It is likely that if you are the bride, you will have very little to do with what is going on at the reception hall. You will be too busy getting ready to get married! It is most likely that the caterers and staff where you are having your reception will have everything under control, but you might want to put someone (your mom most likely!) in charge to be the “go to” person should anything go wrong or need tending to. Again, it is best that everyone involved familiarise themselves with the order of events as this will ensure that everything runs smoothly.

When it comes to the reception, the timing can be a bit tricky. Most of the reception preparations will be made and some carried out while the bridal couple is off having their photographs taken. Usually, the bride and groom leave for photographs while their guests make their way to the reception hall, but some couples choose to have their reception a lot later so that guests need not be catered for in their absence.

Your timing will depend on what you choose to do, but here is a basic order of events for a typical reception just so that you can get an idea of what you need to cater for.


1. Caterers arrive at the venue early to prepare for guests
2. The bridal couple leaves the ceremony to take photographs
3. Guests arrive at the reception venue and are served cocktails and possibly finger snacks while soft background music is played. This often happens in an informal setting like the garden.
4. Entertainment (if applicable) arrives to set up
5. Just before the bridal party returns the MC for the evening asks the guests to be seated in the dining room
6. MC announces the new married couple
7. Dinner is served
8. Speeches and toasts are made
9. Dessert is served
10. The first dance
11. Cutting of the cake
12. Tossing of the bouquet and garter
13. Bride and groom have their last dance and bid farewell to their guests
14. The bride and groom leave the reception
15. The party continues and wraps up at the appointed time

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