Rules for the reception

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Updated: 4/16/2007 2:29 pm
Not only is etiquette always changing, but customs may vary from one region or ethnic group to the next. For this reason, it's difficult to pin down exact rules regarding a reception. However, here are some common issues, and the general advice that's given. When creating a guest list, each family should aim for roughly equal numbers. If one side invites far more people, they should offer to divide expenses accordingly. When the reception doesn't immediately follow the ceremony, make arrangements to entertain your guests; consider renting a hospitality suite at a nearby hotel, or having friends host a cocktail hour at their house. At the reception itself, you don't need to have an elaborate sit-down dinner. Cake and punch or light hors d'oeuvres are fine for early events. However, receptions held between five and nine p.m. do need to provide a full meal of some sort. You should also provide some type of refreshments for the photographer and band. Try to select a music list that includes something for all ages present, so everyone can enjoy the dancing. These are just a few guidelines relating to your reception. For more details, consult a book on etiquette. And when in doubt, let common courtesy be your guide.
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