What Comes First At A Wedding Reception?

A well-organised schedule is essential for a successful reception. Plan your wedding celebration with the help of these sample reception schedules. Depending on the time of day and location of your wedding ceremony, you may need to move these events earlier or later.

Make sure the caterer, photographer, and performers all receive a copy of the timeline once it is finalised. You and your new husband may focus on having fun and letting things naturally fall into place while your chief bridesmaid, best man, and other members of the wedding party keep things running smoothly.

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Every wedding celebration is one-of-a-kind, just like a fingerprint or a snowflake. However, the below events typically occur together. You may definitely disregard this guide if you've gone to even one wedding previously, as you already know everything that's included. After this point, only wedding novices may proceed. 

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Cocktail Hour

The happy couple, along with their relatives and wedding party, will then leave the ceremony to take pictures with the photographer. The remaining guests are left in an uncomfortable limbo between the ceremony and the reception, with nothing to do but hang around and look awkward. The answer is to make them really drunk. So the cocktail hour was created.

Guess Makes Their Way to the Reception Area

At the reception, some attendees show up early. Make sure you have nothing left to accomplish before the wedding celebration begins. In addition, all wedding service providers should dress appropriately for both the ceremony and reception. The cake table, the entertainment's table, the sign-in table, the food tables, and the guest tables should all be set up with chairs for the guests. There must be a complete set of seating charts at the front desk, with each guest's name and the table number at which they are seated, if there is one.

Here is where the DJ/MC will make the announcements for the wedding party and family members. Entering the reception hall with a humorous dance or other action that gets the guests amped up for the bride and groom's big entrance is a lot of fun.

The Wedding Party Introduction

The majority of your guests probably won't have met the wedding party before the big day, so it's wonderful to introduce them to everyone. You should provide the emcee with a "Reception Planning Guide" well in advance of the wedding. You should include the names and titles of your guests, as well as the order in which they will arrive at the reception venue, in this guide. Parents of the bride and groom, ushers with bridesmaids, flower girl, ring bearer, best man, special guests, maid/matron of honour, bride, and groom are the order of entrance. The emcee should also be briefed on how to properly pronounce the names of the wedding party.

As the party is about to begin, your wedding organiser and/or DJ/MC will gather all of your guests and seat them in the reception hall. Guests will be directed to their seats and any relevant announcements will be made during this time. An integral component of your wedding reception schedule is the time you plan to begin letting guests inside the reception, as well as how long you anticipate this taking based on the number of people expected.

The Bride and Groom Are Here!

In every setting, this is the final introductory phrase. As the bride and groom enter, guests should rise to their feet. To cap off a truly impressive arrival, you may even coordinate a special song with the musical entertainment and an announcement with the emcee. You should also let the emcee know how you want to be introduced. 

In honour of your official first introduction as a married couple, We hope you will take this opportunity to rejoice. Use the music from the party as an opportunity to show off your moves. The arrival of the bride and groom should come before any other members of the bridal party entering the reception site.

The newlyweds, along with the bride and groom's parents and the wedding party, arrive for the celebration. This is the first time the bride and groom are presented to each other as husband and wife. Feels like something out of a 1960s beauty contest or variety show; fair warning: you will experience this feeling more than once as the wedding plans progress.

Be Ready With Your Forks!

Time for lunch! The bride and groom should take a break, rest, and enjoy the festivities, no matter how many people are trying to congratulate them. The day can blend together in an instant, so seize the moment while you still can. It's also common knowledge that the bride and groom should be the first people in line for lunch, so don't be late!

First things first: get some food, sit down, and dig into whatever wedding meal you've chosen. Then, if you'd like, you can mingle and shake hands with everyone before coming back to your seat for the toast. This is the moment to socialise with guests if you haven't already done so at another point in the wedding reception schedule. If you would want to use the opportunity during lunch to meet and/or take photos with each table, please plan on spending at least three minutes with each group.

It's around this time that guests are starting to wonder, "Well, then where is the food?" What and how to Serve and How to Serve It goes into more detail, but dinner can be served in a variety of settings, from a formal sit-down restaurant to a cosy family gathering to a catered Chipotle buffet.

Cutting The Cake

It goes without saying that the bride and groom are the ones to cut the cake at a wedding. Next, the bride feeds the groom half of the cake and the groom returns the favour with the remaining half. The symbolic cutting is meant to represent the love and generosity of the pair to one another. Avoid shying away from using forks here; they photograph beautifully. They nearly eradicate the risk of cake crumbs soiling the wedding garb.

The cutting of the cake can take place approximately one hour before the end of the reception or the grand exit, at which point it will signal to your guests that the celebration will soon come to a close. Immediately following the cutting of the cake by the bride and husband, have your DJ play some songs with a tempo ranging from slow to medium as your guests eat their dessert. It's also a great moment to express gratitude to your guests for joining you for dessert.

The best time to serve cake at a wedding reception is around an hour before it ends, when guests are likely to be getting hungry and tired of the dance floor.

