Both wedding receptions and corporate events involve planning a full meal and various other happenings for a hundred or more people. The timing of it all can be a big challenge. Fortunately, your friendly Tonawanda Castle staff has tons of experience in perfecting this art – but it always works best when our clients team up with us to make sure all is on schedule. It is especially important to our chefs who aim to time the finishing of your meal with the scheduled start of your dinner, so your food is as freshly prepared as possible. And your photographer will appreciate having time to set up properly for each important moment. Of course great timing is also beneficial to the overall experience of the event too.
Company events begin with the attendees munching, mingling, and finding their seats. Some events include the introduction of guests of honor, and/or short speeches before dinner service. If this is the case, it is helpful to get a time frame for this part of the program. Dinners for company events range from casual station style to formal sit down; a formal presentation or festive entertainment typically comes after dinner. Ideally, the staff clears the tables in time for the guests to enjoy the highlight without dirty plates in their way. However, if the timetable is off track, accomplishing this can be difficult, and it is often too distracting to have clean up happening during a presentation. Once the presentation or entertainment concludes, guests may enjoy dessert and coffee, or cocktails for a set amount of time before the event wraps up.
As far as receptions go, cocktail hour is a very exciting time. The vows have been exchanged and it is time for the party to begin. This means one thing in the mind of most guests: drinks! On occasion, brides and grooms opt for an hour and a half or even two for cocktail “hour” but by far the most typical choice is to keep it to an hour. Towards the end of the hour, the bridal party needs to line up to be formally introduced. Someone, most often the maid of honor, will have to bustle the bride’s dress during this time, a task that can take surprisingly longer than many people assume. In order to keep the timing of the event smooth and stress free, it is highly recommended to have the designated bustler practice her skills in advance.
After the bridal party has been introduced, the guests’ attention remains focused at the front of the room for the cutting of the cake and speeches by the bridal party. A matrimonial blessing is often included here as well. Usually twenty minutes is allotted for these orations; however this can vary, making it an important detail to communicate to your wedding planning staff (see earlier note about the timing of dinner service). The wedding feast begins as soon as the toasts have been given. After dinner service, the bar, which often closes at the introduction of the bridal party, reopens, to the guests’ delight. Shortly thereafter, the lights dim, and the couple prepares for their first dance, which leads to opening the dance floor. The rest of the night is less structured time-wise, spent in celebration.