orders and during this time, we plan to make our rounds to each table to give thanks to our guest. Once dinner orders are done and our rounds to table are done, we will have toasts. Next, people will eat and dance….then after guest have some time to eat and dance a little, we will have cake cutting, followed by removal of garter/garter toss/bouquet toss/garter on…then end of the last hour or so with dancing!!

What did you do (or plan on doing) for your wedding reception timeline? And any suggestions?

3 Responses to “suggestions wedding ceremony timeline?”

  1. Myth_Understood says:

    When will YOU eat?

    Seriously … You have to eat your own dinner before you make the rounds, or it will never happen. If you wait and do rounds before you eat, and you’ll be leaning over to kiss Aunt Gertrude, and the next thing you’ll know is you’ll be flat on your back wondering what happened (because you passed out.)

    Imagine your entire day – and imagine the last time you will be eating before the ceremony takes place. Imagine what time of day that will be. Then, imagine how long it will be between that time, and when you’ll have the ceremony, then pictures and cocktail hour … unless you can find a way to have a quick bite at some point between the pictures and dinner, you’ll be risking a blood sugar dive that will be very unpleasant. Even with a snack, you really have to make sure that you take care of your needs, on this day of all days.

    The rest sounds fine, but don’t forget that you really have to make time to have your dinner and keep up your energy. You’ll probably be running on adrenaline and emotions, but it will catch up and you don’t want that.

  2. Wonder Woman says:

    1. Cocktail hour (1.5 hours)
    2. Me and my fiance’s grand entrance
    3. First dance
    4. Toasts (5-10 minutes)
    5. Eating time! (2 hours)
    6. Cake cutting (10 minutes?)
    7.. Father/Daughter dance
    8.. Mother/Son dance
    9. Party time! (dancing) (2 hours)
    10. Cake serving
    11. Little more partying (15-30 minutes)
    12. Last dance
    13. Grand exit! (complete with the toss of rose petals)

    …I don’t exactly have all the timing planned out, as you can see…:/

    TIP: Generally it takes a while for the caterers to actually cut the cake to be served for the guests. It’s not a 5-minute process, I can tell you that much.

  3. Because I Said So says:

    I think you need to clear up the dinner orders thing with your caterer. Most of the time, meal choices are made when the response cards are sent back to you. Ask your caterer if you have to list the meal choices on your response cards, because they probably need to know in advance how many of each meal to prepare (beef, chicken etc). Your rsvp deadline printed on your response cards is based on your caterer’s deadline.

    As for the spotlight dances, I would hold off on those until after dinner. If you must do your first dance immediately after the wedding party is introduced and does the grand entrance, go ahead but save the parents’ dances for after dinner.

    Also, you won’t have to work the room as much if you have a receiving line after your ceremony. If it won’t cut into the time you have allotted for wedding party photos too much, then you have a receiving line as guests leave the ceremony. Then later you don’t have to go table to table to greet them. Here’s my timeline for my wedding last year:
    4pm ceremony
    4:20-5pm receiving line (100 guests)
    5-6pm cocktail hour / wedding party photos
    6pm introductions and toasts
    6:10-7:30 dinner service
    7:30 spotlight dances
    8pm dessert
    dancing until bar closes at 10:30pm
    guests left by 11:30.

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