With a swirl of traditions and rituals associated with a wedding reception, what really makes the event? Is it the music being played, the clink of champagne glasses, heartfelt toasts, or inviting centerpieces? When it comes to planning your wedding reception, make sure you don’t forget any all of the essentials, such as:
Cocktail Hour and Greetings
Since the wedding reception allows newly married couples to greet their guests and accept praise for their plunge into the great unknown, setting aside a specific moment for this will leave more time for dancing and partying. The two most common ways to accomplish this is to set up a receiving line (held directly after the ceremony or during a cocktail hour at the wedding reception) or float about each table, greeting guests one group at a time.
Receiving Line Order
If you're following a formal receiving line, keep in mind that the parents of the bride usually stand first, beginning with the mother of the bride. The groom's parents are next, followed by the bride and groom. The maid of honor and the best men stand next. However, the receiving line order is entirely up to you, as some couples choose to be first in line.
When creating the seating chart for your wedding reception, don’t forget about the delicate nature of arranging guests. Sometimes, couples forget about feuding relatives that can't stand one another; divorced couples; and I'm pretty sure your sorority sisters probably don't want to spend the evening with Uncle Willie's wandering eye. Keep in mind the intricate relationships of all tablemates before finalizing a wedding reception seating chart.
After the first course has been served or all guests have sauntered down the buffet line, it is customary to begin the round of toasts in honor of the newly married. The best man traditionally gets the party started, but it is not uncommon for the father of the bride to take on this role as well. Make sure to decide ahead of time who goes first. Lastly, don't forget to give thanks to your guests.
Since everyone will anticipate your first dance as man and wife, make sure to choose a song that is special to you and your fiancé. Usually, you already have a favorite song in mind. This is your time to shine and remember – all eyes are on the two of you! Additionally, it is OK to forego this part of the wedding reception, especially if you feel uncomfortable being the center of attention.
Cut the Cake, Already!
During ancient times, sharing food served as a symbol of your marital commitment. When cutting the cake at the wedding reception, the bride customarily holds the cake cutter, while the groom places his hand over hers. The first piece extracted is the one shared by bride and groom.
Photos by Little White Dress