(Closed) Should I inform guests about reception schedule?

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 16
814 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: The Retreat at Bradley\'s Pond

I don’t think guests need to be notified plus you’re going to have to print this and I think it’s a waste of paper at the last minute. Plus most of the time the reception items get pushed around a bit based on what you’re willing to do that night (we were supposed to play a game and mixed it due to timing because everyone was having more fun dancing). 

The only thing I would do however is note when the cake cutting is- maybe create a cute printout and place in a frame that says “cake cutting @ Xpm” that way if older guests want to leave shortly after they know when they can and hopefully you’ll photographer will remove the sign when you cut it. 

I would also include a sign for the sparkler send off so again, people know roughly when that’s going down and can determine whether can they can or not. 

That being said- the final exit is RARELY done at the end of the night. It’s usually faked maybe 9 hours earlier so the photographers can catch it and leave. Plus think about how many people may not be able to stay until the bitter end (those with babysitters paying by the hour for example). Do the exit earlier while you still have lots of people there and then go back to partying!

Post # 17
2722 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I’ve been to quite a few weddings and I’ve never seen a published schedule of events so I think it would be overkill.  Usually the DJ or MC announces what’s going on, like “please be seated as dinner is about to be served” or “the bride and groom will now cut their cake” (and it’s customary in my area for them to cut the cake way before it’s being served)

Post # 18
2979 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I just like knowing what time dinner is hahah. So I’d say include something like






Dancing/toasts etc might not start exactly on time.

Post # 19
246 posts
Helper bee

In my opinion, this is overkill. I have never been to a wedding where guests were given a schedule of events. As a guest, I would think it was strange.

There’s not really an element of surprise at weddings unless the bride and groom do something completely out of the ordinary. The things you listed on the timeline are all pretty standard for weddings.

If I were you, I wouldn’t waste time or money trying to do this. I’m sure you have plenty of other things to worry about! No need to do something guests certainly won’t miss!

Post # 20
4964 posts
Honey bee

View original reply
tselcke :  Only the vendors – day of coordinator, DJ, photo/video, catering needs this level of info.

Post # 21
1397 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2017 - Ocean front

View original reply
tallahasseelassie :  I’ve never heard of the fake send off?? How does that go down…do all guests participate and “role play” so to speak? LOL



Post # 22
6134 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
tselcke :  I’m just here because I’m wondering the same thing.

Post # 23
9883 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’ve never been given a schedule at a wedding, and I’ve always survived the night just fine.

Post # 24
1052 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I think a schedule is unnecessary and kinda weird

Post # 25
1153 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1995

I’d do a sign.  We went to to wedding this summer and left before the bride and groom did. We had no idea when they planning on leaving.  I guess they did a big send off with sparklers.  We missed it by 1/2 hour.  Had we known, we would have stuck around.  We didn’t know anybody there, except the bride, and had driven for 5 hours to get to the wedding, so we left.  After I saw on facebook the send off, I kicked myself for leaving sooner.  But, we had no idea of the timeline.

Post # 26
4964 posts
Honey bee

View original reply
harleybeachbride6 :  I have been to one wedding where this was done because the photo/video vendors were not staying until the end of the reception. It was done about after 30 minutes when dancing started. The dj  told the guests to step outside for about 10 minutes. Sparklers were lit while guests stood in 2 lines and the couple walked off in between and got into a golf cart. So yes it was staged due to the time constraint of hiring the photo/video vendors. Afterwards, everyone just got back inside the ballroom for more dancing including the bride and groom.

Post # 28
5 posts
  • Wedding: April 2016

As others have mentioned, most everyone knows the typical wedding schedule.  If you were doing things in a highly un-conventional order, then it’d be wise to include a schedule so that people don’t get confused, but your schedule sounds pretty normal so you could go either way.  I will say if you are going to have a lot of older guests (55-60+ years of age family, parents’ friends), a schedule can get them excited about parts of the wedding that they may not have experienced before! I’ve been told that older generations subscribe to the rule that it’s only polite to leave after the cake is cut.  Anyway, you would be surprised how many older guests have never encountered a wedding with a late-nite snack,  a sparkler send off,  a photobooth, cornhole, etc.! (Ah, the PRE-PINTEREST wedding days.)  It may encourage them to stay longer to enjoy these features if they know about it ahead of time, otherwise many of them leave promptly after cake cutting assuming it’s just dancing and mingling left — this happend at my wedding where a lot of my in-law’s older extended family and friends left before our late nite snack, sparkler send off, and when the pictures came out they were bummed they missed out by leaving! 

Post # 30
13558 posts
Honey Beekeeper

I would have an issue with the venue about their requirement that the cake cutting be done before dinner is even started. Cake cutting is the traditional sign that guests may politely leave. It’s never cut until after the meal at any of the weddings I can recall and they are still able to serve dessert in a timely way. 

I would not do any sort of timeline. It is not only not necessary, it’s less than gracious to tell people ahead of time when they should leave, for one thing. These things are obvious. A schedule is something you do for a corporate event or a child’s bday party for pickup purposes. 

If someone really needs to know they can ask you, but in our area receptions are almost universally the same length of time anyway. 

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