Of highest importance to a smooth wedding celebration is a carefully planned Wedding Reception Timetable. Our Guide to what typically happens during a Wedding Reception will keep you organised and ensure that nothing is missed! Make sure you provide your wedding service providers such as your Photographer, Videographer and Entertainment with your sequence of events too!
During this time guests mingle together informally and canape's with champagne is served whilst they await the return of the Bridal Party from formal photographs. This usually occurs in a room separate from the reception hall, on a balcony or often outside if the weather will permit.
Guests to Be Seated
An announcement is made that the reception will be commencing shortly and guests are directed to be seated in the reception hall. This can be the responsibility of staff at your wedding reception venue, your MC, or other friend/family member.
MC Introduction and Announcement of the Bridal Party
The MC for the evening formally introduces himself/herself to your guests and briefly welcomes them to the evening. The MC then announces the arrival of the Bride and Groom and the Bridal Party as they enter the reception.
Traditionally, it is the Bride's father who will officially welcome guests to the Wedding Reception and thank them for their attendance. This is the first speech made in the evening.
Serving of First Course
The first course of dinner is served. If the families are religious, Grace will be said before the meal is served to guests.
Speeches and Toasts
Speeches and Toasts continue - The Groom's father, the Groom and/or the Bride, The Best Man and/or Matron of Honour, and often friends of the Bride and Grooms Parents. The MC will continue to manage and host the evening.
Second Course Served
The second Course is often served concurrently whilst the above speeches are taking place.
Cutting of the Cake
The Bride and Groom formally cut the wedding cake and the guests toast the Bride and Groom.
Bridal Waltz and Dancing with Bridal Party / Parents
The Bride and Groom take to the floor for their first dance as a married couple. Soon after they are followed by the Bridal Party and then the Bride and Groom's parents.
Guests Invited to Dance
All guests are invited to the dance floor to participate.
Dessert is Served
Dessert can be served whilst guests are dancing and as they mingle together. Dessert can be either a separate meal or more and more commonly is the Wedding Cake. If not the wedding cake, this is normally distributed by the bridesmaids during the informal part of the evening.
Tossing of Bridal Bouquet and Garter
Late into the evening, approximately 30 minutes before the bride and groom will be leaving, the MC should invite all single females to the dance floor for the bouquet toss. The Bride should toss her Bouquet with her back turned to the women and tradition has it that the person who catches the flowers will be the next in line to marry. Immediately following this, the tossing of the Garter takes place with all unmarried males in attendance called to the dance floor.
All Guests are invited to the dance floor for a final dance with the newlyweds.
Farewelling the Bride and Groom can be done either informally or formally. Formal ways include a guard of honour or a farewell circle. It is also tradition for guests to clap to music during these farewells. Lights are normally switched on at this point in the evening.
Bride and Groom Leave the Reception
The Bride and Groom leave the reception as husband and wife and guests gradually leave the reception.
Get Peace of Mind for Your Big Day