The order of events below should be used as a guideline only, the times need to be flexible to allow for the wedding to take it’s natural course, and have a nice “flow”.
A rigid wedding is neither pleasurable for the guests or the bridal couple.
A good DJ & MC combination will ensure a good atmosphere, and never allow there to be long waits or boring lulls in the evening.
15h00 CEREMONY STARTS: Allow an extra hour during winter months , a 2pm ceremony time during the winter months works great.
15h40 CEREMONY ENDS: A few “confetti” photos and group/family photos at chapel
16h00 CUTTING CAKE: This can be done here, as then the guests are certain to eat it while you go off on your creative shoot.
It also creates a talking point and provides something to eat (along with canapes) with the refreshments.
17h00 GUESTS ENTER RECEPTION: This time will vary depending on the weather, it doesn’t make too much difference.
If there are candles to be lit, etc, the venue likes to have all this done before the guests enter.
17h30 BRIDE & GROOM ENTER: Entrance song played
MC says Welcoming Speech: BAR Rules (CASH, TAB – restrictions), Smoking and toilet facilities, Guest Book and General Announcements.
The bar tab should consist of local beers, ciders and wines, as well as soft drinks. Shooters and spirits are usually for the account of the guest, unless “local” brands ie. Klipdrift.
18h00 STARTERS SERVED: If plated, this should be concluded within 25 minutes.
Then plates are cleared and champagne poured, ready for speeches.
18h30 SPEECHES: usually 4 speeches: Father of Bride, Maid of Honour (on behalf of bride), Best Man, Groom (please try keep these to 20-25minutes MAX).
19h15 MAIN COURSE: If plated, then 40 minutes, if buffet then allow for an hour.
20h15 CUTTING CAKE: (if not done directly after ceremony) or Bouquet & Garter can be done here (this ensure the photographer is still around for this event).
20h30 BOUQUET & GARTER: By doing the garter and bouquet before the first dance, you won’t need to stop the party for it. It also allows the photographer to get the necessary shots before leaving.
20h45 FIRST DANCE, FATHER & DAUGHTER DANCE and BRIDAL PARTY joins.
THE DANCE FLOOR MUST BE OPENED BEFORE 21h00, or guests become reluctant to dance after eating, drinking and sitting for extended periods.
00h00 LAST SONG / OVERTIME (to be discussed with the DJ at least 20 minutes before the hour, so the DJ can suitably “wind it down”.
You may have noticed that there is always an “EVENT” then a “MEAL”, this provides a good contrast to keep the guests entertained and satisfied.
ALL MEALS are finished before the DANCE FLOOR opens, so once the dancing starts there are no interruptions (unless bouquet and garter needs to be done).