Zach Chin of Munkeat Studio wwwtheweddingnotebookcom

The Complete Dinner Reception Itinerary (Chinese Wedding Banquet Edition)

Zach Chin of Munkeat Studio theweddingnotebookcom
Source: A Dusty Blue Wedding at Tamarind Springs, Kuala Lumpur

Here are some pointers for those of you who are not planning to hire a wedding planner. Dinner reception itineraries vary but the rules are pretty standard. You will definitely need at least one coordinator, so hire one for the day or rope in a friend during last stages of your planning so he or she are included in the final discussions you have with your vendors.

In Malaysia and Singapore, dinner receptions tend to start around half past seven. Having the wedding ceremony right before the reception is a great way to make sure your guests are on time. If your wedding falls on a Friday evening, do factor in traffic. On Sunday evenings, guests tend to leave earlier so your programme should follow suit.

Once about 70 percent of your guests have arrived and the bride is ready, notify your banquet manager, as the caterers will normally need 15 minutes to heat up the food. Get everyone into position for the grand entrance, and from then on, buffet excluded, the dinner courses will be used to pace your programme.

For the purpose of this article, a regular hotel nine-course banquet menu will be utilised as an example.

5 Major Tips for a Seamless Reception Programme

#01 Second Outfit Change

If you have a second outfit, we recommend changing no later than the third course. Keep your guests occupied with a childhood montage or pre-wedding photography slideshow. It will be less noticeable that you are absent as the lights will be dimmed

#02 Speeches

You need to be present for all the speeches since they are intended for you.

#03 Stop Food Service

Arrange for staff to stop serving the food during your main toast, speeches, or any special entertainment as it would distract from what is happening on stage

#04 When To Start Circling the Room

If you intend to visit every table for a toast, do so no later than the fifth course. For a nine courses reception, the maximum number of tables you will be able to pop by is about 40. If your parents have a lot of guests, prioritise the tables to visit and complete them first. Instead of taking photos at every table, set up a photo booth.

#05 When To Start The Dance Floor

If you plan to have a dance floor, announce it in advance and make sure the key people hit the dance floor before dessert is served. The moment dessert is served, some of your guests will start heading for the exit. Avoid having anything important after that. Alternatively, you can have a casual, fun celebration with your friends, separate from your family dinner reception. Smaller receptions tend to be more personal and meaningful, both for the guests and yourselves.



  1. That’s good checklist & reference for those who don’t hv budget to hire wedding planner & going to do a traditional reception like me! Thank you 🙂 after all, you will be having fun. & who know the outcome will turn out surprisingly good! Happy prepare “brides to be “out there .

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