Wedding Reception Etiquette FAQs


We are having a wedding for 80 people. Our catering facility has added a 20% gratuity to the final bill. That’s fine. The catering manager also mentioned that a tip of approximately $*.00 is expected at the end of the evening. Is this right?

Thank you for your question. I do not know what your per-person costs are for the 80 people. I am assuming that you have already added up the total catering costs per person, and figured out what the 20% is, and it does not come to $*00.00. With that in mind. I must point out that a gratuity and the tip for services are both the same thing. are you sure that the facility was not referring to the tax?  It is common practice for both a tax and gratuity to be added to the final bill.  This information should all be listed in your contract with the facility.  I do hope you have read the catering contract thoroughly, and are aware of all that is written in the contract as to what is expected of you. Reading the entire contract “carefully” will be very helpful to you. You may want to find out if the $*.00 is a gratuity with a tax figured into it and is a total of the two. I wish you all the best.

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We are having an afternoon reception with no dance after the meal. We would like to do some fun activities with our guests before we leave. Do you have any ideas of things we can do with our guests to celebrate our marriage?

Here are some possible entertainment ideas for your guests.

1.) A huge favorite of many guests is when a couple shows a “video montage” approx. 10-15 min. long). This can include childhood photos, engagement photos, and a lot of family photos. Many videographers are now including live footage “love stories” toward the end of these montages.

(2) Have someone (your designated host/hostess) hand out trivia cards or printed papers each guest can fill out (defining the “Top 10 Reasons for Getting Married”), or whatever topic you would like. Assign someone to read through the final lists and choose the 10 funniest (or romantic) reasons to be read out sometime after mealtime. Honor the winners. Perhaps the winner could be awarded a gift basket or gift certificate of some sort. Something small will suffice.

(3) Create trivia questions about you and your spouse, and /or incorporate old pictures of family and friends and have your guests guess who they are – declare the winners and hand out small prizes.

4.) Hire a live musician, or band to entertain the guests.  Dancing does not have to be part of this entertainment.  Make sure the reception floor does not have a clearing, and the guests will not get up to dance.  If you hire the right band, they will entertain the guests’ ears well.

5.) Hire a magician/illusionist for an hour of fun entertainment. Keep in mind that many of your guests will be entertained simply from the conversations that arise from not seeing each other for a long time, or from first meeting each other. Sometimes entertainment is as simple as that, “friendly conversations.” Good luck!

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