(Closed) When am I supposed to do that?! (Reception Timeline)

posted 8 years ago in Reception
Post # 4
1944 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Okay so once you enter the reception you can either go right into the first dance, why my friend is doing or you can eat dinner, what we did. Here is how my timeline went…

Enter Reception

Eat Dinner

Cake Cutting (we did this before the dances so that while we were dancing the cake could be cut)

First Dance

Parent Dances

Eat Cake



We didn’t do a dollar dance, garter toss or bouquet toss but I think you do those after your parent dances. And the dollar dance at some point during the dancing part.



Post # 6
237 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Birdee106:  That’s great advice about cutting the cake before dances so it can be cut during!! I’m taking note of it πŸ™‚

Post # 7
1438 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

This was ours:

enter reception 

first course

first speeches done – both parents

second course

next speeches – Maid/Matron of Honor and Best Man

third course – dessert

last speeches – my sisters, and groomsman

our thank you speech

father/daughter dance

mother/son dance

our first dance

party starts

late night snacks at 9:30 till end of night – popcorn bar



Post # 8
634 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I set up receptions for a catering company for years.  This is the timeline that I recommended for brides.

Bride and groom enter reception and are announced
Bride and groom do first dance
Bride and groom cut cake
Guests are seated and eat dinner
towards the end of the meal, toasts/speeches start
(catering staff cuts the rest of the cake during meal and serves at end of dinner)
Following speeches, dance floor is opened
starting with father daughter dance
dollar dance can be next, or a few dances in (when this is done, it is a good way to get reluctant guests out on the dance floor)
bouquet toss/garter 

Post # 9
682 posts
Busy bee

I usually suggest to my clients to cut their cakes as they are entered into the reception – because the attention is still on them….and it lets the caterers get the cake out of the way and served quicker after dinner.  A few weddings I’ve photographed, the B&G waited until after dinner. 2 things happened:  #1, guests got up to go take pictures of them cutting their cake, only to return to their table wiht their plates full of food gone, the servers took them.  #2, the cakes were served late, it sat at the tables uneaten while guests either left or were dancing. It ended up tossed.

Typical nights for my clients…

Announcing into recpetion 

Cake cutting


Blessing of food


B&G visit tables while guests are still eating

B&G dance

B/Father Dance

G/Mother Dance

Bridal Party Dance

Bouquet/Garter toss

Free Dance


Post # 10
6422 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2012

ours was pretty laid back.

Ceremony 11-12pm

(we took our photos for 30 min)

Cocktails 12:30-2pm (hour and a half!)

Then we all went inside, we weren’t annoucned, but SIL annoucned our first dance. I danced with DH, then i danced with my Dad, then DH danced with his mom all in a row. Then we the Maid/Matron of Honor speech, then BMan Speech, then it was about 3pm and we ate dinner, then danced for an hour, then annoucned the cake and cut it with our song at 4:30pm, and then danced til 7pm  πŸ™‚ everyone left around 8pm.

Post # 11
206 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

tagging to refer back to! πŸ™‚

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