Planning The Perfect Wedding Reception Itinerary

So you got engaged! Congratulations! If you are like most couples, you are like going a million miles an hour now! First you want to find that venue, the caterer, the photographer, and of course the DJ!

Well you found me, so the DJ part is good to go! Now I can’t help you if Uncle Joe wants to sit with the bridesmaids but A good DJ and MC will help that night flow, and help you stay that schedule you worked so hard to create.

So what goes into that perfect itinerary? Well that is what we are going to talk about today.

A Couple takes their first Dance. DJME Orlando DJ Photo by Bashir Olawoyin from Pexels

That Perfect Night

For the sake of this article, we are planning a reception from 7 to 11:30 , you would want to book your DJ for 6 Hours of Performance Time

 

6:15 – 7:15 p.m. Cocktail Hour

Invite guests to cocktail hour and take some post-ceremony photos with the photographer. Depending on how many photos you want to take, you can join cocktail hour halfway through, or spend some time in the bridal suite having appetizers and drinks privately. This will give you a much-needed break to re-energize for the rest of the night!

 

The Cocktail Hour is a must if you are having your wedding reception at a different venue from the wedding specifically. This gives your guest the travel time they will need to get there, stop and get changed. Most importantly, your photographer is going to want to have time with the newlyweds (and the wedding party) right after the Ceremony.

 

For Entertainment, usually I would suggest some soft rock, or instrumental jazz while your guest mingle, If your venue does not offer House sound in this area, arrange with your DJ to bring an extra sound system for this room. Usually this is only a small upcharge, and since you are most likely curiating a automated playlist, the DJ most likely would not charge performance time.

 

7:15 p.m. Guests invited to Dinner

Time for your guest to grab their place card and head to their tables

 

7:30 p.m. Grand Entrance and First Dance

“Timing works great if you go from your grand entrance right into your first dance,” says Brand. “This keeps the formalities and the fun going. You can dance for a full song for your first dance, or fade out two minutes in. You can also add a dance set consisting of three to five songs after the first dance to get the energy up before dinner.”

 

7:35 – 7:45 p.m. Welcome Toasts from Hosts

The first two toasts in the wedding reception timeline are considered welcome toasts and they are typically offered by the parents or a family member of the bride and groom.

 

7:45 – 8:30 p.m. Dinner

Don’t Forget to feed you hard working DJ J, usually at this point a pre mixed playlist is played, soft rock, love songs, or Jazz instrumental, One of my favorite things to play during this time, is instrumental pop songs

 

8:30 – 8:40 p.m. Bridal Party Toasts

As dinner is wrapping up, the best man and maid-of honor can offer their toasts during this slot of the wedding schedule. “For all toasts, set a time limit and recommend your speaks stay within them. I always say no more than five minutes,” says Brand.

 

8:40 – 8:50 p.m. Parent Dances

“If you are doing father-daughter and mother-son dances I recommend doing them after the toasts, and then transition into an open dance floor. After the last dance, switch to a high-energy music and have your band or DJ encourage everyone to join you on the dance floor,” says Brand.

 

9:30 – 9:45 p.m. Cake Cutting, Bouquet Toss and Garter Toss

First up is the cake cutting, followed by bouquet toss and garter toss (if desired). This is also a good time for the bride and groom to say a few words and thank their guests for coming.

 

9:45 p.m. Open Dance Floor

Dance until the night ends!

 

11:30 p.m. Grand Exit

Arrange for a final song with your DJ ahead of time, and also arranged to be cued that the song is coming up. Say your final goodbyes and hug your final hugs. If you’re having a exit with sparklers, have someone organize all the guests along your exit path and hand out sparklers. When your final song comes on, grab hands and make a dash for happily ever after!

That together should be the perfect night! If you have a DJ/Emcee that will make sure that night goes the way it does. Of course I would do just that, I would make sure your night is perfect! If you are interested in booking me, or just learning a bit more, fill out this short form!

 

Thank you for Reading!

Jamey C aka DJME

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