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

1- 2 Hours Before Reception

3:00 Caterer arrives
3:15 Florist arrives to set up table centerpieces and other floral decorations.
3:30 DJ arrives and sets up equipment.
3:40 Wedding Coordinator (or designated person) arrives to set up place cards, favors, toasting flutes, cake knife, guest book with pen and basket or other holder for the money envelopes.
3:45 Wedding cake arrives and is set up. Florist to provide flowers and greenery to the cake designer, who will arrange flowers on and around the wedding cake.
First Hour of Reception
5:00 Wedding guests arrive. Cocktail hour begins. Waiters serve trays of champagne and hors d’oeuvres to guests.
5:15 Bride & Groom arrive and are escorted outside to take formal photographs on the lawn. All family members and wedding party gather 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.

5:20 Bride, Groom and family members take formal photographs.
Second Hour of Reception
6:00 Bride and Groom, wedding party and parents of bride and groom gather in side room to “line up” for announcements.

Line up in order… groom’s parents first, then bride’s parents, flower girl and ring bearer, bridesmaids escorted by ushers, maid of honor escorted by best man and then the bride and groom.

6:05 DJ will make formal announcements. (List all names here…)
6:10 Bride and Groom’s first dance (name of song here). Caterer begins serving champagne to the tables for the champagne toast.
Second Hour of Reception (cont.) (cont.)  
6:20 Cocktail hour ends. (Cash bar begins). DJ to announce that dinner is served and ask that all guests be seated.

DJ introduces Officiant (or other designated person) who will say the blessing.

6:25 DJ introduces the Best Man (name goes here) who will give the toast to the bride and groom.  
6:30 Dinner is served.  
Third Hour of Reception  
7:00 Bride & Groom cut the cake. Looking for an alternative to the traditional cake cutting song? Try “It Had to Be You,” by Harry Connick, Jr.  
7:15 DJ announces Bride to dance with her father (Name of song goes here)  
7:25 DJ announces Groom to dance with his mother. (Name of song goes here)  
7:35 DJ announces wedding party dance. (i.e. Theme song from TV show “Friends”)  
7:40 DJ plays song (i.e. Crazy Love, by Aaron Neville). Bride and Groom and wedding party dances. DJ invites all guests to join in.  
7:45 Cake and coffee are served to guests.  
Fourth Hour of Reception  
8:00 DJ announces the Bride’s bouquet toss.

A nice alternative to the bouquet toss is for the Bride to “dedicated 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… and be prepared for a few tears.

8:15 Garter toss  
8:45 Bride and Groom’s last dance  
9:00 Bride and Groom say goodnight and leave for honeymoon destination or hotel.  
9:15 Parents of the Bride (or other designated person) gather all the gifts, wedding presents and other items  

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