Tips from Trish
One of the biggest challenges in wedding planning is managing the time gap between the end of the ceremony and the start of the reception. Ideally the one should flow from the first, but the reality is that there is often a gap between the two that can be difficult for guests and a conundrum for brides and their families.
Here are some helpful and workable suggestions.
If your wedding and reception are in two separate locations, try to minimize the travel time for guests moving from one spot to another. Try to consider this when booking venues. As a rule of thumb, guests shouldn't have to drive more than 20 - 30 minutes (including traffic) from one to another.
Consider taking as many photographs as possible prior to the ceremony. That gap between ceremony end and reception beginning can be managed more efficiently if there are only a few post ceremony photos. To insure that guests aren't sitting in their cars at the reception site or wandering around on their own, arrange for a host couple to handle greeting guests at the reception while the wedding party is delayed. The host couple's names should be listed in the wedding program notes.
While wedding guests are waiting for the bridal party to arrive, they should be served beverages and appetizers. Music should be playing when they arrive. There should be a coat check area available and the gift table should be highly visible. There must be someone there at the gift table to accept gifts on behalf of the couple. Someone from the venue staff or a family member should be there to help with seating plans.
- Once the wedding party arrives, the maitre d’ should introduce the party. As the stars of the evening, bride and groom are introduced last. Introductions are in this order: first are the parents of the bride, followed by parents of the groom, followed by the "little people" (if any), the bridesmaids and groomsmen, and the maid of honor and best man. Once the bridal party is in place, the bride and groom are announced and make their grand entrance to special music.
Be sure that names are double checked for pronunciation and that information is passed on to the person in charge from staff or to the reception hosts.