A lot needs to be borne in mind when organising a wedding reception, and the list of customs and traditions is a long one.
We are happy to advise on every aspect, from opening the presents and the order of the speeches to what can happen once dinner is over. Many books and much information are available on the correct etiquette. The following brief summary may help your planning.
How are guests to be seated at a large wedding? Where should the best man, the maid of honour, grandparents and friends be placed? This job becomes much easier when you are familiar with the traditions.
Who is normally expected to make a speech at a wedding, and in which order? This overview could be useful, both for the bridal couple and for the toastmaster.
The bridal couple’s attire is normally decided, but what should the guests wear? A wedding invitation will generally specify a dress code, usually for men. So what is then appropriate for women to wear?
Men: dark suit with white shirt and tie
Women: smart dress or outfit
Men: dinner jacket/tuxedo
Women: formal gown of any length
Women: long gown, possibly with gloves
The toastmaster plays a key role during the wedding dinner, and should therefore be chosen with care. They should preferably be somebody who combines a warm personality with verbal skills and quick wits, and who does not try to dominate the proceedings. Serving as a kind of master of ceremonies, the toastmaster not only calls on the speakers but ensures that the timetable is observed.
After being introduced by the host at the start of the dinner, they provide practical information and announce that unscheduled speakers can make themselves known via the waiting staff. Each speaker is introduced briefly. The toastmaster also reads out possible greetings/messages and can relate small anecdotes, but does not give their own speech.
Toastmaster’s pre-dinner checklist
Toastmaster’s checklist during the meal
Source: SKIKK & BRUK i en ny tid, by Toppen Bech, and www.bryllupsweb.no