Wedding Daze

Wedding Reception Styles

- Food is fruit, bread and other breakfast foods. Reception usually begins around 10 or 11am.

Wedding Reception decorationAdvantages:

•  Inexpensive.
•  You can leave for your honeymoon on the same day.


•  There is less time for you to get ready.
•  This is harder for guests who need to drive a long distance.

- Food is sandwiches, salads, pasta and fruits. Follows a late-morning wedding.


•  Inexpensive.
•  Allows for driving and getting ready time, but early enough that you don't have too much time to get nervous.


•  If you've got a band or DJ for dancing, many guests may be less likely to get up and "boogie" during the day.

- Food is finger sandwiches, nuts, chocolate and cake. Reception is usually held between 2pm and 5pm.


•  This is the least expensive.
•  This is great for a large guest list and a small budget.


•  The guests aren't offered a full meal

- Food is hot and cold appetisers, passed around or on buffet tables. Reception is usually held between 4-7pm.


•  Still in the evening, can be formal or informal.
•  This is usually less expensive than a dinner reception.


•  The guests aren't offered a full meal, even though it is dinnertime.

- Food is served as a sit-down meal, a buffet or in food stations. Meals vary, but usually several dishes are offered and a cocktail hour precedes the formal reception. These receptions begin anywhere from 6 to 9pm.


•  This is typically the most common time for a reception.
•  Guests are often in "party mode" and ready to dance the night away.

•  This is typically the most formal.


•  This is typically the most expensive reception type.

Here is an example of an itinerary for a four-hour reception that begins at 5:00pm:

•  Caterer arrives

•  Florist arrives to set up table centrepieces and other floral decorations.

•  DJ arrives and sets up equipment.

•  Wedding Coordinator (or designated person) arrives to set up place cards, favours, toasting flutes and cake knife, guest book with pen.

•  Wedding cake arrives and is set up.

•  Wedding guests arrive. Cocktail hour begins. Waiters serve trays of champagne and hors d'oeuvres to guests

•  Bride & Groom arrive and are escorted outside to take formal photographs on the lawn. All family members and wedding party gathers outside for photographs. Make sure all the family members and wedding attendants know where and when! You don't want to waste any time trying to track down people to be in pictures.

•  Bride and Groom, wedding party and parents of bride and groom gather in side room to "line up" for announcements.

•  Toastmaster/designated person says the blessing.

•  Caterer begins serving champagne to the tables for the champagne+ toast.

•  Toastmaster/designated person introduces the Best Man who will give the toast to the bride and groom.

•  Cocktail hour ends. (Cash bar begins). DJ to announce that dinner is served and asks that all guests be seated.

•  Dinner is served.

•  Toastmaster/designated person will make formal announcements.

•  Bride & Groom cut the cake.

•  Cake and coffee are served to guests.

•  Bride and Groom's first dance.

•  DJ announces Bride to dance with her father.

•  DJ announces Groom to dance with his mother.

•  DJ announces wedding party dance.

•  DJ plays song, Bride and Groom and wedding party dances. DJ invites all guests to join in.

•  DJ announces the Bride's bouquet toss. A nice alternative to the bouquet toss is for the Bride to "dedicate her bouquet" to someone special - maybe her mother or best friend. The bride can say a few words and then give (not throw) her bouquet away. This is a very tasteful and sentimental alternative... be prepared for a few tears.

•  Bride and Groom's last dance.

•  Bride and Groom say goodnight and leave for honeymoon destination or hotel.

•  Parents of the Bride (or other designated person) gather all the gifts, wedding presents and other items.

Here's the list of things to do and items you may need to bring home after the reception! Remember, this is still YOUR day even after the reception is ask someone ahead of time to take care of these items for you!

After the Reception Checklist

•  All suppliers have been paid

•  Cake knife returned

•  Gifts taken home

•  All formal wear returned

•  Guest book and pen taken home

•  Left over decorations cleared away

•  Left over favours cleared away

•  Left over flowers/table centrepieces cleared away

•  Left over food cleared away

•  Rented items (i.e. Cake top, pillars, stand) returned

•  Glasses returned

•  Top layer of the cake taken home

Wedding dress (If changing into going away outfit) taken home
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