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This might sound really basic but creating a wedding reception itinerary is yet another thing that has to be done for a wedding (especially if you’re planning it yourself). Not only is it essential to make sure all of the formalities take place at the reception but it also determines the “feel” of it.
My MOH and I, Jess, went to two weddings a couple of years ago that were back to back. Even though we had been to many weddings prior to these two, these ones in particular really made us realize how important the itinerary is. One wedding was completely unlike the other. It was so upbeat and included tons of dancing and fun while the other one was well… Let’s just say, not as much fun.
We realized after talking about it literally for hours, that there were two main contributors to that: First was the DJ. I could go on and on about this but he was seriously the bees knees and did a fantastic job of KEEPING everyone on the dance floor. That is crucial to a fun reception. The second was the order and timing of events. All of the little formalities that are typical at receptions were done so “smoothly” that they didn’t break up all of the fun. People were having a grand ol’ time doing what they wanted to do and if that included watching the couple cut the cake, that was perfectly fine. If they would rather be catching up with friends or grabbing some ice cream then that was perfect too!
Something else that I want to point out is that Stephen and I didn’t want our reception to have a “watch the bride and groom the entire time” vibe. I understand it’s a giant party for the bride and groom but we just didn’t think it was necessary to have ALL eyes on us every single second. If that were the case we would’ve had people sitting down in their seats for every formality. That’s not what we wanted at all. We wanted people up and talking with each other, dancing, playing games, and having fun doing whatever made them happy. That’s what we were going for.
If you want to be in the spotlight all night, that’s certainly okay! I totally understand. If you’re like us though and want this more laid-back atmosphere, I would suggest using this itinerary while also explaining to your DJ the vibe that you’re going for. Ultimately he/she is going to be the person that asks everyone to sit down or gets the crowd moving to the dance floor so I think it really helped that our DJ (DJ Max Powers) and I were on the same page.
Jess and I agreed that we had to be strategic about the reception timeline in order to make the party as fun as possible. I have to admit; I think it panned out perfectly. We had the time of our lives at the reception. It was just one giant celebration.
Some things you should know in reference to this itinerary:
- Our wedding ceremony and receptions were at separate locations.
- Our wedding ceremony started at 1:00.
- I mainly made this itinerary for our DJ and wedding coordinator to be on the same page and so that I didn’t have to worry about a single thing the day of the wedding. However, I also communicated to them that it wasn’t life or death if the times weren’t followed to the T. It was really just a guide for them.
Feel free to use this itinerary for your upcoming reception if you wish and as always, do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions!
Photography by Luck & Love Photography