Plan Your Wedding Reception And Keep It On Time

This guide will give you many aspects to consider when arranging the format of your wedding reception.  There will be quite a few things that you may believe to be petty, however, in order for the night to be perceived to be organised exceptionally, these somewhat petty concerns, when added up, become quite a task.

The success of a wedding reception is greatly enhanced by engaging the services a professional Master of Ceremonies.  If you decide to do it yourself….. Here’s the questions you’ll need to answer…

Bridal Party.

Who will be in the main bridal party?  What order are they to be introduced in, if at all?  Where will they sit in relation to one another? What bridal party introduction songs will you choose?

Cutting Of The Cake.

Will you have the cutting of the cake early in the evening, or as part of the formalities to the opening dance?  Will you cut the cake as part of the speeches section of the evening, or right at the end of the night?  You should choose this carefully in order to maximise your dance time. Select your music from a list of cake cutting wedding songs.


When should guests be directed to their places and officially welcomed?  Who will do this?  You may require that overseas guests and special family guests are to receive extra special attention?  The person you engage as the Master of Ceremonies should ensure that they are looked after in accordance with your instructions.

Will you have formal presentations of flowers and plants?  Will you have a formal reading of telegrams and messages?  They can be part of the formal proceedings.  Will you have traditional events such as a cutting of the white ribbon or a favourite song at the opening of the function.

Bridal Dance.

What wedding dance song will you open the formal dance bracket with?  Will it be played by a live band or will YOU provide the song on CD?  If you have a CD to play you should delegate someone to hand it to the band or venue.  MC’s generally ask and remind you of such things.  Who will join you on the dance floor and when?  You and your partner may want to dance through the duration of the opening dance before the rest of you bridal party is asked to join you.  Will you have dry ice or a smoke machine for your bridal dance?  Exploding balloons?  Streamers?  Doves?


Who will make a formal speech?  In what order?  When will you have the speeches during the night?  Traditionally, the speeches takes place directly after the main meal, however, latest trends show that speeches are popular just before the main meal, during the main meal as well as during dessert.

If there are gifts to give out to the Bridal party and others, perhaps parents – how will this be done ? You can do it formally be calling each recipient forward or en masse as part of the speeches, but you would need to consider which way will suit the function better and what fits in best with the schedule that you have to keep.  An MC can minimise time wastage, yet maintain dignity during these proceedings.


Who will the Maitre’d or head waiter run to if there are delays in the kitchen, or if some of the guests cannot be located on your seating plan?  Are there any special requests like vegetarian or children’s meals?  Timing the band & photographers’ meals can actually save time.  If you serve their meals earlier, they will be ready to proceed even before most of your guests are finished.  If you serve them last, your function may be delayed while you wait for them.

Venue & other wedding service providers

An MC’s role is to work in alliance with the venue and try to address any concerns that may arise before they do.  Co-ordination with the kitchen, band & photographers are essential for a wedding to run smoothly.  How will you leave the venue: by private car, by hire car or by horse and coach?  Who will ensure your personal belongings are loaded well ahead of departure?  Who will ensure that the time frame set for departure is adhered to?

If you’d rather leave it to the professionals …

True, a professional MC will cost you those few hundred dollars that you may want to spend on your honeymoon, but how much are you spending on your special night in total?  The MC is usually the first to arrive at the reception and generally the last to leave.  The cost of an MC is a small sum to pay for peace of mind when it comes to handing over the reins of the running of your day to someone in whom you can have absolute confidence in and who will meet all of your personal requirements, as well as doing YOUR ‘running around’ at the reception.  It is definitely worth investigating!!!

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