You know what I’m talking about, you just arrived at your co-worker’s wedding reception and you don’t know a soul except the groom (and you just met the bride). Waiting in line at the bar, you scope out the reception hall for your assigned seating. You view tables filled with family, high school or college buddies talking about the good old times. Finally, you figure out your assigned table and to no surprise it is a mix of complete strangers not only to you- but also to each other. Here’s hoping the open bar doesn’t close during dinner!
Here are some ideas on avoiding that wedding reception awkwardness for your guests:
- Consider carefully your reception’s seating plan. Try to anticipate what is the best fit for singles and out-of -town guests. Perhaps mixing relatives with friends.
- Host an après rehearsal dinner party at the hotel for the out-of-town guests. A quick meet and greet really helps break the ice the next day.
- Follow proper wedding etiquette; the wedding couple should visit each table and guest to express their gratitude for sharing this special day with you.
- Encourage your groomsmen and bridesmaids to do the same. Have them remind others to attend the after party or the brunch get-together.
- Have your DJ play quiet instrumental music so people can easily talk with each other over dinner. This is especially helpful to your older guests.
- Talk to your DJ about starting out with some well-known dance music when you are planning your reception music. Remember people need a certain comfort level before they start dancing in front of complete strangers.
- If you are having an informal reception try simple “get to know you” games at each table.
- Have an “interactive and offbeat” guestbook* for guests to sign and/or write a note (*baseball, surfboard, wine corks, etc.). Have a wall map or globe for them to sign and circle their hometown. Try crayons, paint (washable) or markers so your guests can express themselves.
- Have a “make your own dessert” table or dessert buffet. Mingling is easier with plates of chocolate and sugar dangling in front of you.