Skip to main content

How to Plan a Wedding Reception Schedule

To map out a general timeline for your Albany reception, start by sitting down with your wedding planner, MC, DJ, and event consultant. Schedule in all the important events and any other special traditions you may want to include.

You may choose to go with a traditional order of events, or you may want to do things differently. Feel free to customize your wedding reception schedule according to your preferences! One thing to keep in mind, however, is that it's best to not have too many breaks in the music and dancing, which can kill the momentum of the celebration. So, for example, you may want to hold events, such as cake cutting and bouquet and garter toss, back to back.

Here is a look at some of the key components to include in your wedding reception schedule. You can reorder many of these events, or even choose to have some occur simultaneously.

newlyweds at wedding ceremony smiling

"Bare Bones" Reception Schedule

  • Cocktail Hour
  • Introductions of the Wedding Party and Newlyweds
  • Bride & Groom's First Dance
  • Father/Daughter Dance
  • Mother/Son Dance
  • Toasts
  • Soup/Salad/First Course
  • Main Course
  • Cake Cutting
  • Bouquet Toss
  • Garter Toss
  • Cake Served
  • Dancing
  • Bride & Groom's Farewell

In addition to the events listed above, you may also want to include other important components in your schedule, such as reception games, raffles, slideshow presentation, special performances, prayer or blessing for the couple, etc. It's your day, so make sure things happen just the way you want by planning out a wedding reception schedule!

Find an Albany wedding planner »