As we all try to incorporate traditions of both cultures, your wedding reception timeline can start to get lengthy. You know you have had the experience of going to a reception and sitting and watching a 2 hour program with the bar closed down and no food. You want to avoid that happening as much as possible and that may mean that you have to say no to your aunt’s cousin’s daughter’s dance performance.
Here are the typical elements that we see on a South Asian wedding reception timeline:
The Grand Entrance:
You can cut down on the family, you don’t need all your cousins, the bridal party and extended family to be a part of this. Keep to just your parents, siblings and then you two.
The Cake Cutting:
Saving every minute you can is crucial when you have a lot to get through. So after your grand entrance, there is no need to sit down at the head table when you will have to get up again to cut your cake. See what flows best for you two and let your DJ know. Is there a sentimental song that you want played at this time? When you cut your cake, you may want to chat with your Mr. to ensure that cake does not go anywhere but in your mouth. Then since you are both up, you can move into your first dance.
The First Dance:
Ask yourself what you thought when you have been at a wedding and there was a 4 minute slow dance. If you enjoyed it- then that’s great, if not how would you have changed it? Maybe cut the song or have the DJ invite your bridal party up halfway through?
The Speeches and Wedding Toasts:
Decide from the beginning who will be giving the official toast and who will be giving speeches. Give them a time frame and some pointers, for example: leaving out that one time in Vegas from the speech. The speech should never turn into a roast. Good advice to give friends who will speak- keep it sweet, short and heartfelt. If you know your father is a talker, then you may want to proof his speech before hand. You can also give people a max time limit for a speech. You do not need to have every single friend give a speech. Everyone knows that you are loved and you have a many friends around you.
Mother-Son and Father-Daughter Dance
There are many options to consider with these dances. You can each have a separate song with your parents or combine the
dances with your parents. Do not feel the pressure to dance to the full song, you can cut it down. If you are having a sit down dinner you can have it then. Make some time to practice dancing with your parents to help them feel more comfortable.
The Dance Performances
It seems there is always a dance to entertain your guests, but having too many can have the opposite effect. While it is cute to have your 5 year old niece dance, having your audience watch a little girl dance for 7 minutes may not be so cute. Find a middle ground and everyone will be happy. Medleys with different people coming in and out have become popular.
Setting up the timeline. Start with how much time you want to allocate from the entrance to when dinner is served. From there you can start plugging in the time for the first dance, cake cutting, speech(es). Here is a guideline to help you allocate time, but there are many variations. You need to find the order that makes the most sense for you and your fiance.
Here is a sample Wedding Reception timeline
Note: the times reflect transition time (introduction of the person/people )
00:00 Entrance, First Dance, Father-daughter, Mother-son dances
01:40 Start dancing
02:50 Cake cutting
03:00 More dancing
05:00 Reception ends- After party begins!
Let us know your thoughts!! For you newlyweds out there how did your timeline go? Share your experiences with Brides to be by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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