Wedding Reception Forum

Timeline of Events

Our venue just sent us a 10 page questionnaire. Most of it was pretty easy to fill out, but I am stumped on the timeline for the reception. We are doing the shoe game near the end of dinner like our D.J. recommended. Let me know what you would recommend.

First Dance - before or after dinner

Father Daughter Dance - before or after dinner

Mother Son Dance - before or after dinner

Toasts - before or after dinner

Cake Cutting - following dinner or later in the evening

Re: Timeline of Events

  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    DD and SIL did their cake cutting immediately after the wedding party entered. That way the catering staff had time to get the cake cut to be served later. All the dances were done after dinner. The toasts were done between courses. SIL did a brief welcome and thank you before the salad course. H then did the Father of the Bride toast. I believe the BM and MOH toasts were between the salad course and main course and main course and dessert but can't remember who went first. It seemed to work well. The key to any of the toasts is to keep them short and sweet. The same with the spotlight dances. They shouldn't be too long. The DJ or band can fade a song out if it is a long song.
    OurWildKingdomMesmrEwe
  • DD and SIL did their cake cutting immediately after the wedding party entered. That way the catering staff had time to get the cake cut to be served later. All the dances were done after dinner. The toasts were done between courses. SIL did a brief welcome and thank you before the salad course. H then did the Father of the Bride toast. I believe the BM and MOH toasts were between the salad course and main course and main course and dessert but can't remember who went first. It seemed to work well. The key to any of the toasts is to keep them short and sweet. The same with the spotlight dances. They shouldn't be too long. The DJ or band can fade a song out if it is a long song.
    Thank you! We are having a buffet so there won't be courses. 
  • We did all our spotlight dances at the very beginning of the reception. We only had one toast and it was right before dinner. Cake cutting was right before dessert was served. 

    What's the shoe game?
    image
    OurWildKingdom
  • We did all our spotlight dances at the very beginning of the reception. We only had one toast and it was right before dinner. Cake cutting was right before dessert was served. 

    What's the shoe game?
    The bride and groom sitting in chairs that are back to back. The bride has one of her shoes and one of the groom's and visa versa. The MC asks them questions like whose a better cook or whose family is crazier and the bride and groom raise the shoe of the person they believe is the better cook or who has the crazier family.
  • ei34ei34 member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    First Dance - before or after dinner right after entering the reception 

    Father Daughter Dance - before or after dinner after cake cutting, mother/son dance happening simultaneously 

    Mother Son Dance - before or after dinner after cake cutting, father/daughter dance happening simultaneously 

    Toasts - before or after dinner right at the start of dinner 

    Cake Cutting - following dinner or later in the evening later in the evening- cake cutting, parent dances and then Viennese hour 

    Put my answers on bold- they reflect what was done at my wedding, and like 90% of the weddings I’ve attended.  I realize the timing of some of these vary by region/circle, but it’s what I’m used to. 

    I’d never heard of the shoe game but you’re smart to do it when guests are already sitting down/eating.  If they’re sat with people they like, they’ll probably be content just talking to each other, as opposed to having entertainment 
    OurWildKingdom
  • We did all our spotlight dances at the very beginning of the reception. We only had one toast and it was right before dinner. Cake cutting was right before dessert was served. 

    What's the shoe game?
    The bride and groom sitting in chairs that are back to back. The bride has one of her shoes and one of the groom's and visa versa. The MC asks them questions like whose a better cook or whose family is crazier and the bride and groom raise the shoe of the person they believe is the better cook or who has the crazier family.
    Is this something that is done in your circle at weddings? I've never seen this done at weddings, only at showers. I would think it very odd to have it done at a wedding. 
    We aren't doing the bouget and garter toss so I was looking at ideas for something else to do. We don't want to do the anniversary dance since our friends did that at their friend and I don't want to copy them. My fiancé and I don't like the dollar dance. I saw the shoe game on YouTube and thought it looked fun and different. I spoke to our DJ and he said the shoe game is very popular and guests normally love it. 
  • eileenrob said:

