You may be curious as to when things should be done or if there is even a “correct” way of outlining the order of events for the wedding reception. For instance, when should the first dance be? Should everyone eat first? When do we cut the cake or hear speeches?
Some couples have their own itinerary and would rather do things their own way. Others feel they need to do things traditionally. Whatever your preference, we can outline briefly some of the order of the events of the reception.
The bride and bridal party should first freshen up their makeup, dresses and overall appearance, before entering the reception hall. If you are having a DJ, he would introduce the entire wedding party starting with the parents of the bride and groom. If you choose to have other important family members introduced to the guests, make sure the DJ has a full list of completed names and roles of each.
The couple’s first dance can be done at several different times. Decide whether you want to have the first dance after you enter the reception hall or after the meal is completed. Either way is widely accepted. If either of you are shy or self conscious of your dancing, you may want to have the entire party gradually join the couple in dancing.
The dance order for the wedding party is usually the couple’s choice. Traditionally, the bride dances with her father and the groom with his mother. Depending on the family dynamics and circumstances, a groom can dance with his mother and then his step mother (if this is the case) or vise versa with the bride. Either way, these dances always come after the first couple dance alone. Again, these are just suggestions. After all, it is your wedding day!
If you have chosen to follow the custom of speeches; after the first dance is the perfect time for the best man to give his speech or toast. Once this is done everyone can start eating. After the well prepared meal is enjoyed, then the partying can begin. Enjoy some music and dancing for roughly an hour. There is no hard and fast rule. Then the DJ can announce the time for the cutting of the cake.
As the rest of the cake is being cut and passed around to the guests, everyone else can continue dancing if they choose. Of course, for some this may be a hard decision to make as most of us love cake and love to dance!
The bride and groom can now take the opportunity to go around to the guests and express their gratitude for their support in making their wedding day so special by attending and being a part of it.