Q: Can you give me a timetable for a seated wedding dinner with dancing?

A: Here's a basic outline: If you don't have a receiving line at the church, form it during the first half hour of your reception. If you've already greeted each guest personally, take your wedding party photos now. During the next 30 to 60 minutes, musicians play, drinks are poured, hors d'oeuvres are served, and guests pick up their table cards and proceed into the dining room. Once the attendants and parents have been served the first course, the best man may make his toast, and you and the groom can follow. Your first dance and other special dances should take place after the first course has been cleared. After these traditional dances, the main course is served. Once dishes have been cleared it is time for the cake-cutting ceremony. Guests can take to the dance floor while the caterer finishes distributing the cake. After the bouquet and garter tosses, the dancing can continue for an hour or more, with full bar.

See all questions about wedding receptions etiquette

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