The wedding reception occurs right after a wedding, later in the day or even a week, a month or two after!
Here are a few things to expect or can be done during this time:
The photographer might want to take group pictures as the guests arrive at the reception.
The receiving line should be formed right away and in this order: bride's mother, groom's father, groom's mother, bride's father (optional), bride, groom, matron of honor or maid of honor, bridesmaids. As the guests go down the receiving line (and be sure they are quick about it), they should identify themselves, say something compliment about the beauty of the bride and the wedding, congratulate the couple, and wish them happiness. For a more informal alternative: the guests can seat themselves and the bridal couple makes the rounds of the room.
As the receiving line breaks up, the bridal couple dance. The father of the bride cuts in, as does the father of the groom and other members of the wedding party.
The bride and groom sit at the bride's table – bride on groom's right, best man on her right, maid or matron of honor on groom's left – along with members of the wedding party. The parents of the couple may sit at a special table, too. The bride's mother, acting as hostess, is flanked on her right with the groom's father, her own husband across the table from her, with the groom's mother on his right. Others at the table may include the clergyman, grandparents, and distinguished guests.
Sometimes during the reception, usually when everyone is imprisoned, the best man toasts the couple, followed by the groom's toast to the bride, and other toasts.
The cake cutting is ceremonial. The couple as one person cuts the first slice from the bottom of the cake and shares eating it. Someone else slices the rest of the cake and passes it around to the other guests. The top of the cake is saved for the bridal couple. Many couples free it and eat it at their first wedding anniversary.
The order of dancing: bridal couple, bride with groom's father, groom with bride's mother, bride with best man, and groom with maid of honor, then with other members of wedding party.
The bride throws her bouquet, she and the groom retire to change into their honeymoon clothes, then they say goodbye and leave, showered by rice, flower petals, or confetti. Then it is time for everyone else to leave.
Second Weddings: The ceremony should be small, simple, and quiet, though the reception can be as big a bash as you want. However, bear in mind that these rules can be broken to suit your tastes!