(Closed) Need help planning out my timeline for a 6 hour reception!!

posted 7 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
2440 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

Here was our timeline.  We had the same events (minus a slideshow), our ceremony was a half hour starting at 5, and our reception was from 5:30-11.

4:30 PM Guest arrivals

5:00 PM Wedding Ceremony

5:30 PM Guests Directed to Reception

5:30-6:30 PM Hors D’oeuvres Passed

5:30-6:30 PM Family Pictures

5:30-9:30 PM Host Bar Open

5:30-7:30 PM Photobooth Open

6:30 PM Guests Directed to Seats

6:45 PM Grand Entrance (Includes bridal party and kids, no parents)

6:55 PM Toasts (Maid of Honor and Best Man)

7:05 PM Bride and Groom Thank You

7:10 PM Buffet Dinner Served (Bride and Groom served by coordinator)

Bride and Groom Visit Tables After Eating

8:15 PM Couples First Dance

8:20 PM Mother Son Dance/Mother Daughter Dance

8:25 PM Cake Cutting

8:30 PM Bouquet and Garter Toss

8:40 PM Money Dance

9:00 PM Open Dancing

11:00 PM Reception Ends

Post # 4
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@maria.perotti.3:  I’m in your situation so I’m bumping this hoping people will have some good suggestions! 

@redhead46:  That timeline looks like a great option, thanks!!


Post # 5
1026 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

For the reception I would try something like this:

6:00 Bride and groom enter reception/are announced

       at the same time- caterer or designated family member fixes a plate for bride and groom from buffet and sets them at their seats.

6:05 bride and groom cut cake/take pictures with the cake (after this caterers can slice the cake so it is ready for guests to enjoy)

6:10 buffet is open and guests are called up by table to get food(let people with speeches/toasts get food first)/ bride and groom eat/ slide show plays in background

7:00 everyone has food, guests are eating, people with toasts are about finished with meal

7:00 toasts are given

7:15/7:30 toasts are done/guests are done eating/Bride and groom do first dance followed by father daughter and any other special dances (get these in early- there are usually a few guests who wont stay the whole reception for dancing, but want to see these special moments)

7:45 -12 Enjoy!! Dance, socialize, relax- all the official “posed” pictures are done, now you get to celebrate with your guests.  


Post # 10
2440 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

@maria.perotti.3:  I think if you can provide beer and wine for you guests that’s a great option and then cash bar for cocktails.

Post # 11
1026 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@maria.perotti.3:  I understand the concern about people leaving, but I’d still recommend doing the cake earlier.  I worked as a wedding coordinator/caterer for over 5 years, and after working literally 100’s of weddings I can tell you what usually happened.

 Option 1) couple waits to cut cake until after dinner.  At least 5-10 guests have asked the staff when the cake is being cut.  Some family member or friend has left or stepped out to smoke/make a phone call etc.  It takes about 10-15 minutes just to round up the majority of the guests so they can watch the cake cutting. or

Option 2) Couple cuts cake right after entrance. Everyone is still at the reception, in the same place and looking at bride and groom.  Cake is ready to go when guests are ready to eat dessert.  Photographer is in place, you get the pictures you want, and you don’t have to worry about it later in the evening.

Its not perfect for every timeline or event, but we usually recommended cake cutting at the begining of the night.  If the guests haven’t even eaten yet, they wont be leaving just because you sliced the cake.  

I give you a lot of credit planning a wedding for that many people- I know how crazy it can get, and it sounds like you are doing a great job.



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