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Bridal Club Magazine

The Goss on Reception Etiquette

One of the traditions of a aspect of Reception Etiquette is the gifting of Wedding Favors. These small items are a simple way of thanking guests and your Reception Wedding Favors can be as creative as you like.

Look no further for our most commonly asked questions for the correct reception etiquette in different situations. Remember though, that your reception is a time to have fun, so don't take these rules to heart.

What is a receiving line?
You may not be the only one who has ever wondered this. When I got married, I never even knew it had a name! The purpose of the receiving line is to greet your guests and for everyone in the line to introduce themselves, state their position and their relationship to the couple. Example: While shaking hands say, "Hi, I'm Sue one of Christine's Maid of Honour." You get the drift. Make sure before the line starts that no one is holding anything - put the purses, bouquets etc away. With all the kissing and hugging your guests won't want anything in the way. Below are a few sample line-ups for correct order in your receiving line. A good way to deal with divorced parents is to not include men in the receiving line at all.

  • Mother of the Bride - Father of the Bride - Mother of the Groom - Father of the Groom - Bride - Groom - Maid of Honour - Best Man - Bridesmaid - Groomsman - Bridesmaid - Groomsman
  • Mother of the Bride - Mother of the Groom - Bride - Groom - Best Man - Maid of Honour
  • Maid of Honour - Bride - Groom - Best Man
  • PMother of the Bride - Father of the Bride - Bride - Groom - Mother of the Groom - Father of the Groom - Grandmother of the Bride - Grandfather of the Bride - Grandmother of the Groom - Grandfather of the Groom
  • Mother of the Bride - Mother of the Groom - Bride - Groom - Father of the Bride - Father of the Groom
  • Bride - Groom
  • Mother of the Bride - Father of the Bride - Bride - Groom - Mother of the Groom - Father of the Groom - Maid of Honour - Best Man

    Who is supposed to sit at the parent's table?
    One parent's table symbolises a united family after the ceremony - this means both sets of parent's and all grandparents. Alternatively you could have two tables, one for the parent's and grandparents of the bride and groom. Your parents may want to choose others to be seated at their table. People to consider are aunts, uncles, godparents, clergy or other close relatives.

    Who sits at the head table?
    The bride and groom are seated in the middle of the table with the maid of honour sitting beside the bride and the best man sitting beside the groom. You have one of two choices - either the guys sitting on one side of the table and the girls on the other or seat everyone boy-girl-boy-girl.

    What is "Announcing into the hall'?
    Guests will already have been seated at their tables as the couple, wedding party, parents and possibly grandparents - are announced into the hall by either the MC (Master of Ceremonies
    ) or your DJ. The announcing is optional, you don't have to do this if you don't want.

    When we are announced, what order to we come into the hall?
    Bride's parents
    Groom's parents
    Groomsman & bridesmaid
    Groomsman & bridesmaid
    Best man & maid of honour
    Flower girl and ring bearer
    Bride and groom
    Make sure that whomever is doing the announcing has a list of everyone's names and titles (best man, bridesmaid, etc) in the correct order in which they will enter the hall.

    What are Favours and Bombonniere?
    Favours and Bombonniere are the mementoes/gifts that you give to your guests at your reception.
    You don't have to give your guests a favour but it is a nice token of your appreciation for their attendance and gift.
    Giving a donation to a charity instead of trinkets has become a very popular thing to do. Your best man can mention this in his speech. He should explain why you chose that particular charity also, make's it more personal. Look at our other article featuring wedding favours in this issue of Bridal Tips.

    Who gets Favours and how are they given out?
    Traditionally only the female guests get a gift.
    If you are planning on giving chocolates or boxed pieces of wedding cake, then everyone will receive a favour.
    Your wedding party can hand out the favours from the receiving line. You can put the favours right on the guest tables or if the couple is planning on going from table to table later on in the evening to chat with their guests, they can hand them out personally then.

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