How to plan your wedding reception timeline

hey guys it's Megan with megan ashley

creative and welcome back to my channel

today we're going to talk about

something that came in as a request on

instagram and that's how to plan a

timeline for your reception so you're in

the middle of trying to put a timeline

together for your reception and you're

not really sure when it starts so we're

gonna go over a couple of key points

that usually happen to your reception

and sort of how to add in other things

during the reception time i think yeah

so i talked a little bit about this and

one of my earlier videos about wedding

date timelines but this one we're just

gonna really focus on your reception and

help you kind of get all the things you

want to get done done in a timely

fashion maybe you only have your

photographer to a certain point and want

to try and capture as much as possible

so let's start of add in some different

ideas on how to do that so the very

first one you really need to sort out is

when you're gonna eat uh yeah i always

see a lot happening before food and i do

think it's really important to make sure

your guests eat pretty much right away

after you enter your reception feeding

people might be the most important thing

you do especially if you've had a longer

wait or a longer day during the wedding

people just want to eat food they're

hungry and you don't want overly hungry

guests so make sure you feed them i look

at a good time so if your reception it's

gonna start around 6 o'clock maybe

trying to eat with about 6:15 is is a

great idea

get your wedding party together or do

your grand entrance and then sort of get

to eat it so if you're trying to get a

lot of stuff done in a short amount of

time due to maybe only having your

photographer videographer team to a

certain point a really good thing to get

done and add the weight as soon as you

men to your reception is your first


i've seen a lot of couples walk into

their reception and do their first dance

as husband and wife right away and you

don't even have to dance to the full

song you could could fade it out and do

your father daughter and mother so

or whatever other important dances you

want to do write them in there as well

and knock that off your timeline and

then you're not waiting till later on in

the evening and having your photographer

and sit around if you're gonna do it

like 10 o'clock at night or something so

doing your first dance right away might

help you alleviate some time in the

timeline down the road and like I said

another great way to save some time

especially if you and your partner

aren't big on dancing in front of people

or your spouse isn't or maybe one of

your parents isn't able to dance for

very long maybe they just alright

they're just not comfortable I've seen a

lot of people just fade the song out so

have a song going for you know 60

seconds and then fade it out into the

next dance or I've seen people just get

rid of the dance formal dances

altogether maybe just the first dance

with the two of you is important maybe

you don't have parents there or it's

just not as important to you you could

cut that out as well so you get the food

and there's another big one right there

if you have the choice between a plated

dinner or a buffet-style dinner the

plated dinner is always going to go much

faster the food gets served right to

your guests

there's no lineups for the buffet they

eat this or the plates get taken away

and then you can move right into coffee

and dessert almost instantly and it

definitely speeds up the flow of your

reception if you don't have the option

for a plated dinner and buffet styles

the way you're gonna go then including

other events during dinner time might be

a really good idea as well so typically

the bride and groom and the head table

and their immediate family eat first

then therefore they will likely be done

eating first

so they can move into speeches before

everybody else is finished eating if

there's still a few people mulling

around having seconds eating you could

easily move into speeches and start the

flow of that and speaking of speeches if

you have a bunch of people who want to

speak that is great but I would

absolutely make sure they have a time

line and the way the biggest factor to

making sure you stick to your time line

reception is having an emcee an emcee oh

I love emcees they make my job so easy

and they make your wedding so much

better they create the flow of your

reception and when they're on a tight

timeline they're the ones that are gonna

get people offstage on stage to dances

to dinner fed watered all those things

so if you were on a tight timeline for

reception make sure you have an emcee if

you've hired a DJ sometimes they offer

those services as well if you don't have

a friend that wants to do it but having

an emcee is a great way to help shorten

up your timeline for your reception as

well so putting a timeline on speeches

it's a great idea so after you eat

there's a few more items to go if you

are on a tight timeline and you have a

slide show to do or any presentations to

do and you know cake-cutting garter toss

bouquet toss at that point you really

have to decide what's important to you

and what you want photographed if your

