I gave our MC/DJ and our caterer a timeline of when specific events should happen. For example, we knew how long dinner would take so we kinda planned everything around that block of time. Here’s an example of what our timeline looked like (things didn’t end up exactly on schedule, which was ok):
5:00 pm – Guests start arriving. DJ, please direct guests to the deck for cocktails and appetizers.
5:50 pm – DJ, please direct guests inside to their tables. Announcement of newlyweds in 10 minutes.
6:00 pm – Please announce the new Mr. and Mrs. Spring. Play [insert song title here]. Then, please announce the newlyweds’ first dance to [insert song title here]. Caterer, please have the first course plated and ready to go.
6:15 pm – The bride and groom will welcome the guests. Caterer, when they sit down, the first course can be served. The bride and groom should be served both courses at the same time.
6:35 pm – DJ, please remind parents about their toasts/speeches.
6:45 pm – DJ, please announce each toast and hand the mike to the appropriate person. Mrs. Spring’s Dad, Mr. Spring’s Dad, then Mrs. Spring’s mom (about 5 minutes per toast). Caterer, the second course should be plated and ready to go.
7:00 pm – Caterer, please serve the second course. The bride and groom will get up at this time to greet guests table by table.
8:00 pm – DJ, please announce the father/daughter and mother/son dance to [insert song title here].
8:05 pm – DJ, please announce the cutting of the cake [insert song title here]. Caterer, please be prepared to cut and serve the cake.
8:10 pm – DJ, please announce that the dance floor is open.
9:45 pm – DJ, please announce the last dance, [insert song title here]. Caterer, please turn on house lights.