Creating a wedding-reception timeline is the best way to ensure your event runs smoothly, with less worry, and more time for celebrating. Sometimes a wedding will try to develop a mind of its own and doesn’t enjoy being held to a precise schedule, but you can avoid this stressful pitfall with these 6 simple tips and tricks.
Stick to these tips for wedding reception timelines to make your planning and party go as smoothly as possible!
- Create an outline. Regardless of what events you’re planning, write down your general outline first to include the time the party starts and ends, cocktail hour, and dinner. From here, you can build into it the rest of the details.
- Plan time for you and your sweetie! Once you say “I do” and take your photos, you’ll be eager to get to your reception and start the party. With so little time and so much going on, it’s easy to get swept away. Instead of rushing, take a private moment or two for you and your new spouse. Plan your timeline so you and your love have opportunities to take in the day and enjoy time together before greeting guests and dancing late into the night!
- Start your reception with your photographic moments while your makeup and hair are still fresh and your guests have their eyes locked on you. Begin with a grand entrance, introductions, cake-cutting, and special dances. Once these are all out of the way, it will be smooth sailing toward enjoying the rest of your night, and your groom can loosen his tie and take off his jacket, if he chooses.
- Limit your toasts; not everyone in your bridal party needs to give one, nor will they want to. By limiting toasts to two or three key people, you’ll keep your guests happy and your party on pace. Toasts can be done just before dinner or right after dinner before or during the cake service. Although, keep in mind that guests are likely to be more engaged once they have had something to eat and some people tend to be long-winded—which could hold up the entire night. You wouldn’t want dinner to get cold! It’s important to let those offering toasts know when they should speak and only speak for two to three minutes each.
- Don’t feel trapped in tradition or trend! If something doesn’t feel right or feel like you, don’t feel obligated to include it in your reception. If you want to include traditional elements like parent dances, a garter toss, bouquet toss, and toasts, be sure to space them out through the evening so guests are not stuck in their seats for long stretches of time. Additionally, since not all of your guests will participate in the garter or bouquet toss, consider mixing those into your time spent dancing.
6. Clearly define the beginning and end of your wedding reception. Grand entrances and exits cue your guests as to when festivities start and stop. Your guests will never be confused about when the reception starts and ends if you use a grand entrance to enter and a grand exit to leave. Not only will you have an incredible photographic moments, but it’s also a great way to tell your guests the fun has been had and it’s time to go home.
Naturally, every wedding reception timeline will be different based on what each of the loving couples wants from their special day. And there really is no right or wrong way to do it. Ultimately, choose what is what is best for you using our 6 tips and it will be less worry, more fun and the perfect celebration of you and your spouse.