When you’re planning your wedding schedule, it’s key that your guests are kept updated to ensure that your day runs smoothly and that all your guests are comfortable knowing they know what’s going on!
If you don’t have a coordinator (ahem – hello!) or toastmaster, then you will need a good friend with a loud voice to MC your day – and know the right cues to do so.
Keeping guests informed is imperative to a great day to ensure it’s hosted, so it also feels hosted, and so your guests feel relaxed – it keeps them happy and ensures everything ticks along nicely.
It also gives guests a chance to feel involved and take the opportunity to celebrate each moment with you, as, naturally, each announcement usually prompts a lot of fun and cheering!
So when exactly should you be making these key announcements for your wedding day??
Don’t worry… I’ve got your wedding schedule covered!
1. Confetti Announcement
For starters, it helps massively to have someone announce your confetti exit even ahead of it happening, so guests know when and where they are supposed to line up ready awaiting your exit from your ceremony.
Then once your coordinator has got everyone lined up and ready with confetti, it’s nice to be announced into your confetti aisle. It’s also super fun as it’s usually this announcement that prompts your guests to cheer you on, as they shower you in confetti – which is the most lovely feeling ever!
This is usually just something like,
‘Ladies and gents, please have your confetti ready, and please welcome the new married couple!’
2. Photography Caller
You may wish to consider designating a person to assist your photographer with getting people together for your group shots… guests can often get drawn in by the lure of cocktails and canapés and forget all about any family or wedding duties!
And the quicker you get these done the quicker you can move on to the more fun stuff! So if you don’t have an MC, then assign someone efficient!
3. Welcome into Your Reception
Usually after your confetti exit, you will either be ushered off for some family pics while your guests make their way inside or to your reception venue, or ushered into a waiting car. This is a short time to catch your breath, have some photos done, and hopefully have a quick gulp of prosecco.
Then on arrival into your reception, it’s lovely to be introduced into the room when you arrive to your waiting guests – this can be as your first names, the new married couple, or as your new name(s) if either or both of you are changing your name.
Something simple to let your guests know you have arrived;
‘Please give a warm welcome to new married couple!’
If you are also considering having a receiving line at this point (fairly old fashioned these days though, and, be warned, they also take forever) it’s a good idea to think about giving your guests notice of this, and also making them aware of what and when the next part will be after that – e.g. if you will be seated for dinner within the hour following the receiving line. Something to think about within your wedding schedule.
4. Announcement to be Seated for Dinner/Speeches
Depending on your wedding breakfast timings and if you are doing speeches before or after dinner (after is more traditional – but it’s completely up to you when and where you have them), it’s a good idea to give guests a 10 minute warning of being seated so they have time to go to the loo.
‘Ladies and gents we’ll be moving through for the speeches/wedding breakfast in approximately 10 minutes, I will let you know when, thank you.’
‘Ladies and gents, it’s now time to move through for the next part of the day, please follow me’
5. Announcement into The Room
After the seating announcement is made, it usually takes around 10 mins or so for guests to check the table plan and filter into the room. This is a good opportunity to get some quick couple pics while you are waiting for your guests taking their seats. Then once your guests are suitably settled, it’s customary, and fun, to be announced again into the room – since it’s your party after all!
‘Ladies and gents, please stand and join me in welcoming the new happy couple to take their seats for the speeches/dinner!’
After this point, and once all the claps and cheers have settled, the natural progression would be either,
‘Thank you ladies and gents, now, kicking off tonight’s speeches is XYZ’
‘Thank you ladies and gents, food will be served shortly’
7. Cutting of the Cake
If you plan on having a cake, this definitely needs some sort of introduction, so your guests know it’s actually happening. The first announcement needed is something like,
‘Ladies and gents, please join us to the left of the dancefloor for the cutting of the cake’
Then, for weddings I’m coordinating and MC’ing, I usually make it a bit more fun by announcing something like,
‘Ladies and gents, the couple are ready and waiting, but I’m going to need a hand to do a countdown to the cutting of the cake and then a big cheer at the end, ready, – 5, – 4, – 3, – 2, – 1 – – Hip Hip!’
This just makes it all a bit more fun, and get’s the party started a little bit with everyone joining in – in my experience! (And makes the announcements seem less rigid and on ‘a wedding schedule’.)
9. First Dance
And let’s not forget the first dance… even if you are not doing something traditional or don’t want to partake in a first dance just you two. This marks the beginning of the evening party with the possibility of additional guests also arriving. Many couples go it alone on the dance floor, but others ask for their guests to join them… whatever works for you, it’s a pivotal moment that lets your guests know the dancefloor is now open, however you do add it into your schedule!
‘Ladies and gents, please join us on the dancefloor for the first dance/start of the party/the band’s first set!’
10. Late Night Announcements
This is the main announcements, but you may wish to ask the DJ or the band to also announce some other more minor parts later like when the evening food is served, or when it’s last orders at the bar.
Have fun with your key announcements as it can set the tone for the day, and is nice if they are personalised. Additionally, each part warrants a fun photo opportunity too!
Further Reading: Your Wedding Day Timeline
For some further reading and help with your wedding day schedule, have a look at my blog post Wedding Day Timeline Help to help you plot your key announcements. This is still one of my most popular blog posts to date even though it was published some time ago now!