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Customs and Traditions

Order of Events during Reception???

We are having an outdoor ceremony and reception with about 80 people. We are not sure what the best time for certain things like toasts and dances. Their will be toasts and father/daughter dance, mother/son dance and of course our first dance. Also we are having buffet style dinner so not sure when the toasts would be done since there won't be salad waiting on the table already. And when do we say our thank you to the guests?
We will not be doing a garter toss or the flower toss. The last part is we are serving donuts and are not sure when you usually start the dessert or do you announce the "cutting of the cake"? Any help would be great! Thank you 

Re: Order of Events during Reception???

  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    edited May 2016
    Good questions. Here's how we're doing it:

    1. After the food gets set out, we'll thank our guests, and we may have someone (probably my Grandma) say a blessing. This would be a natural time to do toasts.

    2. After people have been eating for about 30-45 minutes, we'll cut the cake. We have a song picked as a cue ("Sugar" by Maroon 5).

    3. Following the cake-cutting, we'll start our two spotlight dances.

    Hope that helps! I'm sure other Knotties will weigh in with good suggestions.

    ETA: We're having an afternoon ceremony and reception, wrapping up by 6:00. 
    tigerlily6rainy-and-matt
  • I like that schedule a lot, @OurWildKingdom

    OP, what is the time frame for your reception (as in start time and end time)? I'm guessing it goes into the evening since you are serving dinner. 

    From what I have found online, the usual order of things goes:

     - First dance
     - Blessing/ Dinner
     - Toasts about 30-40 min after the last guests have sat down with their meals (i.e., make sure every single person is given time to eat without being interrupted)
     - Parent dances
     - Dance floor opens for a bit
     - Cut the cake
     - Dance floor reopens

    However, it's absolutely fine to tailor the schedule around what seems best for you. For example, this my current rough draft of our reception (also with a buffet for about 130 guests):

     - Intro of wedding party/ my mom and dad (the hosts) welcome guests and say the blessing (4:15)
     - Dinner is served (4:30)
     - Toasts (5:20)
     - First dance, father daughter-dance, mother-son dance (5:50)
     - Dancefloor opens (6:00)
     - "Longest married couple dance" (6:55)
     - Cutting of cake, bride and groom thank all guests for being there (7:00)
     - Dessert is served (7:10)
     - Dance floor reopens (8:00)
     - Bouquet toss (9:00)
     - Last dance, exit (9:30) 
                        


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  • Great! Thank you for the feedback!

    The cocktail hour is at 3:30 then dinner by 5 or so, music can play till 10.
    It sounds like there is room for flexibility and just what seems right as long as people get to eat and dance in a timely maner:)
    Thank you ladies

  • Great! Thank you for the feedback!

    The cocktail hour is at 3:30 then dinner by 5 or so, music can play till 10.
    It sounds like there is room for flexibility and just what seems right as long as people get to eat and dance in a timely maner:)
    Thank you ladies

    Unlike the examples above, I think you shouldn't close the dance floor to cut cake or throw the bouquet.  Once the dancing starts, it should be allowed to continue until the very end.  It could be really hard to restart the party atmosphere if you keep pausing it to have photo-ops.  So toasts can happen before the dinner but after everyone has a drink in their hand.  Cake cutting can happen before or during dinner so the servers have a chance to plate up servings of cake for people to eat after dinner.  The first dance, mother/son, father/daughter should happen to open the dance floor, then the dancing just goes.  I'm not a fan of throwing the bouquet, so I don't have an opinion about when to put that in.  My advice would be to skip it.
    OurWildKingdomtigerlily6ernursej
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    edited May 2016
    Oh, we're doing everything before the dance floor opens and using our second spotlight dance as an opportunity to open the dance floor.

    ETA: I'm not a fan of closing the dance floor either.
    ernursej
  • adk19 said:
    Great! Thank you for the feedback!

    The cocktail hour is at 3:30 then dinner by 5 or so, music can play till 10.
    It sounds like there is room for flexibility and just what seems right as long as people get to eat and dance in a timely maner:)
    Thank you ladies

    Unlike the examples above, I think you shouldn't close the dance floor to cut cake or throw the bouquet.  Once the dancing starts, it should be allowed to continue until the very end.  It could be really hard to restart the party atmosphere if you keep pausing it to have photo-ops.  So toasts can happen before the dinner but after everyone has a drink in their hand.  Cake cutting can happen before or during dinner so the servers have a chance to plate up servings of cake for people to eat after dinner.  The first dance, mother/son, father/daughter should happen to open the dance floor, then the dancing just goes.  I'm not a fan of throwing the bouquet, so I don't have an opinion about when to put that in.  My advice would be to skip it.
    This is actually helpful for me, also. I was iffy on the closing the dancefloor myself, but had seen it posted elsewhere and thought it was a norm. I may change my rough draft around to put the cake cutting earlier. 
                        


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