Planning a wedding reception can be an overwhelming task. What kind of food should I serve? How much food do I need? What kind of entertainment should be there? How long should it last? What order should things go in? How is this going to work?
All of these questions are valid, and can be easily answered. The first thing that you need to decide is what kind of reception you want to have. Are you going to have a traditional dinner and dance reception, or are you going to have a more casual reception with just finger foods? Or, are you going to go even simpler and just have cake and punch reception.
If you are going to have a dinner and dance reception, it is important to find your caterer first. They can help you determine what kind, and how much food to get. The order of events for these receptions usually goes like this, first guest arrive and have cocktails while they wait for the bride and groom to arrive.
When the bride and groom arrive, they are announced by the D.J. After this usually the bride and groom are served dinner first, and then the guests.
When most people have finished dinner, the dance floor is opened. The bride and groom open with their first dance, and then usually a father-daughter dance, and mother-son dance follows. Then the dance floor is opened to all the guests.
After everyone has had a chance to dance, the cake is cut and the bouquet and garder are tossed. Cake is served and the dance floor stays open. Usually this is a good time for the bride and groom to walk around and visit with their guests. The bride and groom usually leave shortly after the cake is cut. The dance floor then stays open until the reception is over.
If you are having a more casual reception, the order of events is usually the same; you can just cut out the formal dinner.
If you are just serving cake and punch, then you would cut and serve the cake, visit with your guests, and then the bride will toss the bouquet as the couple is getting ready to leave.