The Best Order of Events at a Wedding
While every couple is different, and you may want to customize the order of events at your wedding reception, there is a traditional order you can start with for planning purposes. The end of your wedding ceremony generally signifies the start of your reception; the time to celebrate your union with family and friends! Depending on logistics, you can have your receiving line at either the ceremony or reception location. Here’s an outline of the traditional order of events.
Tip: Let your wedding planner or DJ help keep you on track on your big day. Your reception will go quickly, so be sure to make the most of it!
- Cocktail hour – get the party started with food, drink, and mingling
- Guests seated at the reception – ready for dinner and the festivities
- The wedding party & the happy couple are introduced
- First dance – couple can go right into it as they’re introduced or save for later
- Toast & speeches – Heartfelt and short are the best
- Dinner – can overlap with toast, speeches and special dances
- Father/daughter dance – get the tissues out
- Mother/son dance – get more tissues out
- Bouquet & garter toss -- bride and groom attempt to fix up two single friends
- Dancing – throughout the reception, hopefully
- Cake-cutting – sure to be sweet and well-photographed
- Last song; couple’s exit
- End of reception/After-party
You and your partner should decide on exactly how you want your reception to play out. Whatever you decide, be sure to share the order with your wedding planner, your vendors, your immediate family and the wedding party. Above all else, remember to enjoy yourselves; you’ve worked hard in preparing for this day for a long time and it’s the first day of the rest of your lives together!
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