Post # 1
Hey! I’m needing some help with the order of events at my reception…. we’re going to knock out as many pictures before wedding as possible (seperately, we’ll save the ones with both of us for after ceremony). the ceremony starts at 5, its very simple, no lighting of candles or pouring of sand, so im thinking approximately 30 min. we’ll do a receiving line as the guests make their way into the reception building, there is no cocktail hour, and the food is buffet style, so as we’re finishing up pics the guests can be making their plates….
now for the part that stumping me…. we’re having the reception in 2 parts… pt 1 family friendly, no alcohol. we hope to get in the 1st dance, parent dances, cake cutting, and possibly speeches into this one so grandparents, etc can be a part of it.
pt 2 is the adult fun, alcohol will be served, we’re planning on the wedding party introduction being in this group, as we’re doing a fun dance into. then the bar and dance floor will be ‘open for business’ lol.
what order should we do the first part of reception so that everyone can be included, and maybe even have time for a couple of dances before they go?
Post # 3
Hi! Is there a reason why you are having a Part 1 and Part 2 reception? Is this common where you live? Are people offended by booze and dancing? My first thought is that trying to cram in all of the formal parts into Part 1 alone may be tough and take some of the “fun” out of it.
Post # 4
- Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall
Huh? 2 Parts? What is going to seperate them in the guests mind?
I also don’t think you should have guests start getting their plates while you guys are still getting pics taken. That’s a sure way to ensure that you won’t end up eating! Or you’ll run late eating and then the guests will be bored waiting for you to cut the cake, do the dances, speeches, etc.
Post # 5
@Daniemarie21: This sounds very much like the traditional old-fashioned pattern for a wedding dinner and dance, so the order is well-defined:
- Greet your guests in the receiving line as they arrive — and THANK-YOU for actually fulfilling this basic courtesy! The “Grand Entrance” is a fairy-tale ball feature, tolerable if a little ostentatious when the bridal couple are guests of honour, but inappropriate for a host and hostess.
- Feed your guests relatively soon after they arrive instead of keeping them wandering around wondering whether they will still be sober when supper starts and, like good hosts, feed your guests before yourself. Well done. (Do, though, be strict with your photographer and do not let him/her delay you getting back to the meal. Your guests want to eat with you.)
- Near the end of the main course, offer any toasts — usually that is what the various speeches are presented as. You’ll want to offer carafs of juice if you are not having wine, so that people have something to toast you with.
- After the toasts, cut the cake, and have the caterers serve it along with any other dessert. That is what it is, after all, dessert, even if it is a very formal symbolic dessert.
- Dessert marks the end of the meal, so when the cake is cut clear the dance floor and open the floor by taking the first dance together with your groom. That is really the only “set dance” that is required. “Parents’ dances” are really private and intimate moments that are best not highlighted by a DJ or MC — just move on to the second and third dances, and do them privately. If you want a “bridal party dance” have them join you on the dance floor for the latter half of the first dance.
- Now, here is where I suggest you get innovative. Back in the olden days when the bride and groom were the guests of honour and weren’t cohabiting yet, the couple were expected to leave early (properly, no-one else is supposed to leave a formal party until after the guests of honour leave, so that was good manners as well as eagerness for their first night together.) So after the first couple of dances the couple would go get ready to leave on their honeymoon (in separate private changing rooms with their attendants to help them if necessary), with the bride tossing away her bouquet on her way out of the banquet hall. If the couple were doing the garter-toss, she would hand her garter to her husband when they came back in their travelling clothes to say goodbye, and he would toss it then and they would leave in a shower of rice, confetti, rose-petals and old shoes.
What you might consider doing, is tossing your bouquet and leaving with your attendants, changing out of your heavy formal wedding gown and dinner-jacket into PAR-TAY!!!! clothes, come back and say (or have the DJ say) something like “Thanks to you all for coming to celebrate our wedding and all our traditions, and now it’s time FOR FUN!” and introduce your bridal party as they come back into the banquet hall, culminating in your return on your new husband’s arm, and his tossing of the garter.
Post # 6
we’re doing it in 2 parts because we live in the ‘bible belt’, the majority of his extended family are very conservative and well judgmental lol…. basically we arent bringing out the alcohol until 8 pm, at this time those people mentioned, and all children will be leaving. its just allowing loved ones to be part of the main events, but not have to be around things they disagree with, or inappropriate for their age…
also, we’re not doing the traditional bouquet/garter toss. we’re pretty much the last of our friends to get married, we’d really only have 2 or 3 people up there to catch…
Post # 7
@aspasia475: thanks so much for the suggestions… we have decided to change into our reception clothes in between the 2 reception parts, and having the dj introduce the wedding party then .0
Post # 8
@mchitt329: all of my guests have been told ahead of time there will be a ‘family friendly’ reception immediately following the ceremony, and an ‘adult’ reception starting at 8pm. i will have the dj announce ahead of time that part 1 is coming to a close so hopefully they’ll know without a doubt when 1 ends and 2 begins
Post # 9
@LilRhodyGem: its not common here, atleast i dont think it is lol. a lot of his family members would not attend if there was alcohol present through the whole thing. and not having alcohol is out of the question. lol. we’re going to celebrate our day, our way haha