Indian Wedding Receptions here in Canada and US are luxurious lavish affairs. We have done a blog on Indian Wedding photography time which talks more about how to plan your Lavish Indian Wedding reception.
One thing that couples often are divided on is whether they should mingle during the cocktail hour with their guests before their grand entrance at their reception. We will share our knowledge, pros and cons on why to mingle. Let’s look at the Indian wedding reception timeline and see how things flow in the program.
Indian Wedding Reception Timeline
5:30 pm to 6:00 pm – Couple’s Portraits at Indian Wedding Reception
In Toronto, Indian wedding receptions usually start at 6 pm. Thus, we normally start our photoshoot with the couple between 5:30 pm to 6:00 pm. We need about 20 – 30 mins to get those beautiful GQ-style edgy portraits in most cases before the reception starts.
6:00 pm to 6:30 pm – Family Pictures at Indian Wedding Reception
We know on Indian weddings, the most important expectation for photographers from parents’ are family photos. From our years of experience of Indian weddings, we know parents will get busy after guests start arriving. Also, at the beginning of the reception, everyone looks fresh so it is the best time to get family pictures. Typically, Indian immediate family pictures take only 10 minutes once everyone is there including the grandparents.
Most of the time we will do these family photos in front of the stage while reception hall doors are closed. If your venue has access to a bridal suite from the reception ballroom things are very easy. However, you may need to pass through the lobby and be ok with some guests seeing you before your grand entrance depending on how punctual your guests are.
Guests start to arrive between around 6:15 pm to 6:30 pm. Our non-Indian guests will definitely be the first ones there on time.
PRO TIP – When you are looking for Indian wedding reception venues see if your venue gives you access to the bridal suite from the actual hall and not only the cocktail lobby.
Now, the biggest question for couples is after family pictures are with parents and grandparents, the couples have two options to pick from…
Now, the biggest questions for couples after the family pictures are done is whether or not to mingle during the cocktail hour at their Indian wedding reception. There are essentially two options.
To Mingle or Not To Mingle During the Cocktail Hour
PROS to Mingle During the Cocktail Hour
- One-on-one Conversations with Guests – Indian wedding schedules are very hectic. Trust us the couples barely get any chance to mingle with guests on wedding day.
- Photo Opportunities – We can assign one photographer if you like to take images with close family and friends during the cocktail hour.
CONS to Mingle During the Cocktail Hour
- People Will Have Seen You Before Your Grand Entrance – Yes, people will have seen your outfits before. If that is your only worry, then some of our Indian brides have even had a separate cocktail saree or dress.
- Our Entrance Won’t Have that Wow Surprise Factor – Some Indian brides especially had mentioned that our grand reception entrance won’t be the same anymore.
Trust us if you have good Emcee, your guests will be pumped enough for your entrance.
Also, one more interesting idea we saw at a Indian wedding reception was a couple made their entrance in the cocktail hour with music and Emcee at around 7 pm when all the guests were waiting for them.
Decision is yours, but we usually suggest couples to look at the trade-off. Indian wedding receptions are all about fun and what is more fun: sitting in a bridal suite for an hour and half or mingling with people you are really looking forward to spending time with? Yes, that will be the last time to hang out with your guests who are travelling back the next day.
What Happens If You Don’t Mingle During the Cocktail Hour at my Indian Wedding Reception
In that case, couples might go table to table after the dance floor opens from 9 pm to 10 pm to meet and greet everyone. It is very draining from what we have understood from Indian weddings to go over 40 to 50 tables and talk with each guest. Also, usually your DJ is playing music during that time and you can barely have a good conversation with your guests. If you have already mingled with your guests during the cocktail, you are ready to party at your Indian wedding reception when the dancefloor opens.
This is really a personal decision to be made by each couple: whether or not to mingle during the cocktail hour. The choice is yours and our job is just to educate our Indian wedding clients.
Make sure you pick what makes you happy.
For more educational blogs on weddings, see our blog section.