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The Modern Reception Timeline

A modern wedding reception timeline can vary greatly depending on the couple’s preferences and the size of the wedding. However, there are certain key events that are typically included in a reception timeline. Here is a sample event list for a modern wedding reception:

  1. Grand Entrance
  2. Introductions
  3. First Dance
  4. Parent Dance
  5. Toasts / Speeches
  6. Dinner

The reasons why this modern reception timeline works is explained in full detail at the end of this article…

01. Grand Entrance

Modern Reception Timeline - Pulse Productions Inc.

This is the moment when the newlyweds make their official debut as a married couple. They will typically enter the reception venue together, arm in arm, to the cheers and applause of their guests.

02. Introductions

After the grand entrance, the wedding party and the couple will be introduced to the guests. This is typically done by the MC or DJ, and can include fun facts or personal anecdotes about the couple.

03. First Dance

The first dance is a romantic and intimate moment between the couple. It’s a chance for them to share a special dance together and to start the dancing portion of the reception.

04. Parent Dance

Modern Reception Timeline - Pulse Productions Inc.

After the first dance, the couple will typically dance with their parents. This is a touching moment that honors the couple’s families and their role in their lives.

05. Toasts / Speeches

This is the time for friends and family to share their congratulations and well wishes with the couple. The best man and maid of honor will usually give speeches, followed by the Brides parents, then the Groom’s parents. After these 4 speeches, this is generally where to add any additional speeches (friends, family, etc.) To wrap it up, the final speech is made by the Bride & Groom. Toasts / Speeches should be kept to 5 minutes maximum. If you or anyone in your bridal party needs advice on how to give a great speech at your wedding, we have 10 tips to give a great speech.

06. Dinner

After the speeches, it’s time for dinner. This is a great opportunity for guests to catch up and enjoy a meal together.

The overall flow of the reception will be greatly increased if you do a modern reception timeline like this. Also, the most amazing and epic photos / film clips you will get is during sunset (Golden Hour) If you don’t do all of the formalities at the top of your reception, chances are you will be right in the middle of speeches or your dances when you should be outside getting those A-M-A-Z-I-N-G golden hour photos & film. YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS GOLDEN HOUR!

Now, what you may be thinking to yourself is that well if we do that, then our guests will be sitting and watching for a long time before dinner. Your guests are there literally to watch you. They are there to celebrate you. That is why they are there. Gone are the days where you HAVE TO conform to a traditional reception timeline. Don’t be too concerned that your guests will have to sit for maybe a total of 15-30 minutes longer than expected.

Overall, a modern wedding reception timeline should be tailored to the couple’s preferences and the size of their wedding. By including key events such as the grand entrance, introductions, first dance, parent dance, toasts/speeches, and dinner, the couple can be sure that their reception is a memorable and enjoyable event for all of their guests.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask! Head on over to our contact page and ask away!

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– Nick & Jen Taylor

Proudly Serving Alberta, B.C. & Saskatchewan

Iuliia & Chris - Osoyoos BC Wedding Photographer - Watermark Beach Resort - Osoyoos, British Columbia - July 13, 2023 - Pulse Productions Inc
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