The Receiving Line
The idea of a receiving line is to allow the bride, groom and
other members of the bridal party to officially welcome all
the guests. You could make it less formal by just having you
and your husband greeting them instead of a long
line of people. Many couples plan to welcome their guests separately
during the reception, but in practice this rarely happens. The
traditional receiving line takes the following form: bride's
mother; groom's father; groom's mother; bride's father; bride;
groom; chief bridesmaid; best man.
Traditionally, the bride and groom sit at a 'top table' with
their parents, the chief bridesmaid and the best man.
However, if you want to avoid complicated family politics -
if your parents are divorced and are attending with their new
partners for example - it can be easier if the bride and groom
host one table of family & friends and each set of parents
host their own table.
When it comes to everyone else, don't be afraid of mixing up
generations. This often works well, jollying up the older generation
and keeping the high-spirited younger guests in check.
Tables for six to eight people are ideal. Make sure each guest
knows someone on his or her table and has a like-minded stranger
nearby. As a rule, couples sit on the same table, but not next
to each other.
Speeches and the cutting of the cake are at the heart of the
reception and traditionally take place in the following order:
The bride's father usually makes the first speech, in which
he'll be expected to thank the guests for attending the wedding
and formally welcome his new son-in-law into the family. Then
he'll offer congratulations to the happy couple and recollect
some amusing tales from the bride's childhood. He should then
thank all those who have helped organise the wedding and end
by proposing a toast to the bride and groom.
Here are some ideas that may help: jot down ideas for the speech
and place in a logical order; select the best and don't make
the speech too long - about five minutes is perfect; avoid bad
taste and overused cliches; if you can't tell jokes, then don't
- no one will think badly of a sincere, affectionate speech.
Think about including a few tried and tested anecdotes instead.
After composing your speech, make cue cards with clear headings
to remind you of each item - this makes the speech appear more
spontaneous than reading from a script - and finally, rehearse
your speech in front of an audience or a mirror.
The bridegroom begins by thanking the bride's parents for the
wedding and for allowing him to marry their daughter. Now is
the moment for any personal remarks he may wish to say about
his new wife! He ends by thanking the guests for attending and
proposes a toast to the attendants - the bridesmaids.
The best man's speech introduces the groom to the bride's side
of the family. This speech is expected to contain funny stories
about the groom, but should not be too risque - you don't want
him to embarrass your granny! He also reads out any cards or
telegrams from absent friends.
The cutting of the cake is then announced by the toastmaster
or the best man. The couple make the first cut, then the cake
is taken away to be sliced.
By KJ.com 2004 ©