Your ceremony typically takes a half hour. Sometimes an hour is allotted as buffer and for folks to arrive, settle in.
Cocktail hour is, by name, usually an hour.
Reception would begin at 7. Fifteen minutes later the bride and groom are announced for the first time, sometimes entering with the wedding party in tow.
This is a great time for their first dance and parent dances. The parents might also say a few words at this time.
Salads were already at everyone’s seat upon their arrival and will typically be cleared away around 7:30, at the conclusion of the dances and introduction. Dinner will be ready around this time, 7:30 to 8 so some light dancing may occur here.
About 30 minutes after food has been served we’ll have toasts. By now the bridal party will have finished their dinner since they are typically served first. This gives the rest of your guests time to finish making the most of your precious time.
I’d cut the cake right here before we get rocking. I like to pair up our ‘special events’ early so we don’t break up the dance floor. Once you get a dance floor rolling you don’t want to interrupt that energy, it takes a while to build everyone back up.
Bouquet & Garter Toss can happen around this time or an hour into the night’s main dance set, this is also a great time to do the Hora to really jump start the energy.
5:30 PM – Ceremony
6:00 PM – Cocktail Hour
7:00 PM – Reception
7:15 PM – Grand Introduction -> 1st & Parent Dances
7:45 PM – Dinner Served
8:15 PM – Toasts -> Cake Cutting
8:30 PM – Bouquet/Garter Toss/Hora -> Dancing
11:00 PM – Conclusion