What is the order of a wedding reception programme?

Written by melaniec
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What is the order of a wedding reception programme?
After the wedding ceremony, there is a common order of events for the reception celebration. (Marc Debnam/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Depending on the time of day, event type, catering schedule and the couple's preferences, the order of wedding receptions varies greatly. Use the traditional timeline of reception events in order to begin your own.

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Cocktail hour

During a casual hour of drinks and appetisers, guests sign the guestbook, find assigned seating, place gifts at the gift table, and chat to friends and new acquaintances.

Newlyweds arrive

Once guests gather, the master of ceremonies announces the new couple, their wedding party and their family.

Champagne toast

Traditionally, the best man proposes a toast to the new couple; sometimes the chief bridesmaid, matron of honour or the hosts also offer a toast.

Dinner time

Dinner is served once guests and the bridal party have arrived.

The first dance

Traditionally, the groom and bride share a first dance together.

Garter, bouquet toss and cake cutting

The bride tosses her bouquet into a crowd of friends, and the groom removes the bride's garter and tosses it into a crowd of male guests -- superstition suggests that whoever catches them will be the next to marry. The bride and groom then cut their first piece of cake and either share it, feed it to each other or playfully mash it in each other's faces.

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