Weddings Order of Events

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STLRiverCityDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 6, 2016
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St. Louis
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This may have been discussed before, but I'd like to bring it up again.

What is the typical order of events for your reception?

Mine is:
  • Cocktail Hour
  • Introductions
  • Cake Cutting (Option 1, especially if cake is on dance floor)
  • Welcome
  • Toasts (Option 1)
  • Blessing
  • Dinner
  • Toasts (Option 2)
  • Newlywed Game
  • Cake Cutting (Option 2)
  • Formal Dances
  • Open Dance Floor
  • Anniversary Dance
  • Tosses
  • Re-Open Dance Floor
  • Final Dance (about 10 minutes before actual end time)
  • Encore Song
 
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EERobert

DJ Extraordinaire
Aug 11, 2013
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Hays, Kansas, United States
Mine usually goes (and some of these I don't do, depending, of course, if the B&G want them or the area)

Cocktails
Grand Introduction
Blessing
Dinner
Cake Cutting
Toasts (my reasoning for this is that it gives the aunts who are cutting and plating the cake time to do that, make punch if needed, etc)
Dismissal for cake (about 15 mins)
The Grand March (depending on the area)
Spotlight/Formal Dances
Open Dancing (about 30-45 mins)
Anniversary Dance
Bouquet
Garter
Shoe Game
Dollar Dance
Resume Dance
Last Dance (5-10 minutes before end)
Celebration song

this is what I've found works in my area, but I'm not committed to this timeline if they couple wants a slightly different order that works for me too, or if the photographer is leaving earlier then I have the bouquet and garter planned, I'll move those forward.
 

IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
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Western Pennsylvania
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Hmm...

last wedding..and correct, no entrance.

no cocktail hour.
blessing
dinner
toasts.
first dance.
cake cutting
parent dances.
-open about 45 min-
anniversary dance
money dance
-open-
last song

this saturday -
cocktails (40 min)
entrance
toast by mom
blessing
dinner - BM/MOH toasts during salads
cake
first dance
parent dances
-open-
money dance
-open-
last dance

No garter bouquet on either one.

Lately i've been ending after last dance with sweet caroline..works well.
 
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Cap Capello

Always @ Ur Service
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Dec 14, 2006
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Saratoga, NY
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Introductions
First Dance
Blessing
Toasts & welcoming
Centerpiece giveaway (if I'm doing it)

Dinner

2 slow then 5 fast song Dance Set
Parent Dances
Cake Cutting
Bouquet/Garter/Garter (if they're doing it)
Specialty Dance (Anniversary Dance, as some call it)
Dancing till 15 minutes of ending
Circle of Love,
repeat first dance with everybody,
closing song.
Say good night.
Play Muppet's "Manamana" while break down begins.
 

Jim Davis

Professional "Craigslist DJ"
Here's what I did at my own wedding in March 2015:

Cocktail Hour
Introductions/Grand Entrance
First Dance
Parent Dances
Blessing
1st Course Served (Salad)
Best Man/Maid of Honor Toasts During First Course
Entree Served
No cake cutting... we did cupcakes, which were announced as "help yourself" towards the end of dinner
Open Dancing
After about 45 minutes of open dancing... bouquet toss
Open dancing rest of the night

My wife and I wanted to maximize the party time and streamline the formalities, so everything except the bouquet toss was done right up front. If you have a client that just wants to party, try recommending this order of events. :) We kept a pretty lean itinerary... no anniversary dance, no dollar dance, no send-off with people holding sparklers... etc. I've gotten several comments from people there (even recently, a year and a half later) that our wedding was probably the most fun wedding fun people had ever been to. Even the DJ we hired said it was the best crowd he'd had in a while. (Of course, it didn't hurt that he's awesome and I wish I was as good as him, haha...)

I have to say, I've never seen a cake cutting BEFORE blessing/dinner...
 

IceBurghDJ

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Apr 17, 2015
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I've seen early cake cutting a number of times. It's old school - back when photography was expensive and film based - no candid photography to speak of no point paying a photography to sit for an hour or more during dinner just to get the first dance/cake.
 
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DJ Ricky B

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Mar 9, 2015
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I've seen early cake cutting a number of times. It's old school - back when photography was expensive and film based - no candid photography to speak of no point paying a photography to sit for an hour or more during dinner just to get the first dance/cake.
I did one last year where I introduced the couple and they went right into cutting the cake while everybody watched. Then they did first dance...It was quite cool to watch. Everybody was more involved, and cake cutting took less than 60 seconds to do and was already out of the way.
 

STLRiverCityDJ

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Sep 6, 2016
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St. Louis
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When I do the cake cutting right after the intros it's typically because the venue puts the cake on the dance floor to make room for another table of guests. People like to cram big parties in small places around here. Occasionally it's because the venue wants to start cutting the cake while guests are eating dinner, but that isn't the usual reason.
 

nextgen1

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 23, 2006
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Waterford, CA.
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In our area and that is usually what it's all about. Cake is usually done after toast which is after dinner. I have found that the flow and time lines tend to be very different all over the country. If we did some of these time lines in our area the venues and clients would think we are wacked. I'm not saying that is true. I'm just saying its very very different all over the place down below is a very typical flow for a reception in this part of California. Of course this can all change based upon client wishes but this is typical and not many games either once in a while the shoe game.

(Cocktail Hour)
1. Wedding party entrance
2. Grand entrance
3. First Dance
4. Blessing
5. Dinner
6. Toasts
7. Cake.
8. Father & Daughter
9. Mother & Son
10. Bouquet & Garter
11. Money dance or Anniversary dance if doing either of these.
12. Open dance
13. Last Dance
 
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Ausumm

Gold Plated Productions
Oct 21, 2008
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Bethlehem PA
When I started, I could have recited the "order of things" in my sleep.
These days, no two are exactly the same.
Depends on the venue, the bride, the photographer, and a host of other variables.

If I have my say...

Cocktail Hour
Introduction
First Dance
Toasts/Invocation
Centerpieces
Dinner
Cake
Parents' Dances
Open Dancing
Garter/Bouquet (if requested)
Dollar Dance (if requested)
Open Dancing
Last Song
Breakdown
Chocolate Milk and Cookies
Sleep
 

DjDennis

RIP- My Dad (2011), Sister (2013) and Mum (2017)
here downunder its in reverse LOL
 

Scott Hanna

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Oct 25, 2006
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It changes, but very typical is

Cocktail hour
Grand entrance
Cake cutting
Toasts
Blessing
Dinner
First dances
Dancing
Garter/bouquet/anniversary

Last dances.
 
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