Wedding Reception Forum

Cocktail Reception Timeline

My husband and I were married in Italy this past month and are having a cocktail reception back home for all our friends and family. I am having trouble nailing down a timeline though!
Has anyone else done a cocktail reception? If so what was your timeline? Our reception will go from 7-11.

Re: Cocktail Reception Timeline

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    I haven't heard of a 4 hour cocktail recepiton, but one of the Knot magazines had a timeline for a 4 hour seated dinner and a 2 hour cocktail party (as well as a three hour brunch).  I'm going to type out the 2 hour cocktail reception timeline, my suggestion is maybe extending certain aspects of it.  It seems like a lot of it could be lengthened to your liking.  In addition, if you wanted to add other traditions, you could fit that in as well.
    (The Knot's timeline was from 9-11, so I'm just using that as a resource)
    9: Guests head to reception area;
    9:05: You are introduced (if you had a WP, you may want them introduced as well)
    9:10: Food stations open up, pass hors d'oeuvres start
    9:30: First dance, food service pauses
    9:35: Father-daughter dance; mother-son dance
    9:40: Food service resumes, if dancing, start upbeat music now
    10:10: Toasts
    10:15: Cake cutting
    10:20: ocuple of slow songs as staff cuts cake and apsses
    10:25: cake passed
    10:40 final dance set plays
    10:55: last dance

    Not sure how helpful that is, but maybe it'll at least get your thoughts started.
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    Our wedding was 4 hours with a cocktail reception.

    12:00 Ceremony
    12:20 Cocktail hour
    1:20   B&G announced in, Best Man toast, blessing of food
    1:30   Food table of hors d'oeuvres opened
    2:45   Cake cutting
    3:45   Last dance announced, bar closed
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    I am doing a cocktail reception and it is going to be from 6-10.I think its a great idea because it gives people more time to hangout and dance and they are not sitting and eating the whole time.
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