photography is only there till 8 o'clock

and dinner service is at 6:30 you're

really not gonna get a lot photographed

after dinner service so digging into

cake-cutting or any of those other

important details you want photographed

right away is really really important if

you've ever Sagra for they're told

midnight you can do whatever you want

but this will help you figure out where

you want those moments to go and what's

priority for you and you're good to do

while dinner service is going if you

want or dessert service presentations

are great to do later on in the evening

I don't recommend that you do any sort

of stop and start presentation after

your dance floor opens once your dance

floor opens there's really not a lot

that should be going on after that the

only two things that I would say you

could include in that after the fact is

your bouquet and garter toss cos people

are already AB people already dancing

they're already excited and those are

the things you can include but if you

have to stop and make everyone sit down

to watch a slideshow or a speech or a


a tradition of some kind unless it

involves dancing are people being up and


once you open your dance floor don't add

on any any other events that'll stall

the like stall the flow of your dancing

dance floor so if the flow of your

reception and your guests experience is

really important to you making sure

you've hired a great DJ that can get the

crowd going or other things that will

get people involved so photobooth is a

great idea you can totally DIY one of

those or hire company

those are great because they get emailed

right to their right to their phone they

can post a social media right away those

are super fun to do interactive games

with your guests like questionnaires or

I've seen treasure hunts things like

that any game is also fun candy bars are

really fun interactive dessert tables so

it's not just a cake cutting you can go

and choose a bunch of different little

desserts those types of things are

always great for a reception make sure

those are available to your guests and

they're aware that they're there photo


having your emcee or your DJ or you guys

just announcing that it's there it gets

people in to the photo booth making sure

people understand when they can attack

the dessert table is always great and

just making sure that people are aware

of everything that's going on around

them I've seen photo booths go

completely unused because they're tucked

in the corner whoever was running it or

maybe it was DIY people didn't know

about it so there's another great reason

to have an emcee is they're gonna bug

people and bug people and bug people

until they go and use that photo booth

because you've set it up for a reason

you want silly goofy maybe too drunk

images of your friends and family so

make sure people are aware of some of

the activities that you've got going on

so the last thing to schedule into

reception is whether you're going to do

a exit or not so we're gonna do an exit

and it's really important for you to

have that photographed really make sure

that your photographers timeline aligns

with that if they're scheduled

until 8 you probably aren't gonna do

your eggs at at 8 o'clock but if you

want that type of photograph tickin and

you're like I really want an exit photo

people aren't done dinner service by 8

o'clock your photographer's about to

leave take everybody outside give them

some sparklers do a fake exit if you

must and then you have the photo and

then you can go on with the rest of your

evening your photographers gotten

everything that you wanted because you

schedule it and you will not be

disappointed when he sees your reception

photos and you'll be able to remember

all those different events so a few

things to recap and remember when you're

planning your reception is 1 make sure

you have a list of things that are

priority to you to be photographed and

make sure those happen prior to your

photographer leaving obviously and if

you can't then maybe go back to your

photographer and find out how much it

would cost to have an extra hour or

upgrade your package to include more

time your photographer is only going to

be able to photograph the things that

happens in front of them and while

they're there most photographers don't

mind the Statham extra 15 minutes but if

you have an event that you really want

photographed and it's not happening for

an hour after your photographers get

don't leave please don't expect them to

stay the extra hour most photographers

will at least notify you that hey it's 8


all right 7:30 and I'm due to leave at 8

o'clock are you guys okay paying an

additional time for me to be here I

rarely see photographer just packing up

and leaving without notifying you but

making sure those lines of communication

are open is pretty important and you

know you want to make sure you're

getting all the images that you

discussed sticking to a timeline and

really really making sure you get all

those photos you want

okay so that's some ideas on how to plan

out your timeline how to use your time

wisely if you like this video please

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you guys have the most fantastic time

UNH I'll see you soon Cheers