How to Direct the Wedding Reception

As a wedding planner your job doesn’t end once the ceremony ends.  You still have to get through the reception and the vendor tear down.  In this article I’m sharing with you how to direct the wedding reception once the ceremony has ended.  The ceremony and the events leading up to the ceremony are going to be busiest for you as the planner.  The reception is not quite as demanding, but just as important nonetheless.

How to Direct Receptions

  • If the couple will be eating together upon arrival, fix their plates or have the caterer fix their plates upon arrival
  • Have the couples beverage of choice ready for them upon arrival
  • Cue the band or DJ for the couple’s grand entrance
  • Cue the band or DJ for the dances (make sure you have your eyes on everyone doing a dance before they are announced)
  • Instruct the couple how to cut the cake and how to use their toasting glasses
  • Cue the band or DJ when it’s time for the bouquet toss
  • Cue the band or DJ when it’s time for the garter toss
  • Make sure the exit vehicle has arrived and pulled into place for the grand exit
  • Place any signage on the getaway vehicle
  • Place the couple’s personal belongings in their getaway vehicle
  • Place the couple’s picnic basket in their getaway vehicle
  • Cue the band or DJ when it’s time for the grand exit
  • Line the guests up outside for the grand exit and make sure everyone has a sparkler, rose petals, confetti wand, etc. or whatever they are using for the exit
  • Once the guests are all lined up and ready to go, have the couple walk out of the reception for their grand departure
  • Pack the couple’s personal belongings (cake knife and servers, toasting glasses, guest book and pens, leftover favors, the bride’s bouquet, the anniversary tier, gifts, etc.) then load them into the appropriate vehicle
  • Oversee vendor tear down


xo, Terrica


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over two hundred fifteen weddings since 2010

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