Below we have listed the most
popular order of major events for a wedding reception.
Remember you can rearrange these events any way that
works best for you and your guests.
Guests Arrive at the Reception
As guests arrive to the reception
site after the ceremony, arrange to have the
bar opened so that they can have cocktails and other
refreshments as they wait for the wedding party to
arrive. If you will be taking many pictures after
the ceremony consider having hors d'oeuvres for the
guests to munch on until dinner is served. Also you
may want to have some soft music playing in the
background to help set the
Announcement of Wedding Party
After the wedding party arrives to the reception site
the DJ or emcee will announce them as they make their
entrance into the room. The wedding party should
line up in order outside of the entrance to the reception
room. Traditional order is the groom's parents, bride's
bridesmaids escorted by ushers, maid of honor escorted
by best man, and finally the bride & groom.
3. Champagne Toasts
Make sure that the toasting
is done at a time when your guests are at their seats.
If you are
serving champagne for the toasts, allow time for servers
toast. The first toast
may be followed by toasts from the maid of honor,
other relatives, friends or the bride and/or groom.
The DJ or emcee should get the guests attention and
introduce the best man when it is
time for the
For more information
about toasting at
the reception, click
4. The Blessing
Before dinner is to be
served the DJ or emcee can announce that everyone
should take their seats
he should introduce
the officiant or other designated person who will
say the blessing.
5. Dinner is Served
The bride, groom and wedding
party are the first people served
for dinner. In the case of a buffet, arrange to have
someone dismiss the guest tables one by one to avoid
long lines and general disorder.
6. Cut & Serve the Cake
After dinner, the bride and
groom cut their wedding cake together
hand over hand and feed each other the first piece.
(Play nice please, don't smash the cake into each other's
face!) Then the rest of the cake is cut and served
to the guests.
7. The Bride and Groom's First
The first dance at the reception
is always reserved for the newlyweds, to mark their
first dance as husband and wife. Some
couples choose to have this dance immediately
after their arrival and announcement to the reception,
while others choose to dance after dinner. The timing
of the dance is not as important as the sentiment!
Choose a song that has lots of meaning for the both
and this will be one dance you will never forget!
8. Other Special Dances
9. Bouquet & Garter
and garter toss are fun to do after the guests have
for a few songs, the crowd is loose and the party
is starting to heat up. The bride tosses her bouquet
to a group of single women
the bride's garter and tosses it to a group of single
men. Then it is said that the person who catches
the bouquet or garter will be the next bride or
groom. The bouquet and garter tosses are completely
optional and nowadays many couples are choosing to
drop them from their reception. Nonetheless the tradition
is still very popular and always provides
lots of entertainment
laughs for all.
After the newlywed's
first dance many couples choose to honor their parents,
grandparents, and wedding party with special spotlight
dances. Traditionally these special dances are kicked
off with the bride dancing with her father, followed
by the groom with his mother and then a dance with
the bride & groom, parents, grandparents, and the
entire wedding party announced one by one.
Of course these dances are all optional and can be
adjusted according to personal preference. For example,
you may have the bride dance with her stepfather
or delete the wedding party dance if you have too many
attendants. After the completion of these special dances,
the party begins and guests are invited to join
the wedding party on the dance floor.
Bride & Groom's Last Dance
If the bride and groom will be leaving before
the end of the reception then this can be spotlight
dance, otherwise the bride, groom and all the
remaining guests can boogey down together to
the last song of the night.
Remember, this is just a suggested
sequence of events and you can choose to customize
your own wedding day anyway you like. The way that
everyone else does it is not necessarily what's
best for your reception.
Work with your caterer,
DJ and reception site manager to determine the
best order of events, create a schedule,
and iron out all of the details. You may also
want to print out itineraries for your parents
and wedding party
to make sure that everyone
where they need
be for dances, pictures, special announcements,