4 Tips for a Wedding Reception Entrance

You are ready to start your wedding reception. Your party typically starts with the entrance of the Bride and Groom at the reception venue. You can choose from three kind of entrances depending on your style, time and energy.


When I talk to brides and grooms in planning their wedding – I always refer to the traditional way something has been done and then explore more modern options. One of the items I discuss is what happens after the ceremony. What is the segue to the wedding reception – because your wedding needs to flow seamlessly from one point to another.

The traditional flow of events is that there is the wedding ceremony followed by two hours of picture taking before the reception starts. During that time, guests are released and expected to make their way to the reception venue for the start time. This time was also usually allocated so that people could travel from the church to the venue.

With the increase of ceremonies occurring at the same location as the reception, this timeline does not make sense anymore. What I see now is that the newly married couple go straight into the cocktail hour followed by the reception. Most of the pictures are taken before the ceremony. This may include a first look. At the cocktail hour, photos are targeted to immediate family and is a lot shorter. Bottom line here is that the bride and groom are in sight of the guests.

Between these two timelines you can see how a grand entrance to a reception can play out. There are three ways to handle an entrance:


I’ve seen some very elaborate entrances with the whole bride and groom parties dancing and other fun ideas being included. To be successful in these schemes, you will need practice – lots of it. Otherwise these entrances turn out to be awkwardly executed. You will need to coordinate with the DJ for multiple tracks. You may also need to hire a choreographer to make it look good. You will need to dedicate time and energy to pull this off.

Keep It Simple

Simple always works. This is especially the case when you have bride and groom party members that are from out of town. There has been no time for fancy stuff. You can keep the introduction of the bride and groom to just that. There is no need to introduce the whole bride and groom parties – especially if they are numerous. Your guests are really only interested in you as a newly married couple.

Skip It

A modern timeline is for your wedding to smoothly transition from ceremony to cocktails to reception at the same venue. In this case, you are always with your guests. There may not be a need for a grand entrance.

Be Creative

You can also combine an entrance with a first dance. My niece had their first dance (and father-daughter etc dances) as soon as they entered the room. One couple who had an evening cocktail reception, went from the ceremony platform straight to the dance floor to start the party.