At the Reception
It is important that you do not assume that the Minister will be able to attend. No matter what day of the week, the Minister may not be able to attend the wedding reception. This is not because he does not want to be present, but as a Minister, he has many other responsibilities and commitments that may conflict at times.
More than once people have said to me at the reception that they could not manage along to the Church but they have managed along to the wedding. The important point that has been missed by many is the wedding is what takes place at the Church. The reception is important but you must try to remember it is a celebration for what has already taken place in the Church.
Hotels and reception venues vary but let me give you some idea of what will happen.
The first thing that will probably happen is the taking of the official photographs.
After this, the guests will be received by the parents and the bridal group arranged in the following order:
Bride’s Mother and Father
Bridegroom’s Mother and Father
Bride & Groom
Next the wedding cake is cut. If the Minister is present, he may offer a traditional
After the meal, when the coffee has been taken, the chairman calls on the Best Man to read any greetings that have arrived for the Bride and Groom. It is a good idea not to read too many. It is also worth checking them first to make sure the Best Man can read the writing. A worthwhile suggestion if there are a great number of cards, is to put them on a table after reading a selection.
Then comes the speeches. Usually the first speech would be offered by the chairman, once more renewing the toast to the newlyweds. The Bridegroom replies. This is generally an opportunity to thank people for their gifts, their presence at the marriage and reception and a thank you to the Bride’s parents. It is also expected that the Groom will start his speech by saying “On behalf of my wife and I” or something to that effect. The Groom would normally toast the Bridesmaid(s). The Best Man replies.
Whilst the speech-making may end here, it is quite common to have a few words from the respective parents, the Groom’s first followed by the Bride’s. Sometimes this is preceded by a toast to the parents.
At this point the Chairman will announce a short break during which the company may retire while the tables are cleared and the room made ready for whatever is to follow.