hello! I'm Makenzie!

I'm a wedding photographer and stationery designer in Western Kentucky. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog! This is where you can see my latest shoots & weddings, get some advice, or see what it's like behind the scenes! I hope you stay awhile. 

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a series of blog posts just for brides!

dear bride,

Welcome to the MLP

For Brides, Makenzie's Thoughts, Weddings

April 17, 2015

Your Reception Timeline

Recently I blogged about your wedding day timeline and how to make your day smooth and stress free. Today, I’m focusing on the reception and giving tips on how to choose your order of events so it’s fun for everyone!

You’ve probably been to a reception where things moved slow, transitions were awkward, you were bored, or the timing was just bad. My biggest piece of advice is to KEEP THINGS MOVING! Blank space can cause awkardness and make your guests bored causing them to leave. Make sure after the meal that the majority of common reception things (dances, cake, toasts, etc) move from one to the other so the dance floor can be opened and the party cant start! Every reception is different and obviously these things can be rearranged a bit, but this is what I think flows best for a dinner reception!


Once everyone has found their seat, it’s time for you and your wedding party to be introduced in! Have fun with that! All your guests are there to celebrate YOU! Pick a fun song, do a dance, try a fancy dip…get creative!



By this point, everyone is ready to eat! If you’re not being served dinner, make sure to take time to go through the buffet line or have the caterer make you a plate.


Since no one wants photos of themselves stuffing their face, I don’t photograph your guests during this time.


I personally think the first dances are the sweetest! Move into these once you’ve finished eating. This way, if you’re guests are still eating they can finish their meal and watch you at the same time. After they get their food, they probably won’t leave their seats so this means you’ll have their full attention for the dances.

Jeff & Katelyn This may be one of the only other times (aside from the first look and maybe the car ride to the reception) during the day that you’ll have some alone time with your new husband, so take advantage of it.

Landon & Courtney


By this point, people are finished with their meal and ready for some cake! But first…toasts! Their glasses can be filled during your dances, so they’ll be ready.



Now let those people have some cake! They’re eager to watch you cut it so they can get a slice of the deliciousness they’ve been staring at since they arrived. Have fun with this part! It’s probably the only time you’ll ever have permission to smash cake in his face!



While you’re guests get their cake and savor that goodness, go mingle! They came for you and they would love the opportunity, no matter how big or small, to talk to you! Don’t spend too much time at each table because that can take forever! But make your rounds and say hi!



It’s finally time to put that DJ or live band to good use and get the party started! Get out on the floor with your spouse, wedding party, and guests! Let loose and have fun! Grab your friends and get them out there with you! Enjoy the night and the celebration!


If you’re doing any special activities such as the Shoe Game or Dollar Dance, spread them out during open dance floor time!

Jonathan & Abby


I always recommend saving the tosses for later in the night. Single guys and gals are more likely to get out there if they’ve already been dancing and having fun!

Mitchell-1009 {dance some more}


Choose a dedicated song to end the night to with your man. This also tells your guests the night is coming to an end.



It’s time to end the night, so go out with a bang! Depending on the time of day, you can do this with bubbles, sparklers, streamers, bells, floating lanterns, etc. Then hop in the car and head off to your honeymoon and your NEW LIFE together!

Logan & Liz

I hope this helps you while planning your reception!


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