Gettysburg Area Wedding Reception Timeline

Food, drinks, decor — when planning a wedding in Gettysburg, it’s easy to focus on the fun elements. But what really makes or breaks your day? The logistics. Though not as tempting to dive into, developing a smart wedding reception timeline will allow you to stress less and enjoy the day with your loved ones.

Taking a few photos and hitting the dance floor might seem easy, but there’s more that goes into it than you might realize! That’s why it’s vital to sit down and take time to plan out your Gettysburg wedding reception timeline. So if you haven’t already, here’s a look at the best timeline to ensure your big day runs smoothly.

Getting ready

No wedding day is complete without a bit of pampering! So you’ll want to allocate a decent amount of time to allow your Gettysburg wedding party to get ready — how much simply depends on when your ceremony begins, how many people you have, and how long your hair and makeup artists need to glam everyone up. (Tip: Do a trial run beforehand for a more accurate estimate!)

Yes, you have so much to look forward to throughout the day, but giving yourself enough time here will allow you to start your celebration on a high (and less stressful) note. So drink some mimosas, cater your breakfast, and make sure you have enough energy to enjoy the rest of the day!

Your first look

In the past few years, first looks have become all the rage. If you and your partner hope to share this intimate moment before you officially tie the knot, know that it needs to be a distinct part of your Gettysburg wedding reception timeline. Remember that your first look can be anything you want — maybe you go for a walk together, read letters, or simply enjoy a quick lunch before the craziness sets in. Whatever it is, just be sure to give yourself enough time to soak it all in! It’s likely going to be a very emotional moment, so allocating time not only for the first look itself, but the moments you’ll need afterwards to center yourselves is important. Plus, you may need a quick makeup touch-up before the moment everyone’s been waiting for!

Saying “I do” 

Before you know it, your ceremony will be here. The average ceremony traditionally lasts about 30 minutes, but if yours will be shorter or longer, be sure to note this in your plans. Chances are, if you have any reading, candle lighting, or songs, you’ll need to adjust your timeline.

More than simply mapping out your vows, you need to think big picture when planning your wedding reception timeline. This means including your processional and recessional, down to the songs you’ll be playing. Of course, larger wedding parties will need more time, and it’s best to chat with your officiant to ensure your Gettysburg wedding ceremony goes off without a hitch.

Photos and cocktails

You’re married — yay! Now that you no longer have to worry about stumbling through your vows or shedding too many tears, it’s time to party. But before you can dance the night away, there’s one person who needs your attention: your photographer. If you didn’t arrange a first look or take any portraits before your ceremony, it’s time to finish them now. Your Gettysburg wedding photographer will use your shot list to ensure they take each of your dream photos! And don’t just guess at how long your photographer will need… there are so many variables which can affect the amount of time necessary for your pro to work their magic, so give them all the details they’ll need to help you create the most accurate schedule.

As your cheeks hurt from smiling, your guests will move into cocktail hour, where they’ll grab a drink and chat with friends and family before your big entrance. Some couples also offer a handful of appetizers here, so talk to your venue or caterer about their cocktail hour options. 

The real party

Leave formalities at the door and know that your Gettysburg wedding reception is truly your time to shine! You’ve wrapped up your portraits and tied the knot, so it’s time to have fun with your guests. Typically your reception will start with toasts, dinner, and first dances, but if you’re not a fan of tradition, you can arrange your wedding reception timeline in any way you please.

Once you’re full, it’s party time. Whether you work with a DJ or band, good music is essential in ensuring every guest has an unforgettable night. So let loose, be present, and have some fun!

If you want to ensure you have an unforgettable party, talk with our Gettysburg wedding DJ team about our range of services for your wedding reception!

Closing time

In the blink of an eye, your Gettysburg wedding day is coming to a close. But before you head out for the night, chances are, you might have gifts that need collecting or decor that needs taking down. Your venue should let you know in advance what they can handle and what your responsibilities will include. Make sure that you make arrangements accordingly before the wedding day for any assistance you may need from friends and family. And before you leave your reception venue, remember to check on your plans for the following day!

And there you have it! The perfect Gettysburg wedding reception timeline. 

Still struggling to coordinate your logistics? We get it. That’s why we’re here! Send us a message today so we can help you plan a Gettysburg wedding that no one will soon forget.