(Closed) order of events at reception

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
3725 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Hi! Is there a reason why you are having a Part 1 and Part 2 reception? Is this common where you live? Are people offended by booze and dancing? My first thought is that trying to cram in all of the formal parts into Part 1 alone may be tough and take some of the “fun” out of it.

Post # 4
4439 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

Huh? 2 Parts?  What is going to seperate them in the guests mind?


I also don’t think you should have guests start getting their plates while you guys are still getting pics taken.  That’s a sure way to ensure that you won’t end up eating!  Or you’ll run late eating and then the guests will be bored waiting for you to cut the cake, do the dances, speeches, etc.

Post # 5
1696 posts
Bumble bee

@Daniemarie21:  This sounds very much like the traditional old-fashioned pattern for a wedding dinner and dance, so the order is well-defined:

  1. Greet your guests in the receiving line as they arrive — and THANK-YOU for actually fulfilling this basic courtesy! The “Grand Entrance” is a fairy-tale ball feature, tolerable if a little ostentatious when the bridal couple are guests of honour, but inappropriate for a host and hostess.
  2. Feed your guests relatively soon after they arrive instead of keeping them wandering around wondering whether they will still be sober when supper starts and, like good hosts, feed your guests before yourself. Well done. (Do, though, be strict with your photographer and do not let him/her delay you getting back to the meal. Your guests want to eat with you.)
  3. Near the end of the main course, offer any toasts — usually that is what the various speeches are presented as. You’ll want to offer carafs of juice if you are not having wine, so that people have something to toast you with.
  4. After the toasts, cut the cake, and have the caterers serve it along with any other dessert. That is what it is, after all, dessert, even if it is a very formal symbolic dessert.
  5. Dessert marks the end of the meal, so when the cake is cut clear the dance floor and open the floor by taking the first dance together with your groom. That is really the only “set dance” that is required. “Parents’ dances” are really private and intimate moments that are best not highlighted by a DJ or MC — just move on to the second and third dances, and do them privately. If you want a “bridal party dance” have them join you on the dance floor for the latter half of the first dance.
  6. Now, here is where I suggest you get innovative. Back in the olden days when the bride and groom were the guests of honour and weren’t cohabiting yet, the couple were expected to leave early (properly, no-one else is supposed to leave a formal party until after the guests of honour leave, so that was good manners as well as eagerness for their first night together.) So after the first couple of dances the couple would go get ready to leave on their honeymoon (in separate private changing rooms with their attendants to help them if necessary), with the bride tossing away her bouquet on her way out of the banquet hall. If the couple were doing the garter-toss, she would hand her garter to her husband when they came back in their travelling clothes to say goodbye, and he would toss it then and they would leave in a shower of rice, confetti, rose-petals and old shoes.

    What you might consider doing, is tossing your bouquet and leaving with your attendants, changing out of your heavy formal wedding gown and dinner-jacket into PAR-TAY!!!! clothes, come back and say (or have the DJ say) something like “Thanks to you all for coming to celebrate our wedding and all our traditions, and now it’s time FOR FUN!” and introduce your bridal party as they come back into the banquet hall, culminating in your return on your new husband’s arm, and his tossing of the garter.

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