The wedding ceremony is finally over and the last picture at the ceremony site has finally been taken. It is time to celebrate! The reception is often the aspect of the wedding that receives the most planning. It’s also the aspect that receives most of the budget! Below is a short guide to the events at the reception. For more great reception ideas, be sure to visit.
Usually while the wedding party is taking pictures, the guests head over to the reception site. If there is going to be a sit-down dinner and the budget allows, it is very thoughtful and a wonderful idea to have some drinks and hors d’oeuvres waiting for your guests to enjoy. Depending on the photographer, this waiting period can be up to an hour. In addition to enjoying some refreshments, guests can also sign the guest book and leave gifts on a designated table.
If the reception is buffet in style, many brides and groom opt to allow guests to eat before the couple arrives at the reception. The only issue I have with this practice is that people will often leave before the bride and groom arrive. If you don’t want to open the buffet before your arrival, again the beverages and hors d’oeuvres are a good idea.
When the bridal party arrives, the DJ or other speaker announces the grand entrance. The wedding party comes in first and the newlyweds come in last. Everyone’s name is announced. If desired, the relationship to the couple may be stated as well.
There are still some couples who want to have a receiving line so that they will see all of those who came to help them celebrate. If you would like to have a receiving line, do so as soon as you arrive. Again, if you don’t have the receiving line as soon as you arrive, people will leave.
Once everyone is at the reception, toasts are made. The traditional toasters are the best man and parents of the bride and groom. This is the parents’ opportunity to formally thank all of their guests for coming.
The first dances are a tradition that endures to this day. Usually the husband and wife start off the dancing and no one else dances before them. In addition to the newlyweds, the bride and her father as well as the groom and his mother often share a dance.
Two other traditions at receptions are cutting the cake and tossing the bouquet and garter. The couple would be wise to discuss covering each others’ faces in cake versus making a clean exchange before the wedding. Even with this discussion, beware!
The final event of the reception is the final dance. After the final dance, the bride and groom leave the reception. The guests shortly follow and then the parents all collapse in a big heap! It has been a long day, but didn’t we all have fun?
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