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Planning a Wedding Reception: Order of Events

Planning a Wedding Reception: Order of Events


Welcome to the Complete Weddings + Events of the Black Hills blog, your go-to source for wedding planning insights! In this post, we’re excited to share our expert guidance on organizing the order of events for your wedding reception. Our team, known for exceptional DJ, photography, videography, coordination, and photo booth services, is here to ensure your special day unfolds flawlessly. Understanding the flow of events is key to a memorable celebration. Let us walk you through a typical wedding reception timeline, filled with joyous and unforgettable moments.

Planning a Wedding Reception: Order of Events

1. Cocktail Hour

Kick off your celebration with a cocktail hour. This is a time for wedding party members and guests to mingle and enjoy appetizers. It’s a perfect opportunity for your wedding photographer to capture candid moments.

2. Grand Entrance

The DJ announces the arrival of the newlyweds and the wedding party as they enter the reception. This marks the official start of the wedding reception. Choose a lively song for the bridal party to enter to set the tone.

3. First Dance

After the grand entrance, the couple takes the dance floor for their first dance. This intimate moment is a highlight for many guests.

4. Welcome Speech

Typically, the host or a close family member gives a welcome speech. This short address thanks guests for attending.

5. Dinner Service

The meal is served, whether it’s a buffet, plated dinner, or family-style. During this time, our team captures beautiful, unobtrusive photos.

6. Toasts

Toasts usually occur during or after dinner. Key figures, like the best man and maid of honor, share heartfelt messages.

7. Parent Dances

The couple shares special dances with their parents. The father-daughter dance and mother-son dance are full of emotion and make for timeless photos and videos.

8. Open Dance Floor

The DJ opens the dance floor to all guests. Our Rapid City DJs know how to keep the energy high and the dance floor full.

9. Wedding Cake Cutting

A sweet tradition, cutting the cake is a playful and photogenic moment on your big day. It often signals the dessert service.

10. Bouquet and Garter Toss

These fun, optional traditions add a playful element. They’re always great for candid shots!

11. Last Dance

The couple shares a final dance, a beautiful end to the night. This moment often becomes a cherished memory.

12. Grand Exit

End your night with a grand exit. Sparklers, confetti, or a classic car send-off make for a dramatic conclusion.

At Complete Weddings + Events, we’re committed to making your wedding day perfect. Our experienced team seamlessly integrates with your schedule, capturing every moment. Contact us to learn how we can enhance your wedding reception!

Complete Weddings + Events Rapid City

Now that you have started planning your wedding reception, let us help you and answer your most important wedding-related questions! Book your FREE consultation at

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