Congratulations on your wedding day! Flying on the excitement from your engagement, the task of filling your big day with as many wonderful memories as possible may seem daunting. Do not fret; we at the Wesley Center in Clermont, FL are here to help.
Here is a suggested wedding reception timeline that is both relaxing and enjoyable, while fitting in as many unforgettable moments as possible that you can look back on with a smile.
To begin, the length and order of your reception may vary from wedding to wedding (are you planning a simple reception or formal seated dinner?). Also, keep in mind that you are not going at this alone, your banquet manager, caterer, band, and other wedding professionals are here to help and are well-versed in all things wedding.
Sample Clermont Wedding Reception Timeline
This normally takes about an hour and is the kickoff to the reception. You can either do the receiving line at your wedding venue or your reception venue; it all depends on the logistics.
If you are planning to take photos immediately following vows you may want to have the receiving line at the reception site.
Another option is to have the pre-reception in a room that is not the reception venue that way when people enter you can be there to receive all the guests as they enter. The pre-reception acts as an hour for the guests to unwind after the wedding and catch up with old friends before food is served and the party starts.
Wedding Reception Toasts and Speeches
Generally the toasts happen after the guests are seated, and it is up to you if you would like toasts before the first course has been served or after. The best man normally starts the speeches, followed by the maid of honor.
After this the happy couple normally responds with a few words of their own, it can be both of you or one of you. After this the parents and other guests have the floor, hopefully not too many embarrassing tales will ensue.
Once the pre-reception and toasts are finished, let the food be served!
This can take place at a number of different times depending on how anxious you are to share this blissful moment with each other. Some weddings have the happy couple immediately go to the dance floor after they are pronounced husband and wife, some weddings choose to wait after the salad course, but before the toasts, and some couples choose to wait to dance until after dinner. It is completely up to you.
If you choose to wait until after dinner, the father/daughter and mother/son dances should follow shortly after (make sure to have these important dances early enough so that the family member liable to turn in early still get to share in your happy moment). Next the bridal party joins on the dance floor and eventually everyone will trickle in and the party starts!
The cake is typically cut the last hour of the reception; it is the winding down time of the party. It signals to the guests that it is okay to leave soon so it is important that you don’t cut the cake before you are ready for the night to end. Following the cake cutting, it is typical for the bride to throw the bouquet and for the groom to throw the garter.
Now you are ready for the big day! Just remember, although you want structure and flow to your reception: be careful that you do not fixate on the time and glance at your watch all night. It is more important that you sit back and enjoy the day that marks the start of your life together.