Since dessert and coffee are served during the final hour of the celebration, this is the traditional time for cutting the cake. In addition, people may start packing up and leaving before you're ready if you cut the cake too early, so plan accordingly.

Offering The Blessing

Again, this isn't required, but it does help set the mood for the religious couple. To make the gathering even more special, have the minister officiate the blessing by accepting your invitation. If they can't make it, though, bringing along a parent or close family friend is a good alternative. The host could also offer a blessing over the food. If you want the blessing to have a personal touch, make sure you let the person offering it know well in advance.

Making A Toast To The Newlyweds

First, the bride and groom raise a glass to each other, clasp arms, and drink. The maid of honour and best man give toasts to the bride and groom right after. Other members of your family and friends may decide to join you.

It is best to go over the toasts while your guests are still seated and towards the end of their meal. Toasts should begin with the Best Man and Maid of Honour, and then continue with the rest of the guests who have been invited to do so. If the happy couple hasn't already taken the time to express their gratitude to their guests for sharing in their special day throughout the course of the meal, they certainly should before the dancing begins. Looking for the Best Wedding Venue in Melbourne? Vogue Ballroom is Melbourne's Iconic wedding venue place. 

Traditionally, the best man and maid of honour give the first toast at a wedding, followed by the newlyweds, their parents, and any other speakers. There's a particular skill to presenting a toast—a skill that has not been perfected by every reception toast-maker out there. But have no fear; we will assist in the success of yours.

First Dance Of The Bride And Groom

The first dance you and your new spouse will share as a married pair is the Bride & Groom's Dance. It's up to you when you want this to happen, although it's often done right after the wedding party makes their grand arrival and before the first dance.

It's customary for newlyweds to skip the cocktail hour and head directly into their first dance as husband and wife once they've made their grand entrance. This is your opportunity to shine as a couple, whether you're performing a choreographed dance or just sharing a tender moment to a heartfelt song.

Your first dance as a married couple can be nerve-wracking due to the fact that it is just the two of you on the dance floor for the duration of an entire song (three minutes go by very slowly when there is a room full of people watching at you). Just laser-focus on your new spouse—this will be a particularly memorable moment if you filter out the audience.

Father & Daughter's Dance

Wedding traditions often include a dance between the bride and her father or fathers, known as the Father & Daughter's Dance or the Father Bride Dance. If the bride has more than one father, she can ask each one to dance by tapping them on the shoulder throughout the song. A father figure is sometimes used as a substitute parent for those who do not have one. A kind act from even your sibling is appreciated.

Special Dances

You, like a lot of others, probably have a few songs that mean a lot to you. They can be played after the formal dances if requested. Consider requesting "Angels Among Us" by Alabama if you're grieving the loss of a loved one.

Mother & Groom's Dance

The dance performed by the groom and his mother or mothers is called the Mother & Groom's dance. If the groom has more than one mother, either one might tap him on the shoulder during the dance and ask him to dance with her. If you don't have a mother, a typical substitute is a mother figure or your sister.

Bouquet And Garter Toss

The bride traditionally tosses her bouquet (or a similar item) to the unmarried women in attendance. Immediately after the tossing, a chair is provided in the middle of the dance floor, for the bride to sit on while the groom pulls the garter from her leg, and tosses it to all the unmarried males in attendance. The next couple to tie the knot are the ones who capture the garter and the bouquet.

Many people incorporate these in their weddings, but they have very scary implications behind them if you think about it (more on that later) (more on that later). Make your own traditions or choose what you think is ideal.

Late-Night Snack

As not all of their guests have a penchant for sugary treats, many hosts decide to provide savoury snacks to keep the party going well into the small hours. Foods that are easy to eat while dancing (think finger foods, anything on a stick, and nothing too saucy) and that inebriated people would enjoy (essentially, the more fried, the better) should be considered.

Dancing And Fun

Music entertainment is hired specifically to encourage guests to leave their seats and join the party on the dance floor. You can provide the entertainment with your prefered songs and a list of songs to avoid, but you shouldn't try to force them to stick to a list of 100 songs you made in advance.

The mother-and-son and father-and-daughter dances are a great way to kick off the dancing at your wedding reception. When it's time for the final dance in the family, have the DJ gather everyone on the dance floor for a memorable group shot. This encourages everyone to leave their seats and join the party on the dance floor before the music even starts playing.

It's time to start moving your body now! Power dancing sessions are best kicked off with an energising song that gets everyone on their feet. The garter and bouquet throw, as well as any other enjoyable activities you have scheduled on your wedding reception timetable, should be done during lulls in the music, when the crowd is most relaxed.

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Conclusion

A well-planned agenda is crucial for running a smooth party.  Here is also where the invites to the bridal party and extended family will be distributed. A "Reception Planning Guide" should be sent to the emcee months before the wedding. The bride and groom should enter the ceremony location before any other members of the wedding party.

The newlyweds are introduced to each other for the very first time in their new roles as husband and wife. The bride and groom traditionally have lunch served to them first. It is believed that the symbolic act of cutting the cake represents the couple's generosity and love for one another. This is the perfect opportunity to thank your guests for staying for dessert. The optimal time to cut the cake during a wedding reception is around an hour before it concludes.

