Hey loves –
I know planning a reception can be so overwhelming. That’s why I created this Perfect 5HR Reception Timeline – to help you get an idea of how to plan your perfect evening visually.
**This is a 5-hour timeline including cocktail hour and the reception, but please feel free to make it your own ♡
5:00PM – 6PM | COCKTAIL HOUR
The cocktail hour typically begins immediately after the ceremony if it’s at the same venue. Please consider travel time if you have two locations. Cocktail hour also serves as a distraction for your guests, while you’re away taking your newlywed photos.
6:00PM – 6:15PM | NEWLYWED ENTRANCE AND FIRST DANCE
It’s time to make your grand entrance! Walk out there hand in hand, and take a minute to soak it all in. And start your first dance ♡
6:15PM – 7:35PM | WELCOME TOASTS | DINNER | SPEECHES
Before dinner is served, take a moment as a newlywed couple to thank everyone for attending and say a couple quick words.
*Check in with Wedding Planner/DJ to coordinate correctly with dinner service.
Between courses (or about 15-20 minutes into dinner) it’s time to start the speeches – best man, maid of honor, and parents.
7:35PM – 7:45PM | PARENT DANCES
This is the transitioning phase from eating to gettin’ down on the dance floor! Starting with the father-daughter and/or mother-son dances.
7:45PM – 9:00PM | DANCING
*Music transitions to upbeat and welcoming tunes. Your guests will follow your lead – this would also be the perfect time to fit in any traditions you want to include, or if you want to start the dance party!
9:00PM – 9:15PM | CAKE CUTTING
The cake cutting is typically a sign that the wedding reception is almost over.
*Plan to do this one hour before your grand exit.
9:15PM – 9:45PM | MORE PARTYING + LAST DANCE
All the work is done and it’s time to party until the very end!
Wrap up the party with an official last dance. **This allows for your guests to have enough time to prepare for the grand exit.
10:00PM | GRAND EXIT
While you two are saying your final goodbyes, your planner will be getting your guests ready for your grand exit!
& then you two ride away, happily ever after ♡
I hope this timeline helps you plan your big day! If you’re looking for some more Wedding Tips and Inspiration you can check out my blog, here.