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ALL TOPICS | Planning Questions

Q: What is the best reception timeline?


Hi there. Kieran here with TLC event design and coordination, california wedding planners. And we’re here with a couple unpopular opinions when it comes to reception timelines, but a few things that we really love to do in TLC. So while I could talk about this until I’m blue in the face, I’m going to try to rush through this and give you a couple of quick things. Now, the first is to have a first look or not. And really, truly, we go to whether you want that magical moment down the aisle of seeing each other for the first time or if you’re okay with getting a lot of those photos done prior to your ceremony. Now, we’re here nor there. We truly feel that you should make this decision based on your personal preference and if you have an emotional tie to one over the other. But we will say if you choose to do a first look, what we love is it affords you the opportunity to join your cocktail hour, which I know a lot of our couples love to do. And one of the big perks for us and something that we do at TLC that I know some people aren’t the biggest fan of, but I’m explaining why, is we like to have you do your grand entrance into your cocktail hour. Now, the quick and dirty of this, because again, I could talk until I’m blue in the face on it, is our couples have expressed to us that they feel like they’re in a bit of a fishbowl when they do their grand entrance into the main reception during dinner. They feel like people are just sitting at their table, standing up, staring at them, and they can’t really embrace them or do much. So what we like to do, if the timeline allows for it, is have you do your grand entrance into the cocktail hour. That way your guests can cheer and hug you and embrace, and it’s more of a warm welcome. Now, the other one is toast. I know that people like to do toast during the middle of dinner. It’s helpful for your timeline. What we love to do is have you do your toast at the beginning of your reception. Now, the reason why is a lot of people have toasting anxiety and they’re worried about whether they’re going to be called up with food in their mouth or not. And I know that this is kind of dead idle time in your timeline, but people are not starving. They just come from cocktail hour. They can sit and listen to a few toasts. So we like to have you start off the toast with a quick thank you and welcome, and then go down the line of maybe two or three toasts, usually made of honor best man parents, and then kick off dinner. Now, the last one I will talk about is dessert. I know traditionally dessert is served right after dinner, but let’s be honest. Your guests are not usually ready for cake or desserts right after eating a full meal, and they’re ready to get on the dance floor and have some fun. So I suggest that you dance for about an hour and then have your cake cutting or does the dessert table announced as open in the middle of that dance set. So usually about after an hour when your guests are kind of ready for that. Now, last bonus tip tosses. I’m just going to be the one to say, and I know it’s the unpopular opinion, but I’m going to empower you that if you do not like the idea of a bouquet and garter.

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