The receiving line is traditionally the most effective way to greet all your guests.
The bride's parents stand at the front of the line, followed by the bride and groom, then the groom's parents.
A less formal option to consider: The bride and groom and their wedding party and families mingle among the guests.
Food and Drink
There are no rules for what to serve. This is your day, and your reception reflects the style of your wedding.
Simple cocktails and hors d'oeuvres are excellent choices for casual events.
A buffet creates a festive atmosphere.
Guests will appreciate sit-down dinners at formal receptions.
Toasts are often the most sentimental and funniest moments at receptions.
Traditionally, the best man is the first to toast, followed by the maid of honor or matron of honor.
The couple then toasts their parents and each other.
The father of the bride toasts, then the floor is open to other guests.
Videotape these delightful speeches so you can enjoy them for many years to come.
The First Dance
This is a point in the reception when all eyes are on the bride and groom.
The music you choose will set the mood. Perhaps, it's a song that was playing when you and your spouse first met. Be creative! Your musicians also can help you select a song.
If you choose a waltz or ballroom number, it's a good idea to rehearse the steps in advance.
The first dance is often followed by a father and bride dance.
Cutting the Cake
Traditional protocol for cutting the cake is as follows:
The bride picks up the knife with her right hand, and the groom places his hand above hers.
They cut the first slice, then put the cake on a plate.
The couple feed each other a bite of cake; the groom feeds the bride first.
Then they cut slices for their parents; the groom serves the bride's parents and the bride serves the groom's parents.
Finally, the caterer serves all the guests.
This is the last event of the reception. As the bride and groom make their way to the car that will take them to a hotel or their honeymoon destination, guests cheer and wish them a wonderful marriage.
To add to the festivities, guests can blow bubbles, toss birdseed or ring bells.
Couples can choose special transportation, such as a limousine, sports or antique car, or horse-drawn carriage.