Although the big day is primarily focused on the Bride and Groom, it is still a good idea to focus on the guests and ensure they are
having a splendid time throughout the evening. Vendors such as the DJ, caterers, photo booth, etc play a large roll in the guest entertainment experience, but
a good timeline/schedule for the wedding is crucial to guests staying the length of the evening and having them rant and rave
over what a great time your wedding was.
1. Timeline: A timeline does not have to be followed exactly but is a paramount tool for vendors and especially the DJ to follow during the wedding. Being open to suggestions to the timeline is very important because a DJ can instantly spot large gaps of time or spots where the timeline will possibly not be able to be followed. I will include a sample timeline of a wedding I DJ’ed at few weeks ago that had a great flow and guests seemed refreshed and eager to party all night, but first let’s discuss the ceremony start time.
Ceremony Start time: Keep in mind the life of the guest is about 4-6 hours. If you want your dance party raging until the last song at midnight, then starting the ceremony at 3 pm probably isn’t the best idea because your asking your guests to stay for a marathon 9 hours. When 9 or 10 pm rolls around, I see guests start whispering to their dates that it’s time to go; regardless of how good the music, cake or food is. Hands down, the best weddings that Bozeman DJ sees are the ones where the ceremony starts at 5:00, 6:00 or even 6:30 in the early summer.
Dance start time: Keep in mind during the early summer months of Montana there is light in the big sky until 10 pm and when you start dancing at 8:30, your guests will be hesitant to hit the dance floor due to bright light from the sun. If you wedding is in June or July, try and start dancing around 9:15-9:45.
Sample Timline of a wedding I DJ’ed a few weeks ago. 150 guests (A thorough timeline sets all vendors and guests up for success)
5:00PM Guests Arrive
5:30 Ceremony start time
5:50 Ceremony end (guests head to cocktail area/reception hall)
6:00 Cocktail hour (Photos of wedding party and Bride and Groom)
7:10 Announce for guests to take seats for dinner
7:15 Wedding Party Introduction
7:18 Introduction of Bride and Groom
7:25 Dinner served
8:10 Champagne delivered to tables
8:20 Toasts (Best man, Maid of Honor, Father of the Bride)
8:40 Cake Cutting (Guests eat dessert)
8:50 Wedding party takes evening photos
9:00 First Dance
9:05 Father Daughter Dance
9:10 Mother Son Dance
9:15 Wedding Party Dance
9:45 Bouquet Toss
9:50 Garter Toss
10:15 Marriage Challenge (see who has been married the longest at the wedding)
10:35 Dollar dance
11:00 Late night snacks announced
11:58 Last dance
12:00am Music stops and guests sent to see off Bride and Groom
Of course this is just a suggestion on a great timeline, but this is a practical, and seamless timeline. The most important part is to avoid dead time which is inevitable when a ceremony starts at 2, 3, or 4:00pm. Pictures are extremely important, but taking 45 minutes after dinner for sunset photos while guests are twiddling their thumbs waiting for first dances to start can be a killer for the reception.
Please don’t hesitate to contact Bozeman DJ if you have questions on how to construct a timeline for your wedding, we are more than happy to help!