Planning the Order of Events for Your Wedding Timeline (How Hitch Can Help!)

Most brides tells us that planning the order of events for their wedding reception is surprisingly difficult!

They say things like, “I’ve attended a dozen weddings in the past two years, but I can’t even think of how much time to allow and what is the order – cakes, dances? I need help!”

That’s where Hitch saves the day – and your time. We specialize in wedding planning and decorating. Planning out these custom timelines is what we do!

This article from is very detailed and helpful. However, in South Dakota and the midwest, a few of these details and order are different. Check out this sample timeline of the ENTIRE wedding weekend from our blogger, Sierra Blackford.

Based on our experience, Midwest wedding receptions follow this general flow:

  • Receiving line after the ceremony
  • Possible extra time for photos or stops
  • Wedding party does their grand entrance into the reception and is seated at the head table
  • Dinner begins (wedding party eats first)
  • Bride and groom cut cake
  • Speeches from the best man and maid of honor (and parents if they wish)
  • First dances: Bride/groom, father/daughter, mother/son, wedding party
  • Dollar dance and/or garter auction and dance resumes

Of course, there are dozens of variations on this main theme that will affect the amount of time needed, such as:

  • What if the guests need to eat before the wedding party to allow time for on-site photos of the bride and groom? Is there a social hour?
  • Do you want individual songs for all four dances, or do you want to combine the father/daughter and mother/son dances?
  • Are your guests eating buffet style or being served at their seats?

Hitch can make your wedding day easier by:

  • helping you plan a customized schedule that will allow for adequate travel times between locations, meal, dances and photographs. (Remember the number of guests you have determines your receiving line time — and the distance between venues and hotel check-ins determines guest arrival time)
  • choreographing/managing the ceremony (e.g. help bridesmaids and groomsmen know when to walk and where, and helping to cue YOU down the aisle!)
  • finding the missing usher when he’s gone during photos
  • bringing the programs from the ceremony location to the reception
  • taking gifts from the church to the reception
  • making sure guests are seated before your grand entrance to the reception
  • helping the cake decorator and DJ set up in the proper locations (Does your cake need to be refrigerated?) (Does your dessert bar need to be refilled throughout the night?)
  • testing the microphone for toasts
  • having speakers prepared for when it’s their time to give speeches
  • making sure you sit down to eat (it is tempting to be so busy that you forget!)
  • dismissing tables to the buffet if needed
  • greeting guests, offering them to sign the guest book, directing them toward appetizers and the bar (We know host and hostesses are in charge of this, but believe us, they love to chat!! We pick up where they leave off.  🙂
  • moving cards from the reception table to a locked car or room after dinner
  • helping gently encourage guests out the door when it’s time to go home
  • taking down your decor at the end of the evening so you don’t have to!
  • gathering all the fresh flowers and putting them into larger vases for you to take home — or send with guests or mothers/grandmothers as a parting gift

Hitch Helps You Adjust Smoothly

Part of throwing a successful party is having a back-up plan. Hitch has experience at planning – and smoothly adjusting – wedding reception timelines. We have the experience to make smooth adjustments throughout the day so that you won’t have to worry about a thing! Does weather or rain have you worried? We’re experienced in turning receptions into ceremonies also. No matter what happens, we’ve got you covered. And sometimes the unplanned ones are the most magical moments of your wedding day.  🙂

Contact Us Today

Please contact us today to see if we have your wedding date available! We would be thrilled to offer our design, planning and invitations design services. Purchasing the Wedding Day Designer will also help you plan for everything for your special day!

Photo of Renee is courtesy of Flock Studio.

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