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The wedding reception can be a joyous and festive time. The bride and groom can both celebrate their special day and can enjoy their time with guests. However, the wedding reception can also be stressful due to the sheer number of guests. This article will outline the wedding reception activities and will provide some tips that will help the reception run smoothly.

The following is a list of activities that commonly occur in the wedding reception:
  • Guests arrive
  • Guests seated
  • Bridal party arrives and is introduced
  • Welcome by father of the bride
  • Drinks are served
  • Blessing (often by a grandparent or officiant)
  • Food served
  • Dancing and celebration
  • Toast
  • Special Dances
  • Cutting of Cake
  • More Celebration
  • Bouquet Toss (Garter is optional)
  • Greet Guests
  • Exit by bride and groom
  • Reception ends
When a couple is planning a reception, it is helpful to have some of these events in mind and to develop a schedule for the reception. This schedule should include a rough timeline and should also include enough flexibility to plan for delays and hitches in the schedule. A key person that can help the wedding reception run smoothly is the master of ceremonies. This person could be a DJ or could be the person charged with running the reception. Either way they should be informed and responsible.

In terms of the typical events in the course of the wedding reception, one of the most common cause of delay in the schedule is the bridal party getting stuck at the church talking to people and taking pictures. sometimes we have seen the bridal party arrive over and hour and a half late. This is problematic, especially if the guests are very hungry. If you want to make them wait, have some snacks for them.

Another key to think about is greeting the guests, this generally takes place through the course of the reception. If it is a large wedding reception, it can take a portion of the entire reception. The bride and groom should also try to move quickly from table to table while still making guests feel welcome.

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