Now that the vows have been recited and the couple has sealed their marriage with a kiss, it’s time to party at the reception! Well, actually, it’s probably time to spend an hour taking pictures first, but after THAT, it’s off to the reception. But before you and the bridesmaids let loose, you should act as hostesses for arriving guests and direct them to things like the
restroom, the gift table, the bar/buffet if applicable, the guest book, where to sit and try to answer whatever questions they may have. Guests don’t want to bother the bride and groom with these inquiries, and you will be wearing the bridesmaid uniform, so you’ll be a target for questions.
Many brides choose to have a big entrance for themselves and the groom, as well as the wedding party. This type of introduction usually goes in this order: entrance and the first dance of bride and groom, father/daughter dance, mother/son dance, bridal party introduction, and dance. This order can of course be mixed up any number of ways. During the bridal party dance, you’ll likely be paired with the best man. However, the bridal party dance is not a given at any wedding reception. Many traditions like this are regional; it may be the thing to do in the Northeast but people in the South have never heard of it, or vice versa. It’s another one of those expectations you’ll need to check with the bride on. Even if there isn’t a bridal party dance, but there is dancing at the reception, you and the bridesmaids and the groomsmen should make an effort to get people on the dance floor by being the first ones to bust a move!
If it’s a traditional or formal wedding reception, the best man will probably make a toast. It’s a wonderful touch and so meaningful for the maid of honor to follow him, but in most cases, it’s optional.
Taking Care Of The Bride
Once the reception is in full swing and you’ve completed all your official duties, you can relax and enjoy yourself but still, make sure the bride has everything she needs at all times. This includes making sure she’s taken a moment to eat and drink (unless the reception is a seated dinner), fixing her bustle or dress if needed, checking and reapplying makeup, and, let’s be honest: it might even include holding up her dress while she, ahem, “powders her nose.” Also, if the couple didn’t opt for a receiving line, the bride and groom will be bombarded with guests talking to them at the reception. While this is great and what the couple wants, there will be guests who don’t know when enough is enough, and the couple needs to make the rounds to all their guests. This might be a good time to rescue the bride by telling her she’s needed somewhere and taking over with the guest or simply by joining the conversation so that the bride can make a gracious exit without leaving her guest alone. Of course, be as discreet and courteous as possible; these situations can be tricky.