So it is time to plan your wedding but you may be wondering what order would work best for a smooth running and fun wedding. Your order of events will determine the pace of your wedding and should be designed to keep your guests engaged while also maximizing time use for a fun a memorable event. In this article we will show an example timeline which has worked well for us many times for past clients. Your DJ should be happy to go over the details of your wedding and create the perfect timeline just for you.
4:00 – Prelude Music
Most of the ceremonies we perform are either outdoors or also held at the reception venue. Around an hour works best for ceremony service. 30 minutes or so prior to the ceremony your DJ will begin playing a custom playlist of prelude music as your guests arrive and are seated. In the meantime your DJ will be wiring your officiant with a discreet clip on mic which picks up the three of you throughout the ceremony.
4:30 – Ceremony
Its time for your family and wedding party to make their entrance. This is a typical order for your VIPs to enter.
- Parents / Grandparents (Can be seated during prelude)
- Groom & Officiant
- Bridesmaids (Can also be paired with Groomsmen)
- Best Man & Maid/Matron of Honor
- Flower Girl & Ring Bearer
5:00 – Cocktail Hour
Following your ceremony you will be whisked away by your photographer with family while guests get into the party mood. We provide a custom mix of music during this time to reflect your personal taste to your guests. You do not necessarily need a full hour for photographs and you are certainly welcome to join your guests before the reception begins. A good way to save time is to get any possible family & wedding party photographs done prior to the ceremony.
If your guests have not already been instructed as to where they will be seated allow around 10 minutes for everyone to get situated before introductions which take about 3 minutes at most.
6:12 – Introductions
6:15 – First Dance
Some couples opt to have their first dance after dinner which is fine but in our experience it seems that having the first dance following introductions is more climactic. This first dance can be followed or replaced by a welcome speech or blessing to go right into dinner.
6:20 – Welcome or Blessing
6:25 – Dinner
Your DJ will let all guests know the dinner procedure either being a plated dinner or buffet. With a buffet service your DJ will collaborate with your caterer to usher your guests through. We feel calling table numbers is a bit tacky so we prefer to tap tables. This can still adhere to your prioritized table list but is much more subtle than shouting numbers over the mic. Keep in mind that plated dinners tend to run a bit longer than a buffet dinner when considering how much time will be left for dancing.
7:10 – Cake Cutting
The DJ cues the music and makes the announcement, it is time to cut the cake! Your chosen music selection is played while you slice away.
7:15 – Toasts
Its a good time to follow your cake cutting with some toasts. This gives the caterers time to get cake ready to be served to your guests while their attention is focused elsewhere. Toasts can go long or short depending on how many people plan to do so and who they are.
7:30 – Parent Dances
Now comes the time where the parent dances or other special dance takes place. You guests can watch while enjoying some delicious cake.
7:40 – Lets Dance!
By now your guests should be quite ready to get out on the dance floor, and we are happy to oblige them!
8:50 – Bouquet & Garter Toss
You know it’s coming, you may want to include one or both and you may not. Many couples are starting to forego this tradition. This is a great way though to transition into a more energetic and modern dance floor.
9:55 – Last Dance
It is the conclusion to your amazing wedding. There has been laughter, there have been tears, there has been dancing, so much dancing and there is one remaining dance before leaving your celebration as newlyweds.
10:00 – Grand Exit
We hope this example day-of timeline is helpful for you to plan your own big day! This example is what we find works very well for timing everything and having plenty of time left for dancing. This is simply a guide and enjoy rearranging your wedding day events to your liking. Thank you for reading and good luck planning!