Wedding Reception Etiquette 2

wedding musician

This is a continuation of page one Wedding reception etiquette covering: etiquette at a wedding reception, etiquette wedding reception toasts, wedding reception ideas, wedding reception checklist, proper wedding etiquette

Consider the position of your guests.

clock to remind us to be punctual

Waiting seems like the common activity at weddings. What is the wedding reception for this?

Due to the common problem of late comers, there seems result in a trend of ‘fake timings’ on invitations.

For example, when the invite says that the event will start at 7pm, it actually means 8pm. While that solves the problem of catering the event to everyone, I can’t help but feel sorry for those who were lovely and classy enough to come early and yet were punished by their sloppier counterparts.

Late coming is somewhat like a social disease not easily eradicated.

Maybe this sounds simple to do, but if all of us can try to come fifteen minutes early instead of being over-ambitious to arrive it on the exact time. In actuality, we miss this exact time by five to ten minutes.

That spare 15 minutes you have by arriving early can settle you down, especially if the weather you have been traveling in has been especially harsh. You can use that spare time to refreshing up in the rest room, catch up with an old friend or find a good seat.

Using the fake start

What if you want to use the “fake start” because you are not convinced your guests will arrive early?

You could reduce the waiting time to half hour or forty five minutes but don’t forget to add in the little reminder, ‘Prompt arrivals are greatly appreciated‘,

Waiting for the Bride and Groom

Ah, if weddings did not consist of so much waiting! This is a different kind of waiting in wedding reception etiquette.

little flower girl and paige boy waiting

If you attend weddings regularly, you’ll be used to periods of time when you are waiting for the bride and groom.

Maybe they are having their wedding photos taken, or taking extra time to get dressed…God knows the hundred reasons why guests are kept waiting. If you are planning your wedding, be sure to account the guests’ time.

Many guests complain that they have had waited 2-3 hours at the reception for the bride and groom to appear.

Whatever you can do, avoid keep everyone waiting.

The Receiving Line in Wedding Reception Etiquette

A common question is whether a receiving line at the wedding ceremony or reception necessary?

Is it mandatory?

reception receiving line

A receiving line sounds quite stiff and formal but keep in mind that it is very elegant to be able to thank every guest personally for coming to your wedding and sharing in your joy.

Of course, it is impossible in a wedding with more than 40 people, so the receiving line is the next best option.

This gives your guests a chance to receive a personal thanks and share a warm word or two.

So even if you decide against a receiving line, your co-hosts such as your family can share in this duty of a personal touch.

Too Many Hosts At Your Receiving line

In this modern day, with multiple divorces and re-marriages, sometimes this complicates matters of ‘who should stand at the receiving line’ with you?

too crowded at your receiving line

This occurs when bride and groom’s parents are divorced and are in serious relationships. Some of these relationships mean more to you because your step mother had a greater part in your life though both are as important to you. Avoid trying to place them in an order of importance as you will learn to do so below.

To minimize any offenses, have an honest talk with both sets of parents and let them know the situation that should they be in the receiving line….

The best way is to handle this is with a lot of grace, and hopefully they will respond with the same measure of grace.

The Toast

giving the toast

What is the wedding reception etiquette for the toast?

Rehearsal dinner

The toast at the rehearsal dinner should be given by whoever is hosting it. Usually that means the bridegroom’s parents, thus his father should welcome their guests with the first toast.

The bride’s father should then return it, and after which anybody who have that passion in their heart for that moment, may follow to give their toasts.

Of course, if the bridegroom’s father does not feel comfortable doing it, any member of his family can do so in this place.

Entertainment in Wedding Reception Etiquette

wedding musician


How loud should the music be?

What happens when it becomes impossible to hear what the person next to you is saying? Should we tell the bride and groom or the parents?


Never send a request for the music to be softer.

It is not your place, you cannot step in and manage it.

If you are the host, you can request for the music to be progressively louder as you party into the night and the older guests take their leave.

Note: Business at Weddings

As tempting as it may be, never use a wedding to hand out flyers, business cards, or solicit or make sales pitches. Never offer your business card but if you really must, schedule a catch up session instead.

I was never fond of “wedding sponsors” and I don’t imagine having them is at the height of elegance.

It seems vulgar to be preoccupied with who your wedding dress designer is, your celebrity photographer, which famous band you got etc, and basically, your perceived wealth evidenced by how much you have shelled for your wedding.

Other related Wedding Pages

Wedding Manners

Ms Manners Wedding Etiquette

Simple Elegant Wedding Dresses

Elegant and Sophisticated Wedding Dresses

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Thank you for reading ‘Ms’!

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