(Closed) When to have the first dance & cake cutting?

posted 4 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 2
553 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I’m a wedding phtoographer, and I’ve seen couples most often be introduced and then go straight into their first dance and parent dances…then do welcome speech/prayer and then food. (which is how we did it at our wedding this summer.)

I also did our cake cutting fairly early in the evening. My photographer was a friend, and I wanted her to feel like she could put the camera down and enjoy the party having ticked all the boxes. 

1.5 hrs of reception coverage is a little thin, only bc photographers don’t usually have much to shoot during the dinner. No one’s into chewing photos. 😀 but there are definitely ways to schedule your events so that you’ll have coverage for most of it. You can also ask the photographer if he/she is willing to add on a half hour rather than a full hour. (I never had a problem doing this; hourly rates are pretty steep, and if someone only needed me for 15 or 30 extra minutes, it didn’t seem fair to charge for more.)

I also tell people that photos of the first three dances are usually adequate. 90% of the people who will dance at any point will dance to one or all three of the first three songs.

good luck!

Post # 3
214 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

angelicgirl2000:  We did our first dance as soon as we were announced into the hall as Mr & Mrs and the Cake cutting was after dinner and toasts. From the USA not sure how different things are.

Post # 4
5892 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

angelicgirl2000:  We didnt have dancing, but we did time our cake cutting improperly. We had a lunch wedding. We did Intro, Appitizers, Speeches, Main Course, Cake cutting, Dessert, Leave. There was no time for them to plate all the cake for the guests right after we cut it. There was a delay with the Main course (dont know why), which put our timeline behing. Then the cake cutting , then a delay for them to plate it. So it felt very rushed at the end. 

So my advice is cut the cake sooner rather than later. 

Post # 5
1665 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

We cut the cake right after we walked in (to help the staff have time to cut it for everybody) then had dinner, then the first dance. We didn’t want people to have to wait for dinner while we did the dancing stuff.  Talk to your DJ too, ours pretty much ran the show as far as timing everything. 

Post # 6
452 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013 - Garden

We also had our first dance right after we were introduced. We had canapes passed around before we arrived so I didn’t think guests would mind too much having to wait. We were served dinner first so did the cake cutting just after the last guests were served their main.

Post # 7
6714 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

angelicgirl2000:  I’m a wedding photographer as well, and 99% of all my couples go into their first dance immediately upon being introduced into the reception. Likewise, they also go ahead and do parent dances right after that. Cake cutting varies. I’d say more and more of my couples are opting to do it early so that it’s out of the way and the reception is not interrupted to do it. For example, towards the end of dinner the toasts are made while most of the guests are still seated (captive audience) and right after toasts the cake is cut. That way, the catering staff can be slicing your cake and have it ready for guests after they’ve finished dinner.

Post # 8
2523 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

We did ours a bit differently.  We cut our cake as soon as we entered the room.  It was really nice, because usually the cake cutting gets lost and no one sees it or it has to disrupt the dancing/ party atmosphere.  We did our first dance after dinner to open up the dance floor- that is actually what I usually see with first dances, but it isn’t unheard of to do that right away too.  

If you are worried about the photographer being there, I would just do it all at the beginning.  Then your receptionn opens up to be a non-stop party.  

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