It's Party Time!
When you arrive at the reception, you'll be expected to take charge and welcome the guests. This is often the most enjoyable part of the entire day — everyone's more relaxed by this point and looking to have some fun — so dive in and get the party going.
Thank people for coming, tell them how nice it is to see them, point out the location of the bar and the appetizers. You'll be surprised how easy it is to bounce yourself all over the room once you get started.
Work the Room
While the bride and groom will stand in a receiving line to greet the guests as they arrive, you are not required to join them. In fact, it's preferable if you don't. You can much better serve as host if you're actually
To the Bride and Groom
If you're going to give a toast before dinner, make sure it's appropriate to the occasion. While you want to obviously acknowledge your beautiful daughter, you
Have some notes at the ready if there's even the slightest chance you might forget part of your speech. Nothing's more troubling than realizing too late that you forgot to acknowledge a major player or two (like the newlyweds).
The best toasts are short, sincere, and not adlibbed. Know what you want to say, say it in as few words as possible, and make sure it doesn't sound false. (
After your toast, after dinner, after the cake has been cut, there's still an entire evening ahead of you. You'll probably have a dance with the bride, and one with your wife, before the throngs of well-wishers hit the dance floor. While the hip-hop playlist may not score any points with you or your two boogie-impaired left feet, the band or DJ will eventually slow things down. Seize the opportunity to dance with your wife, or your mother, or your daughter(s). Invite the groom's mother to trip the light fantastic.
If dancing just isn't your thing, make sure you're socializing with the guests. Now's the time to have a good, long chat with your former neighbor, or to introduce folks to each other.
You want to avoid sneaking out for a long, two-hour smoke or seating yourself in the back of the reception hall where no one will find you. This might be the usual stunt you pull at family gatherings, and it may surprise no one that you're missing in action…but this is a special day, and you shouldn't don your Invisible Man mask. Besides, no matter how many years you've spent avoiding the family, it's
Winding the Party Down
Your daughter and her new husband are hitting the road, and they'd rather leave the particulars of closing down the reception machine to someone else — you. While the bills have most likely been settled in the days before the wedding, you may still have some business to attend to.
If something was not to the bride's liking (for example, tables were still being assembled as the guests arrived, or the food was cold), don't be shy about voicing your displeasure to the banquet manager and negotiating a price adjustment,