We have nearly 21 yrs of experience with weddings and receptions and here is some insight into best practices, timelines and formats for wedding ceremonies and receptions.

To make things easy for you, the entire day can be broken down into 5 parts.

  1. Ceremony
  2. Cocktail hour
  3. Dinner music
  4. Speeches
  5. Dance

The Ceremony

Usually held somewhere between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Guests will begin arriving roughly 30 minutes prior to the ceremony so you’ll want your DJ to be set up and playing background music 30 minutes prior to your event. The wedding processional will require music of your choosing while the bride walks down the isle and often a seperate song for the bridesmaids and flower girls to walk down the isle.  Often there is a song to be played while the bride and groom sign their wedding certificate and a song to be played when the bride and groom walk back up the isle after being formally announced as a married couple (recessional)

Cocktail hour

Usually held between 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Guests will begin arriving at the hall once the ceremony is over and this is a great time to make them feel welcome while the wedding party is off getting pictures. At Sound Dynamix we have a great list of jazzy upbeat music to get guests into the mood while they mingle. Usually small snacks are available and the bar is often open for some cocktails.

Dinner music

Usually held between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
The wedding party arrives around 6 p.m. and often a great song is requested to accompany their grand arrival (we usually suggest – Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling….cause tonight’s gonna be a good night!).
Dinner is served and nice relaxing dinner music is played for an elegant dinner.


Usually held between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
These are self explanatory, however the trick is to make sure any speakers are told not to exceed 10 minutes. 6 speakers x 10 minutes = 1 hr taken up!
At Sound Dynamix we also suggest speeches be done during dinner to allow more time for dancing.

The Dance

Ususlly held between 8 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Let the dancing begin!  At Sound Dynamix we start off the night with a good mix of music to please the many different age groups that will be a the reception. Some 50s, some country, some general party songs etc. We usually suggest that if doing the throwing of the bouquet and removal of garter traditions then it should be done around 10 – 10:30 p.m. After these cermonies we generally begin to ramp up the music into full party mode. This ramped up full party mode continues until 1 a.m.

That’s it! Hopefully this has given you a quick general guideline.

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