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 Couple is 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. Immediately after would be toasts while we have everyone’s attention, the parents might also say a few words.
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 here at 7:30 to 8, so some light dancing may occur here.
Towards the end of Dinner I’d cut the cake before we get rocking. Your venue will thank you because they need enough time to cut and distribute everyone’s dessert. Additionally, 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 as it takes a while to build everyone back up!
Bouquet & Garter Toss can happen around Cake Cutting as well, or alternatively an hour into the night’s main dance set. The Hora can also be used at the start of ‘Dancing o’clock’ to really jump start the energy!
Of course this would change based on the things you do or do not wish to do, but the idea is to batch things earlier in the night. This way A) You don’t have to keep looking at your watch throughout the day and B) The dance floor can run full steam ahead with no interruptions!