Wedding Reception Order of Events

If you’re planning a wedding, there are a lot of things to think about. While plenty flexible, there is a general wedding reception order of events so that you and your wedding coordinator know the flow of the day. 

Wedding Reception Order of Events

At modern weddings today, many couples decide to scrap traditions like the bouquet toss or the receiving line, but there’s no harm in keeping tradition alive. Depending on the couple, there may be family traditions added as well. If you’re unsure of the standard wedding reception order of events, look no further! We’re here to offer some insight. 


Receiving Line: This is when the newly married couple will greet all of their guests and receive well wishes as they embark on this new journey. It’s a great way to ensure you get to thank each and every one of your guests. 

Cocktail Hour: Between the ceremony and the reception, cocktail hour is a casual time to mingle and enjoy a drink. This is typically the time when the married couple and wedding party will take photos as well. 

Guests Are Seated: Once cocktail hour starts to wind down, it’s time for dinner. Guests are guided toward their seats as they await the wedding party and dining festivities. 

Wedding Party Entrance: Ready to watch everyone’s finest entrance moves? The wedding party entrance is fun and exciting. The married couple makes the final entrance into the reception to get the party officially kicked off. 

Main Reception

First Dance: The first dance at a wedding is one of the most popular traditions and a romantic way to signify a new life together. The couple’s first dance can even be to a faster song for those wanting to have a little fun with it. 

Meal: It’s time for food! You can do family style, plated dishes, or even food stations for guests to try. 

Speeches: Weddings will typically include speeches from the maid of honor, best man, a parent of the couple, and the couple. 

Cutting the Cake: Newlyweds will typically cut the cake together, sometimes feeding it to one another-or even smashing it in one another’s face! 

Dessert: Serve up your dessert. You can choose traditional cake, ice cream, cupcakes, donuts, pies, or any other sweet treat that will please a crowd. Desserts can be served or you can set up a bar for guests to grab and go. 

Dancing: It’s time to get everyone out on the dance floor for an evening of celebration. If you’ve chosen your playlist, be sure to include 

Late-night Snacks: Weddings are long! Late night snacks are increasingly popular to have at weddings. Choose something simple and fun and easy to eat between moves on the dance floor. 

Last song: It’s the last song of the night, so make it a good one! The DJ will announce the final song of the evening and any after-party events to the crowd. 

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