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Running Order

Heres a sample of what youll need to include on your running sheet or event plan for your wedding reception or wedding dinner.

Pre-Dinner drinks

A lunch or dinner function always starts with pre-dinner drinks and hors d'oeuvres. This will start at the time you have elected for your reception to start. For example 6.00pm. The Bridal party will usually be served their drinks and hors d'oeuvres in a private room. Pre-dinner drinks are for a duration of approximately 30 - 45 minutes, after which your guests are seated in the main dining room. The MC will advise the Bridal party when its time to be presented and will then announce your party into the reception.

You should list the order in which you would like the bridal party to be introduced. Bridesmaids and groomsmen usually are introduced pair by pair, with the happy couple (bride and groom) introduced last. You should write down precisely how you would like yourselves (bride and groom) to be introduced.. eg; Anne & John; Anne & John Smith; Mr and Mrs Smith; Anne Jones and John Smith.)


After the bridal party is seated is the greatest time for a welcome speech and / or Grace. If you want either or both, who will do this? The MC or a family member.

Entree is then served. After entree, the Bride and Groom will usually have time to circulate among their guests. The MC will let you know when main course is about to be served. After main course is cleared and the champagne is poured, the speeches will commence.


A typical speech program usually includes the following:

Initial toast to the Bride & Groom, made by a family member or friend;

Response by Groom / Bride, including a toast to the Bridal Party;

Speech by Best Man, or other Bridal Party members;

Telegrams, if any.

You should list the speeches / toasts that you would like to incorporate into your program IN ORDER. Add any speeches that are not including the list above, or delete any. It is important that you are comfortable with the program which can be as traditional or as informal you like.


After the telegrams, the MC will invite you to cut your wedding cake, and invite you onto the dance floor for your Bridal dance, if you are having one. This will open the first bracket of dancing. Dessert will be served after this bracket.


To close the evening a circle can be organised approximately 15 minutes before the end of the function. The Bride can throw the bouquet and the Groom can throw the garter (if you choose to have these ) from the centre of the circle and then make their way around the circle to farewell the guests.

How will you be leaving? Taxi? Hire car! Friends/own car? Make sure you organise all details regarding this.


-Cutting the cake just after the Bridal party enter at the start of the night. -Bridal dance after entree followed by a dance bracket -Speeches in between entree and main course -Speeches during main course.

(These are usually to save time for dancing)

Remember, directly after the speeches it is wise to organise a dance bracket as this is a logical transformation from the formalities to the festivities, with the happy couple (bride and groom) leading the first dance. Even if you have already had your bridal dance, you can use a dedication to the bride and groom. Its your day. Your guests want your personal contact and attention. If you and your bride party are on the dance floor, chances are about 90% of your guests will be too.

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