What is the typical order of events at a wedding?  That depends on your culture, the area of the country you are in, the time of day, etc.  Work through your timeline in advance and leave room for changes as they come.

What is the typical order of events at a wedding?  That depends on your culture, the area of the country you are in, the time of day, etc.  Work through your timeline in advance and leave room for changes as they come.

Question:

After we enter the ballroom for our wedding reception what do we do?  When do we do a first dance? And speeches?  I'm not sure what order we should do things in...KB

Answer:

The order of events during a reception changes from culture to culture, and also varies from the east coast to the west.  Traditions, religious blessing, speeches and personal preferences all come into play, making the development of a wedding timeline of the utmost importance.

Assuming a five-hour wedding reception, plus cocktail hour, many couples choose to follow the following order:

06:00 PM Cocktail Hour begins

07:00 PM Guests move into the Reception space

07:10  PM  Wedding Party is announced

08:20 PM First Dance

08:25 PM Father-Daughter Dance and / or Mother-Son Dance

08:35 PM Welcome Speech or a Blessing; followed by Toasts

08:45 PM Dinner Begins. Keep music low enough to allow for conversation

09:40 PM The music volume starts to increase, the DJ or emcee may call guests to the dance floor

09:45 PM Dance Party begins.  Slow songs will be played intermittently

10:30 PM The cake cutting

10:35 PM Music resumes; cake is served to the tables

11:00 PM Bouquet & Garter (should you choose to do them)

11:10  PM Dancing and music resume.

11:15  PM Late night sweets and snacks served

11:55  PM Last Call and the Last Dance

Couples who wish to break up the traditional family dances will often times begin toasts and dinner service immediately after the first dance, and then have the DJ or Emcee call for the father-daughter and mother-son dances towards the end of the entrée service.

Others, will have the DJ call all guests to the center of the dance floor for a "group photo" and then break into a high energy song such as "We are Family" or "Celebration".  When the song begins everyone is already on the dance floor and the party starts with a bang!

What you choose to do at your wedding reception and when is a personal decision.  Consider multiple timelines and all of your options before settling on a schedule.  And remember, weddings are living, breathing organisms that will change and morph as the night goes on.  Be flexible and open to surprises, and above all else remember to enjoy!

Always...

Transparent Signature


Las Vegas Wedding Planner Andrea Eppolito is often published, with works featured by the likes of BRIDES, Style Me Pretty, Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, The NY Times, LA Times, Junebug Weddings, and more. With an eye catching style that shares not only the story, but the soul, of a wedding, Andrea's clients praise her for being their wedding planner, event designer, advocate, and friend.

An internationally acclaimed speaker, Andrea appears and speaks at events for The Engage Luxury Wedding Summit, NACE, The Knot, the Wedding MBA, and more.  Named the Best Wedding Planner in Las Vegas (2013, 2015, 2016), Wedding Professional of the Year (2011) and ranked as one of the top 50 wedding planners world-wide, Andrea works with celebrities, athletes, executives, and all people in love!

Based in Las Vegas, and working as a destination wedding planner world wide, you can learn more at www.AndreaEppolitoEvents.com.