Currently is the customary hour for cake cutting. The toasts begin with the best man and maid of honour, and then move on to the newlyweds, their parents, and any other guests who may choose to speak. The newlyweds typically go straight from the ceremony to their first dance as husband and wife, skipping the cocktail hour in the process. The Bride and Groom Dance is your chance to shine as a couple. If you're in a state of mourning, Alabama's "Angels Among Us" may be a good song to request.

The garter is removed from the bride's leg while she sits on a chair and the groom performs the ritual. The purpose of hiring a band or DJ is to get people out on the dance floor and having a good time. Get everyone out on the dance floor for an unforgettable group photo when it's time for the last dance. Sending off with bubbles, sparklers, rose petals, beach balls, or perhaps a sweet classic car? Have your friends and family do it for you!

Content Summary

  1. A well-planned agenda is crucial for running a smooth party.
  2. This resulted in the establishment of the cocktail hour.
  3. Get everything done that has to be done before the wedding party begins.
  4. A "Reception Planning Guide" should be sent to the emcee months before the wedding.
  5. Tell the host how you'd like to be introduced.
  6. Put up a dance performance to the party's tunes.
  7. The wedding party, including the parents of the bride and groom, and the newlyweds, arrive for the reception.
  8. As husband and wife for the first time, the bride and groom are introduced here.
  9. It's also standard practise to have the bride and groom eat lunch before everybody else.
  10. Now that the ceremony is over, it's time to sit down and enjoy the wedding feast.
  11. The cake at a wedding is traditionally sliced by the bride and husband.
  12. After the bride and groom have cut the cake, have the DJ play some songs with a moderate to slow tempo for the guests to enjoy as they finish their meal.
  13. When visitors are growing hungry and tired of dancing, which is usually within an hour before the celebration ends, that's when the cake should be served.
  14. In keeping with custom, the cake is traditionally sliced during the last hour of the party, when dessert and coffee are served.
  15. The host may wish to pray or bless the meal.
  16. Immediately following, the best man and maid of honour will toast the bride and groom.
  17. At a wedding, the best man and maid of honour traditionally offer the first toast, followed by the newlyweds, their parents, and any other speakers.
  18. The bride and groom's dance is the first dance of married life.
  19. A common part of many wedding ceremonies is a dance performed by the father of the bride and her new husband.
  20. Mother and Groom's dance refers to the dance done by the groom and his mother or moms at the wedding.
  21. The custom calls for the bride to toss the flowers from her bouquet (or something similar) to the single female guests.
  22. The groom removes the garter from the bride's leg, and then tosses it to all the single men in attendance, while the bride sits on a chair placed in the centre of the dance floor.
  23. The pair that receives the garter and bouquet at the end of the ceremony is the next ones to tie the knot.
  24. Set your own customs or pick the ones you believe are best.
  25. Hired music acts are intended to get people up and moving on the dance floor.
  26. Starting the dancing off with the mother-and-son and father-and-daughter dances is a wonderful idea for your wedding reception.
  27. Gather everyone on the dance floor for an unforgettable family photo when it's time for the last dance.
  28. All of the fun stuff on your wedding reception schedule, like the garter and bouquet toss, should happen when the music takes a break, when guests are more likely to be able to unwind and enjoy themselves.
  29. Leave in the same style that you entered.
  30. Get your loved ones together to send you off with a bang by throwing bubbles, sparklers, rose petals, beach balls, or even a sweet vintage automobile.
  31. After the last dance, have the emcee/DJ lead everyone outside so you can make a dramatic exit in your getaway car.
  32. The unmarried women of the wedding party gather before the bride and groom leave for their honeymoon locale so that the bride can toss her bouquet to them.

FAQs About Wedding Reception

The biggest difference between the wedding ceremony and wedding reception is the purpose of each event. The wedding ceremony's purpose is to officially and legally marry the couple. The wedding reception, on the other hand, is the party hosted to celebrate the couple's marriage

The Arrival of the Newlyweds. Once the bride and groom are finished with their photos, they enter the reception venue where they are greeted by either a song of their choice or "Congratulations." In most cases, once the bride, groom, and wedding party proceed to their seats, the bar is opened and starters are served.

Most wedding receptions are made in the evening for dinner; however, the couple may opt for a luncheon, brunch, or even afternoon tea. Ultimately the married couple chooses the details and location of the reception.

The reception ceremony is celebrated just after the main wedding day. It is the first public appearance of the newlywed couple after their marriage. The reception is usually organized by the family of the groom and is a sort of a grand party.

The Wedding Reception is the social event that follows the Wedding Ceremony; the bride and groom (or marriage partners) are celebrated by their friends and family.

The primary distinction between these two significant parts of a wedding day is that the Wedding Ceremony is the act of marriage that is legally, religiously, or spiritually performed, and the Wedding Reception is the social event that follows the Wedding Ceremony.

 

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