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Wedding Reception Checklists

Backdrops For Wedding Receptions

Your wedding reception checklist is a very important item. This is where the times and events of the reception are written down.

Copies of this checklist should be given to your DJ, wedding planner or wedding director, and MC. This will ensure that your wedding reception runs without a hitch.

Where can you get wedding reception checklists? There are many places to get one. Online a favorite wedding site is Here you can download just about every type of checklist imaginable.

You have to register, but it is free. There are two books written by the creator of the website as well. These can all be combines to have the most organized wedding ever.

You can write you own checklist. There are many things you need to do during a reception. If you just want a general list to start with you can go with something as simple as:

  • First Hour – arrival, receiving line, cocktail hour, photos
  • Second Hour – toasts, first dance, meal, candid photos
  • Third hour – cake, dancing, bride and groom leave, more photos

Then, as you get more details finalized at your wedding, your list will become more detailed. You will want to be sure that the final list includes the names of the wedding party, special guests and VIPs.

You may want a detailed list of what wedding hymns or music you want played at each part of the reception, especially the first dance. Furthermore, you should consider background music while your guests arrive.

If you are having an open bar with alcohol served during any part of the reception, you will want to keep that time limit pretty tight. Every second over the allotted time for an open bar will cost you in dollars as people drink more.

At the rehearsal dinner, be sure that you have the finalized wedding reception checklists ready to give to the wedding planner or director, the MC, and to the person you decide will be in charge of the reception.

A more detailed wedding reception checklist will look like this:

  • XX:XX pm – guests arrive (15 min)
  • XX:XX pm – Photos of wedding party and family (20 min)
  • XX:XX pm – Receiving Line – 10min
  • XX:XX pm – Cocktail Hour with open bar, Hors d’ oeuvres served.
  • Etc…….

This is essential for having things run smoothly.

Some other items to consider on the wedding reception checklist that may not have to do with timing are table decorations, place settings (don’t sit ex-spouses together), sound check, timing of cake arrival (some elaborate cakes require partial assembly on location), backdrops for the wedding reception – you can have a wall decorated or some facilities have an amazing view with large windows.

Overall, wedding reception checklists are an essential part of wedding planning and execution. Whether you are planning the wedding yourself and have a volunteer Master of Ceremony or if you have paid planners and directors, you need to have this checklist given to them before the reception so they know what is going on.

Review it with your facility and caterer a few days prior as well to be sure everyone is on track. Be sure to have your list finalized prior to your big day.

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