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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Reception Etiquette

I went to a wedding reception tonight. It went from 6-8. I got there around 7:30. By the time I got there, the line was broken up (actually, I have no proof there ever was a line) and by the time I found the groom (a friend from high school) he was being pulled in all directions and I only got a short time to talk to him. (For the record, I'm not upset by this. I had a reception once, too. (Twice, actually.) I know how it goes.) So I grabbed a slice of double chocolate cake and sat down to eat it, just in time to get an almost front row seat of them cutting the cake. It made me ponder reception etiquette. I thought of two scenarios and I was wondering what you, my dear readership, think is the most appropriate. Mostly just to satiate my curiosity.

A reception is scheduled from 6-8 pm.

1. The bride and groom should be available to greet guests from 6-8, saving things like cutting the cake and the bouquet toss until after 8.
2. The bride and groom should leave right at 8. They've got better stuff to do! So, if you want to talk to the bride and groom, be sure to be there at least a half an hour before the scheduled ending of the reception.

And just for fun, what are your opinions on cutting the cake? Should you smoosh it into each other's faces, or should you treat it with respect and do it nicely? (My grandma was insistent on the second. "It's your first act of service as a married couple. You should respect each other!")


MegRuth said...

If the reception is scheduled from 6-8 then you can't expect the bride and groom to be there after 8. All that cake cutting and jazz should be in that time.

And if this is any indication. I believe you should have as much fun with that cake as you want!

Carly Jane said...

Option two. Many invitations indicate whether or not there will be a line, or how long it will last for. Often if the reception is open house style (ie not a sit down dinner) the line will last for at least the first hour (if there is a line... which is not always common these days, although I prefer one). I'm sure Miss Manners has an opinion (I actually read a Miss Manners Wedding Etiquette book before my wedding... my mom is ALL about doing things the right way.)

I'm not a smash-the-cake kind of girl. It doesn't really fit either of our personalities (and so we didn't). But some people are. I say do what fits you... but don't feel pressured to do one or the other.

Jay McGuire said...

I definitely think there is no such thing as fashionably late when it comes to receptions. You are coming to congratulate the bride and groom, so you need to arrive within the allotted time. If you miss's your fault and probably not the last time you will ever see them...If the reception is 6 to 8 you should be there before the last minute.

As for the cutting the cake...I had not thought of it as being an act of service so that makes me think of it a little differently. I don't see any harm in having a little fun with it though.

Thora said...

For our wedding, since we hated the idea of spending the whole time in line, we specifically put when we would have a line on our invitations. Then, we had dancing for the rest (plus lots of tables and food). We also cut the cake very early in the reception - we had delicious, yummy cake, and it needed to be eaten by everyone. I find when I go to receptions that have these cakes that are never even touched by the bride and groom until almost all the guests have left make me very sad. Cakes are meant to be eaten! (So, I have a random, and completely meaningless soapbox, here). Also, I, like your grandma, am a firm believer in feeding the cake politely.

I do think because people expect a line, that if you don't have one, or a partial one, it's nice to put it on your invitations, so people know when to come/what to expect.

I find that most of the time, the bride and groom never leave exactly when the reception ends, but sadly, I never go to wedding receptions anymore, so it's hard to remember exactly - I miss them a lot. All that yummy wedding cake!

The Dipo's said...

There are many people that don't do a line at all... you show up, eat, drink and be merry! LOL! It's a celebration, and you're showing your congratulations by just being there and of course giving a gift. I'm sad we didn't make it last night, I was bummed, but there was no way I was doing all three kids at a reception by myself.