Planning your wedding reception & creating a schedule of events.

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There isn’t necessarily a “typical” wedding timeline, and that’s because these events are anything but typical. Everyone wants something different, but sometimes it helps to have a starting point.

Check out our sample timelines and think about how you want your own evening to look. Consider how long you want your night to be, and what special touches you’d add. We’ll help you build your final schedule and keep the evening moving with cues and announcements.

Five Hour Reception With Seated Dinner

6:00 p.m. Guests travel to the reception venue.
6:30 p.m. Cocktail hour begins.
7:15 p.m. Guests are invited to gather in the reception area.
7:30 p.m. The DJ introduces the bridal party and the the newlyweds make their grand entrance.
7:45 p.m. Guests are seated and dinner service begins. Toasts can take place at this time.
8:00 p.m. First dance, followed by mother-son and father-daughter dances.
8:15 p.m. Dance floor opens for all guests.
9:00 p.m. The newlyweds cut the cake (or open the dessert bar).
9:15 p.m. Bouquet and garter tosses or open dance floor.
10:30 p.m. The DJ announces last call.
10:55 p.m. The last dance.
11:00 p.m. Break down and clean up.

Late evening cocktail reception

7:00 p.m. Guests travel to the reception venue.
7:30 p.m. The DJ introduces the bridal party and the the newlyweds make their grand entrance.
7:45 p.m. Hors d’oeuvres are passed; food stations open.
8:00 p.m. While guests are eating, toasts can take place.
8:15 p.m. First dance, followed by mother-son and father-daughter dances.
8:30 p.m. Dance floor opens for all guests.
9:15 p.m. The newlyweds cut the cake (or open the dessert bar).
11:00 p.m. The DJ announces last call.
11:30 p.m. Last dance.
11:35 p.m. Break down and clean up.

Early evening reception with seated dinner

4:30 p.m. Guests travel to the reception venue.
5:00 p.m. Cocktail hour begins. Toasts can happen at this time.
5:45 p.m. Guests are invited to gather in the reception area.
6:00 p.m. The DJ introduces the bridal party and the the newlyweds make their grand entrance.
6:15 p.m. Guests are seated and dinner service begins.
6:30 p.m. First dance, followed by mother-son and father-daughter dances.
6:45 p.m. Dance floor opens for all guests.
7:30 p.m. The newlyweds cut the cake (or open the dessert bar).
7:45 p.m. Bouquet and garter tosses or open dance floor.
9:00 p.m. The DJ announces last call.
9:25 p.m. The last dance.
9:30 p.m. Break down and clean up.

Ready to customize your own timeline? Give us a shout.