Ultimate Timeline Tips
Planning the schedule and flow of your event can have a huge impact on your and your guests’ experience. Not only can your DJ help to keep your run-of-show on pace the day of your party, but we can also help you brainstorm how to optimize timing and transitions in advance, so everything runs smooth as butter on a muffin.
Where do I begin?
Chances are, your venue or caterers will at least have some sort of “backbone” timeline hinged around your meal plan. We always recommend asking for this first, so we can puzzle together all of the other elements from Parent Dances to Cake Cutting to Sparkler Photos and beyond.
Here is a sample timeline that should give you a rough idea of how much time to allot for various segments of your event. The below should give everyone plenty of time to mingle, enjoy dinner, sprinkle in all of the toasts and formalities, and still save a healthy amount of time for dancing.
⭐ Guest Arrival: 30 Minutes
⭐ Ceremony: 30 Minutes
⭐ Cocktail Hour: 60 Minutes (*You can totally make it 90 if you think you and your pals will have a ton of catching up to do.)
⭐ Dinner + Formalities: ~ 90 Minutes
- 🥂Your Intros, First Dance, Toasts & Parent Dances can be worked in between courses, or (if you are doing a buffet) once everyone has a plate.
- 🕺If you are expecting a rowdy crowd, we can also work in mini pockets of dancing between courses.
⭐ Dancing: ~ 2.5 Hours
- 2 hours of dancing will do the trick for a more chill crowd, or you may want to go for 3 if you know your guests love to get down.
- 🍰Your cake cutting can be worked in about an hour into dancing (or during the reception, if you prefer an uninterrupted dance floor).
⭐ Total Run-Time: 6 Hours
Note: This timing should work for a guest count of 80-200 guests. If you are expecting more or fewer in attendance, you may want to tweak accordingly. (i.e. A 300 person plated dinner may take closer to 2 hours).
What if my guests may need a little “warming up” to get them dancing?
No problem! We can help brainstorm some tricks to help make kicking off the party less intimidating. Placing a parent dance at the end of dinner, and inviting guests to join for the last minute of the dance can be a great icebreaker. Or if you’re planning to do a Hora, this can be an excellent way to inspire everyone to join en masse without feeling too self-conscious about their footwork.
What if a particular formality just isn’t for me?
Definitely let us know – we are all about rethinking the rules! Whether you’re a bride who wants to do her Parent Dance with her mother, or you just want to skip the fanfare of grand introductions, we are all about brainstorming ways to help co-create a timeline that is uniquely *you.*
Got an idea for a special “outside of the box” moment? We love it! Let us know, and we are all about working in song dedications, talent shows, b-boy battles, or whatever may strike your fancy. 🦄
About the Author
Jake Nissen is a charismatic and refreshingly down to earth DJ who exudes good vibrations. A lifelong music and pop culture fanatic, and natural people person, Jake is passionate about teaming up with you to make your celebration amazing. Jake started his DJ journey while he was earning his Media Arts degree, and DJ’ing at local bars […]