We know that weddings are filled with many exciting and unforgettable moments. The commitment ceremony is very special and is considered sacred by many. The reception is the time to celebrate. Since this celebration is likely to be one of the biggest social events you’ll ever plan, we want to help you make it truly memorable. Here are some guidelines to help you plan the best reception ever.
Know that if your reception is likely to last four hours, you can schedule activities at a more leisurely pace. Both your wedding planner and and/or the reception site manager can help you plan the sequence of events exactly as you wish them. If you don’t know where to start, here is an example of a well scheduled reception you may wish to consider.
Usually there are photos taken between the end of the ceremony and the start of the reception. Work with your photographer to try to minimize the time spent with group shots. The special effect photos that you want taken should be done before the ceremony whenever possible. Ideally, the reception site would not be further than 1/2 hour’s drive from the ceremony. Because your guests are likely to go directly to the reception from the ceremony – and are likely to arrive before you and the wedding party do, be sure to have a reception host or hostess at the site ready to greet your guests and direct them to whatever area you have chosen for cocktails or punch and hors d’oeuvres.
Once you and the bridal party have arrived, the DJ or master of ceremonies should introduce you. If you have not had a receiving line at the ceremony site, it is usual to form the line immediately after being introduced. However, more and more couples are choosing to greet guests at their tables during the reception or as guests are leaving the event.
Cocktails and appetizers are usually served before all guests are seated. This is an appropriate time for a few toasts or you can choose to have your first dance. Next, the main course is served and following that, guests mingle and dance. Then the cake is cut and served along with whatever dessert(s) you have chosen. After dessert is when the bride usually tosses her bouquet if she has decided to do so. Know that fewer and fewer brides are following that tradition. It is time for the final dance, guests leave and you are off to your new life together.