    First Dance - before or after dinner right after entering the reception 

    Father Daughter Dance - before or after dinner after cake cutting, mother/son dance happening simultaneously 

    Mother Son Dance - before or after dinner after cake cutting, father/daughter dance happening simultaneously 

    Toasts - before or after dinner right at the start of dinner 

    Cake Cutting - following dinner or later in the evening later in the evening- cake cutting, parent dances and then Viennese hour 

    Put my answers on bold- they reflect what was done at my wedding, and like 90% of the weddings I’ve attended.  I realize the timing of some of these vary by region/circle, but it’s what I’m used to. 

    I’d never heard of the shoe game but you’re smart to do it when guests are already sitting down/eating.  If they’re sat with people they like, they’ll probably be content just talking to each other, as opposed to having entertainment 
    Thank you for your help! We aren't doing the father daughter and mother son dance simultaneously because we want to dance to our own songs. I picked out a song that is about a father and daughter and my fiancé picked out a different song, but hasn't told me what song. We plan on doing them one after the other. We also aren't doing a parents dance because his parents are divorced and I had never heard of Viennese hour. 
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    This is what I did at my wedding:

    First dance right after reception introductions. 
    Speeches/toasts (Only 2) 

    We combined our parents dances to just one dance. That took place right after dinner. 

    We did not do a cake cutting or bouquet toss.  I didn't do anything else to fill in the time - people just danced. 

    I've only been to one wedding where they did the shoe game. I think it was while dessert was being served??

  • This is what I did at my wedding:

    First dance right after reception introductions. 
    Speeches/toasts (Only 2) 

    We combined our parents dances to just one dance. That took place right after dinner. 

    We did not do a cake cutting or bouquet toss.  I didn't do anything else to fill in the time - people just danced. 

    I've only been to one wedding where they did the shoe game. I think it was while dessert was being served??
    Thank you! 
  • ei34ei34 member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    eileenrob said:

    First Dance - before or after dinner right after entering the reception 

    Father Daughter Dance - before or after dinner after cake cutting, mother/son dance happening simultaneously 

    Mother Son Dance - before or after dinner after cake cutting, father/daughter dance happening simultaneously 

    Toasts - before or after dinner right at the start of dinner 

    Cake Cutting - following dinner or later in the evening later in the evening- cake cutting, parent dances and then Viennese hour 

    Put my answers on bold- they reflect what was done at my wedding, and like 90% of the weddings I’ve attended.  I realize the timing of some of these vary by region/circle, but it’s what I’m used to. 

    I’d never heard of the shoe game but you’re smart to do it when guests are already sitting down/eating.  If they’re sat with people they like, they’ll probably be content just talking to each other, as opposed to having entertainment 
    Thank you for your help! We aren't doing the father daughter and mother son dance simultaneously because we want to dance to our own songs. I picked out a song that is about a father and daughter and my fiancé picked out a different song, but hasn't told me what song. We plan on doing them one after the other. We also aren't doing a parents dance because his parents are divorced and I had never heard of Viennese hour. 
    Regardless of his parents’ marital status, parent dances def aren’t necessary.  The fewer number of times your guests are expected to sit captive and watch something, the better.

    Viennese hour is dessert hour- just a long buffet of desserts and ample time to eat some of everything.  Very common in my circle but when I started watching Four Weddings and then coming here I noticed in other circles dessert is cake only, and immediately following dinner.
    charlotte989875OurWildKingdom
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think by parent dances, people mean mother/groom, father/bride. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've never seen any other type of parent dances at a wedding. Ditto PP's statement about limiting time your guests are required to watch something. People will have fun dancing and mingling with friends and family. DD didn't have a garter or bouquet toss either. I can't remember the last wedding where either of these occurred in a serious fashion - there was one where it was a big joke kind of thing and very eye roll worthy.
    OurWildKingdom
  • eileenrob said:
    eileenrob said:

