Successful Reception Timelines in This Month's Ask Mindy

Question: What’s the secret to a successful wedding reception time-line? Is it better to have dancing between courses or dine first and dance later?

Mindy Weiss: In the last two years, for some reason, I have had couples who want to finish their entire meal and then dance. I find it quite difficult to get the energy going after the guests have been sitting for two hours eating so here are my favorite two scenarios…

Option A:  Dancing Before and After

If the couple insists on no dancing during the meal then I suggest dancing just before the meal begins (as they have just typically finished an hour of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres). This way, the bride and groom can do their first dance and a short dance set for around twenty minutes to bring up the energy before sitting down for the meal.

Option B: Dancing Before, During and After

What I do most often and which works very well is dancing as the guests are invited into the room, then, announce in the bridal party (if that’s what they want to do), go straight into the couple’s first dance, invite the parents and or wedding party up for another dance and then invite all guests up for a twenty minute dance set. Then, invite all to be seated and serve the first and second courses back to back before inviting everyone up for a thirty minute dance set. Then, seat everyone again for the entree course, allowing them to enjoy their main course for at least twenty minutes. Then, to get everyone’s attention back to the dance floor, have the bride and her father daughter dance together followed by a high energy one hour dance set. Then, serve dessert (if you are serving more than just wedding cake) , couple makes a toast to their parents and guests and then they cut the cake and dancing continues…

Wishing you all the best with your own wedding reception timeline!


Mindy Weiss