Your wedding reception order of events is just one of the crucial elements that you will need to consider when planning your reception.
There are huge arrays of different decisions that need to be thought about, and for some brides, it can all get too much.
However, if you remain focused and organized, you’ll find your special day to turn out just fine!
Regardless of whether the wedding is traditional, or has a modern twist there are certain elements that will need to be carried out. This will ensure that everyone understands where they have to be, and what is happening next.
It’s All in the Planning
Weddings are traditionally extremely long; therefore, people can begin to get restless.
If you decide to use a traditional wedding reception order of events, you can customize the stages to suit your party size and needs.
Some of the elements can be left out, and others added to ensure that you create the ideal order of events for your wedding. The reception should be the time when you and your guests let your hair down and relax, therefore, too regimented can be a challenge.
Many couples use the same template for their order of events, and change it slightly to suit their needs. You may think that you can make up the order yourself; however, this can be disastrous if you forget something vital.
Therefore, it is advised to use a basic template and adjust it as you see fit, you will be surprised how much easier this method will make your wedding.
Order of arrival
Brides love the fact that they can make a huge entrance on their wedding day, and many enjoy the attention that they receive throughout the day.
It is traditional for all of the guests to be in the reception prior to the wedding party arriving. Whilst the bridal photos are being taken, your guests can be enjoying drinks and hors d’oeuvres, often with subtle back ground music.
After the bridal party photographs have been completed, the bridal party will make their entrance. Some brides like to ensure that their bridesmaids, groomsmen and best man receive as much attention as the bride and groom. Therefore, a master of ceremonies can be used to introduce each couple as they enter and take their seats.
Once the bridal party has entered the reception, it is the bride and grooms turn and often the master of ceremonies will announce their arrival, and ask the guests to stand.
Many couples have chosen to make their entrances unique and modern, by dancing into their reception.
There are some incredible entrances, which have ensured the wedding starts with a pop!
Once everyone is seated
There will be a small amount of commotion when you first arrive at your reception, and it can take a few minutes to get everyone in and seated. However, once everyone has settled it is the ideal time to toast the bride and groom. This part of the reception can be performed by the master of ceremonies, the best man or the groom.
It is very traditional to toast the bride and groom; however, there are no rules as to who begins the toasting. You will need to bear in mind that your guests may be hungry by now and too many toasts can delay dinner.
This is often why a master of ceremonies is chosen, to complete one toast on behalf of everyone. Once the toast is completed, everyone should take their seats for dinner, which can be a formal event, or far more relaxed.
Some brides will now ask their father, grandfather or priest to bless the meal, which can be an incredibly personal part of the reception. However, this is not seen as often as it used to be, and many brides are omitting this part from their wedding reception order of events.
You can choose to either skip this part, or ask people to enjoy their meal, or listen to a heartfelt blessing before eating.
Dinner is now served
Deciding on the style of meal for your wedding can be a challenge, and is often one of the most expensive elements of the day. Therefore, you need to choose food which is suitable for your guests, and that you can afford.
Regardless of the style of wedding dinner, the bride and groom are traditionally served first.
The bridal party and then the parents will be served, followed by the other guests. If the dinner is a buffet, the master of ceremonies will typically call tables to come and get their food, rather than it being a stampede.
After the main course has been served, it is traditional to have a break, and this is when the speeches are heard.
Deciding who should speak
At one time, a bride would never have dreamed of getting up and making a speech at her wedding.
However, today this is being seen more and more and sometimes in place of the grooms speech.
You will need to decide before the day which guests are making the speeches. Also, in what order, to ensure everyone knows what they are doing.
The speeches can be in any format, and will often represent the overall style of the bride and groom.
Best man speeches will typically embarrass the groom, and father of the bride speeches will bring many tears of joy. There is no official time limit for the speeches; however, you need to bear in mind that people will want their dessert.
Once the speeches have finished, and nay messages and telegrams read, the desserts are traditionally served.
During this period, many brides like to cut their cake, and give their guests the opportunity to enjoy their stunning wedding cake. The first cut is always made by the bride and groom, and some couples like to feed each other.
Dancing the night away
Once the meal is out of the way, the fun can begin and this is often when the wedding reception order of events is forgotten.
However, the first dance should be the bride and groom, who take to the dance floor to their favorite song.
You will always remember this dance, and it can be an extremely emotional part of the day.
Many brides like to dance with their fathers, and some feel this is the father’s last dance with his little girl.
This is called the Father & Daughter dance.
Once these dances are finished, the DJ will call for the other guests to join the bridal party on the dance floor. You want to ensure that your guests are up on their feet enjoying themselves as soon as possible.
When there is a suitable pause, the bride may want to toss their bouquet to all the single ladies who have attended.
This is a fun part to the day, and one of the popular wedding reception order of events carried out.
Once this has been done, everyone can enjoy themselves, dance, drink and celebrate your perfect day.