    First Dance - before or after dinner right after entering the reception 

    Father Daughter Dance - before or after dinner after cake cutting, mother/son dance happening simultaneously 

    Mother Son Dance - before or after dinner after cake cutting, father/daughter dance happening simultaneously 

    Toasts - before or after dinner right at the start of dinner 

    Cake Cutting - following dinner or later in the evening later in the evening- cake cutting, parent dances and then Viennese hour 

    Put my answers on bold- they reflect what was done at my wedding, and like 90% of the weddings I’ve attended.  I realize the timing of some of these vary by region/circle, but it’s what I’m used to. 

    I’d never heard of the shoe game but you’re smart to do it when guests are already sitting down/eating.  If they’re sat with people they like, they’ll probably be content just talking to each other, as opposed to having entertainment 
    Thank you for your help! We aren't doing the father daughter and mother son dance simultaneously because we want to dance to our own songs. I picked out a song that is about a father and daughter and my fiancé picked out a different song, but hasn't told me what song. We plan on doing them one after the other. We also aren't doing a parents dance because his parents are divorced and I had never heard of Viennese hour. 
    Regardless of his parents’ marital status, parent dances def aren’t necessary.  The fewer number of times your guests are expected to sit captive and watch something, the better.

    Viennese hour is dessert hour- just a long buffet of desserts and ample time to eat some of everything.  Very common in my circle but when I started watching Four Weddings and then coming here I noticed in other circles dessert is cake only, and immediately following dinner.
    We are having my parents' wedding song played at our wedding, but it won't be a special dance or anything. I choose to have it played because my parents eloped so they could not actually use the song for their wedding. They canceled their big wedding because of drama so I would like to give them the chance to dance to their song.

    I Googled Viennese hour since I never heard of it. In addition to wedding cake, we are doing a candy bar with 8-9 different types of candy. I figure with 8-9 types of candy that there will be something for everyone. 
  • kahluakoalakahluakoala member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    edited March 2019
    I agree with everyone on timing, to the extent you can do things while people are eating - do that. 

    The ceremonial things we are doing are:
    - Intros
    - First dance
    - 3 toasts (FOB, MOH, Best Man)
    - Father/Daughter dance and Mother/Son dance (we are doing them seperately, but after a minute or so of the mother/son dance we are inviting guests to join us on the dance floor)
    - Cake cutting

    Intros and first dance will be done after everyone is sat while orders are being taken (and will be followed by the hora, so most people will be expected to get up shortly after, not a lot of "captive" time), the toasts and parent/child dances will be during the first course, and the cake cutting will be during entrees.

    I've never seen the shoe game but I think this would fall kind of flat in my circle, agreed with a PP that it feels more like a "shower" thing, and I guarantee no one will miss a bouquet and garter toss (bleh, I've only seen one of these and it was terrible). So, don't let your DJ pressure you into adding more opportunities for *him* to perform at your wedding. 

    Viennese hours are common at NY-area weddings and italian weddings. They are *awesome* but certainly not expected if they're not a "thing" where you're from (or even if they are!). I've also seen the parent dances (i.e. where the parents dance with eachother) at similar NY/italian weddings and I'm not a fan of them (it doesn't have the emotional resonance, doesn't have anything to do with the wedding, and is awkward/upsetting in certain situations like divorce, death of a parent, etc.)
    charlotte989875ei34OurWildKingdomMyNameIsNot
  • ei34ei34 member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I didn’t mean to imply that weddings should have Viennese Hour.  I grew up attending a certain kind of wedding but weddings outside my immediate area/culture that I’ve been going to now as an adult (as well as reading about here) are awesome too :)
    charlotte989875kahluakoalaOurWildKingdom
  • Never heard of the shoe game but it sounds just like another part of the wedding where people watch things and don't get to participate. That's why I like the anniversary dance - others are included and it highlights love.
    InLoveInQueensOurWildKingdom
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