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Sample Wedding Reception Schedule

Whether you are planning a formal dinner reception or an informal gathering of well-wishers, it is important to establish a schedule of events to prevent confusion on the big day!  Don't get too hung up on exact times — the idea is to keep the party moving in the right direction.


 While the order of events is entirely up to you, here's a sample of a traditional reception schedule.
Romantic Wedding Cake Tops
  1. Cocktail Hour. 
    This is the time between the wedding ceremony and the reception in which guests are served champagne and hors d’oeuvres while the wedding party is having formal photographs made. 
  2. Grand Entrance. 
    This signals to everyone that the wedding party has arrived.  The traditional order of entrance is
    1. Groom's Parents
    2. Bride's Parents
    3. Flower Girl and Ring Bearer
    4. Bridesmaids escorted by Ushers
    5. Maid of Honor escorted by Best Man
    6. Bride and Groom
      Wedding Toasting Flutes
  3. Wedding Couple's First Dance. 
    Because traditionally guests are not supposed to dance before the bride and groom, the bride and groom may proceed directly to the dance floor for the traditional first dance to encourage guests to start dancing early.
  4. Champagne Toasts/Speeches. 
    This marks the end of the cocktail hour and signifies that dinner is about to be served.
  5. Dinner.
  6. Special Dancing. 
    The traditional order of special dances is
    1. Bride with her Father
    2. Groom with his Mother
    3. Wedding Party
  7. Cake Cutting.  This signifies to the guests that the party is winding down and that it is okay to leave.  Take care not to do this too soon or your party may end before you're ready!
  8. Garter/Bouquet Toss. 
  9. Last Dance by Bride and Groom. 
  10. Grand Exit. 
    Wedding Cake Serving Sets

    Have guests send you off in a big way!  Exit through tossed rose petals, bird seed, or bubbles!

A great wedding DJ will serve as your event MC and will guide you through events and keep the wedding reception flowing. 

~ The WhereBridesGo.com Team
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