Wedding reception schedules

Wedding reception schedules is an important issue to think about while planning your wedding. The wedding reception schedules are associated with your guests. As every couple who plan a wedding wish to make their guests feel comfortable and happy at the wedding day, creating wedding reception timelines are important for planning of the event.

The wedding reception schedules always require careful planning and thinking about the smallest details. Planning the flow of your reception is essential, so here is the typical wedding reception schedules which can help you to create your wedding day timeline.

wedding reception schedules

As soon as the ceremony ends, the guests move to the reception location. In case the ceremony and the reception take place at different locations, there must be a time gap (approximately 2 hours) to let the guests move from one place to another.

Let?s consider the wedding reception schedules case then the wedding ceremony and reception are in the same location.

For example, the ceremony started at 1 pm and lasted about 45 minutes. After the ceremony, the couple has their photo sessions, and the guests move to the location where the cocktail hour takes place (at 2 pm).

5 pm: the time for the cocktail hour. After approximately 45 minutes, the guests move to the reception venue. They are welcomed by the drinks, entertainment, music, or they are going to their hotel rooms to change or have a rest.

6:00 pm: the couple, the family members and the guests have their seats, the dinner begins.

6:15 pm: the newlyweds arrive at the reception venue and make their grand entrance, which is sometimes followed by the first dance of the couple. It?s time for the first toasts.

7:30 pm: the cake is cut. It’s time for speeches and toasts!

8:15 pm: it’s time for the slideshow, love story or a short wedding movie.

8:45 pm: the desserts are served.

9 pm: dances of the father and daughter, mother and son, etc.

9:15 pm: time for the entertainment acts, live bands and guests? dances on the dance floor.

wedding reception schedule timeline template

10:30 pm: the newlyweds can say a couple of thank you notes to all the attendees.

10:45 pm: the guests continue dancing and having fun on the dance floor.

11:30 pm: last call announcement.

11:55 pm: time for the last dance.

12:00 am: breakdown. The newlyweds leave, the guests depart and the cleaning up activities begin.

This is a sample wedding reception timelines. However, you can mix up the order of events and be flexible on your schedules. You can discuss your ceremony and wedding reception timelines with your wedding planner and coordinator to find the best timing solution for your big day.


Wedding reception timeline template

The wedding reception timeline template is one of the most important parts of your wedding,wedding reception needs careful planning, focusing on catering, seating and entertainment arrangements for your guests. You will need to think about every detail to let your guests have millions of unforgettable positive impressions during and after your wedding.

While planning your wedding day timeline, split the day into different time periods and think carefully how much time you should leave for a certain wedding event. Check your wedding reception timeline template to plan your wedding day.

  1. Ceremony. The ceremony usually lasts 30-45 minutes, up to 1 hour.
  2. Cocktail hour. The time you should consider for guests move from the ceremony to the cocktail hour reception and the cocktails last 1 hour. However, for wedding where the ceremony and reception take place in different location, you will need not less than 2 hours gap to make sure all the guests have enough time to move from place to another. The newlyweds usually do not take part in the cocktail; they have their formal and informal photo sessions during this time. So the time of the cocktail hour often depends on the number and complexity of the photos the couple wants to have after their ceremony. The wedding reception timeline template will help you to plan and arrange your wedding activities, and, at the same time, to think about the entertainment for your guests.
  3. Reception. The seating of the guests takes 15-20 minutes. The DJ or the MC (or sometimes the bridesmaids) help the guests to find their places. Well-organized seating charts will help to reduce the time for the seating of the guests.
  4. Grand entrance of the wedding party and the couple. This takes about 15-20 minutes. Some bridesmaids and family members prefer entering the reception venue with a dance to make everybody excited and introduce the entrance of the newlyweds.
  5. First dance: 5-10 minutes. Lots of couples prefer having their first dance immediately after they have entered the reception hall. This can be a complex dance which the couple has learned several months or just a slow dance at their favourite song played by the wedding band.
  6. Thank you words and welcome speeches. Usually this activity lasts about 5-10 minutes. The welcome speeches are usually held by the bride and groom, followed by the family members with the words of blessing. After that, the dinner begins.
  7. Dinner: 1 hour. Make sure, that the couple has enough time to eat and relax a couple of minutes. Then, they can make short walks and round through the reception hall to greet the guests and have some pictures with them.
  8. Toasts: 30 minutes. After the guests had their meals, there is a perfect time for the toasts. Think about your own order of the presenters ? you can start with the maid of honour and the groomsman, or the first toasts can be made by the parents of the bride and groom.
  9. Dance floor opening: 1 hour. Now you can invite all the guests to the dance floor and let them have fun dancing and taking photos. Some couples prefer having the first dances of the bride and the father, or the mother with the son. At the end of the entertainment and dancing activities, there is typically a bouquet toss.
  10. Cake cutting: 30 minutes. This is usually the sign that the wedding event slowly moved to the end. The desserts are served. The couple can use this time to thank their guests for coming and sharing this day with the bride and groom.
  11. Dances: 1 hour. The final dances are announced, the couple can take part in these activities or leave for the final photo sessions. After that, there can be a continuation of entertainment and dancing. Finally, the DJ or the MC announces the last dance of the couple and the last song for everybody to dance to.
  12. Grand exit of the couple: 10-15 minutes. After the last dance, the couple makes their grand exit to the getaway car, the guests are leaving, the vendors are finishing their work, and cleaning activities begin.

eazyplan introduces sample wedding reception timelines, which consist of multiple activities of the wedding reception on the wedding day. You can download wedding reception timeline of events to create your unique schedule of the ceremony and reception.

Wedding reception schedules download

We will only use the email to send you the template.
We hate spam and never share your address with anybody else.

Before you leave,

sign up for the waiting list!

Are you ready to book more events, plan them faster, and stay on top of all the details?

We are accepting new entries to the waiting list. Join event professionals like you from 28 countries now!

No credit card needed

Sign up for the waiting list!

Manage your services, get bookings, collaborate on event details, and stay in touch with clients, other vendors, and your team — all on Eazyplan.

We are accepting new entries to the waiting list. Join event professionals like you from 26 countries now!

No credit card needed