After the end of a marriage ceremony, a party is held and this is called as a
wedding reception. It is a tradition in several societies to hold a wedding
reception. However, the details of the reception alter from society to society.
This reception may be of a duration of half an hour to several hours.
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A reception has a meal. This meal may be a buffet dinner or a plated dinner. The
plated dinners are more famous in the northern and eastern part of the United
States. The buffet dinners are quite famous in the southern part of the United
States. Some couples plan to have a dessert reception or a hors d’oeuvre
reception. As per tradition, the bride’s family pays for the meal. However, this
system has become rare now.
In a majority of western societies, the wedding party does some toasts to wish
the couple well. These toasts are done after or before the meal. It is a
tradition that the maid of honor, the best man, the groom and the bride’s father
are the speakers. The best man is supposed to crack some good natured jokes at
the expense of the couple.
Once the speeches are over, the groom and the bride start their first dance.
This is called as the “bridal waltz.” In the recent weddings, a latest romantic
song is played. The usual selection is from the songs sung by Dean Martin, Etta
James, Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. The dance of the groom and the bride in
contemporary weddings is rarely, a true waltz. On the basis of the song chosen,
there are different dancing styles.
The reception may comprise of a particular series of dances. For instance, once
the first dance is over, the groom escorts his bride to her father. Then, there
is a father and daughter dance. After the series of dances, the guests are
welcomed in the dancing. There are toasts and celebrations in the party, till
the groom and bride leave in a car. This car is decorated by the friends of the
A new trend is of a photo montage or DVD slideshow. This is shown on an LCD
projector or a large TV or monitor. The show is made by utilizing photos or home
movies that have been taken regarding the life of the couple. This is edited and
music is added to the show. There are pictures of the groom and the bride
growing up and finally meeting each other.
After the dinner, a cake is displayed. This is ordered from a professional
baker. The groom and bride are first occupied in a dance. Then, the couple cut
the cake and feed a bite to each other. Then, the guests are given a piece of
the cake. The cake is minimum of two tiers and sometimes even more than that. In
some of the receptions there is a small and formal display cake. This is
supplemented by sheet cake.
In the year 2007, the average cost of a wedding in the United States was
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