Crafting Your Day-Of Timeline Part Three of Three

Happy Wednesday, lovebirds!

As promised, we are back with the third installment of our series on creating your wedding day-of timeline! With the details gathered and the “I Do’s” completed, we’re ready to dive right in to the reception! This is one of the most fun and individual pieces of your wedding day. It’s a time to play up any traditions you wish to incorporate, as well as let loose and enjoy time with your friends, family, and, most importantly, your new spouse!

Wedding Day Timeline | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Next Exit Photography

7. Cocktail hour

Cocktail hour is a fun time for guests to mingle. However, do not leave them hanging too long! It is called “cocktail hour” for a reason, keep it to one hour! Guests will get restless if you exceed this amount of time.

Wedding Day Timeline | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Andrew Abajian

8. Reception

There are four main things to note about the timing of your reception: food, toasts, first dance, and table visits.

First, food! Space out the timing of your food service. Cut your cake thirty minutes to an hour after dinner ends to give people some serious dancing time to digest. If you are having late night snacks, serve them one hour before the end of the night.

Wedding Day Timeline | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather

Second, toasts! Funny memories and sweet stories are a special part of every reception. Should you choose to include formal toasts, we suggest limiting this segment to 2-3 people, 2-3 minutes each. If they go over a little, that will be okay, but if they go beyond 5 minutes, it will feel like the toasts are never-ending for your guests.

Wedding Day Timeline | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Iris and Light

Third, first dance! Unless the dance is choreographed, we suggest fading out the song at a natural breaking point after about 90 seconds. Swaying back and forth in front of all of your friends and family for the entire length of a song may begin to feel like an eternity.

Wedding Day Timeline | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Kim Fox Photography

Finally, table visits! If you decide to do table visits with your new Mr. or Mrs., keep them snappy. We suggest spending no more than five minutes at each table. If it is important to get photos with your guests, we HIGHLY suggest doing these candid, rather than formal shots of each table. Trust us, you will never use them and it will waste valuable dancing time during your party that you will never be able to get back.

Wedding Day Timeline | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather

9. Wrapping up the evening

The couple typically does a traditional exit or an “Irish farewell,” departing without fanfare. Whichever you prefer, decide it in advance. Because you want to be able to enjoy time alone you with your new spouse, make sure all loose ends are tied in advance. For example, determine and prepare tips in advance for vendors. Additionally, make sure, if you want your deposit back, you leave enough time for your vendors to tear down. Be sure to ask each vendor how much time they will need, schedule them this time, and communicate it to them. Refer back to the time you need to be off the property and plan accordingly. In other words, do not leave any business matters for you and your new spouse to deal with at the end of the night.

Wedding Day Timeline | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Salt and Sky Studios

Your wedding is one of the most exciting days — and parties—of your life! We hope these guidelines will aid you in prepping and writing your day-of timeline. This document will help your day run smoothly, as well as ease the stress you may be feeling. With every detail accounted for, the possibility of something not going as planned is minimal.

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