What do you really know about a wedding reception?
Well, we can help you answer that and a bit more.
Usually, the reception is where the fun and enjoyment of any wedding takes place because it is often filled with a lot of pomp and pageantry. Particularly, if you live in South West Nigeria and you find your way to a Yoruba wedding popularly called Owambe, then you will acknowledge the fact that wedding receptions can be fun.
But that isn’t the crux of this post; instead we will be taking a look at the common elements of a wedding program with a brief description of each.
Nigerian Wedding Reception Program Sample
Arrival of Guests
This is usually the first thing on the program. Ideally, it is expected that guest arrive at least 30 minutes before the time on the program booklet. However, in this part of the world, people arrive at the reception late a bit late and the early guests are usually those that have a duty to perform at the reception.
Also, in the case of a prior church wedding, the photography session may take some of the reception arrival time causing a delay in the arrival of guests. Nonetheless, the arrival period should serve as a timer for the wedding vendors and the organizers as they are expected to be suited up in proper attire prior to the time. This is necessary in order to ensure that the early guests are attended to. Also, all tables should be set up, including the cake table, the entertainment’s table, the sign-in table, food tables, and tables with chairs for all guests. If you have a seating arrangement, all seating lists should be at the reception with everyone’s name indicating where they sit.
Introducing the Wedding Party
This isn’t mandatory, but it’s a good idea for everyone to know the wedding party. This should detail the party by the order they enter the reception site, and give their names and titles.
Usually, the order of entrance is: parents of the bride, parents of the groom, ushers with bridesmaids, flower girl and ring bearer, special guests, best man, maid/matron of honor, bride and groom.
Introducing the Bride And Groom
This is usually the last of the introductions. It is expected that everyone stands before the bride and groom enter. This introduction is seen as the grand entrance and a special song with the musical entertainment and a special announcement with the MC to punctuate a truly great entrance.
Opening prayer and blessing
This is an important step for religious couple but it is unimportant for non-religious folks.
A minister is usually invited to the stage to conduct the opening prayer and bless the meal. Also, a parent or family friend is a good idea. Alternately, the MC could bless the meal.
Food is ready!
Once the bride and groom are settled in, the next thing will be to eat. The waiters are expected to be on ground to serve the guest as well as the couple.
Cutting the cake
It is a well known fact that the bride and the groom will traditionally cut the first slice on their wedding cake. Then, the bride feeds half of the piece of cake to the groom, and the groom feeds the remainder to the bride. Basically, the ceremonial cutting symbolizes the couple’s caring and sharing for one another.
Toasting the Happy Couple
In the first stage of toasting, the bride and groom toast each other, then interlock arms and drink. Immediately following, the best man and maid/matron of honor make toasts to the bridal couple.
The Couple’s First Dance
The Couple’s Dance is the first dance between a bride and groom as a married couple. Prior to the first dance, the bride and groom must have chosen a song which they will dance. This part is usually interesting as couples often use this opportunity to show off their dance moves.
Father and Daughter’s Dance
There is also the Father and Daughter’s Dance or the Father Bride Dance. Usually, this dance is between the father of the bride and the bride. Brides, if you have more than one father in your life, one can tap the other on the shoulder in the middle of the dance so you can dance with both of them. If you don’t have a father, a common substitute is a father figure. Even your brother would make a very nice gesture.
Mother and Groom’s Dance
The Mother and Groom’s Dance is the dance between the mother of the groom and the groom.
Apart from these formal dances, the bride and groom may want to dance to some other songs that are dear to them. In this case, you can ask the entertainment to play them immediately after the formal dances.
Bouquet and Garter Toss
In the traditional tossing of the bouquet, the bride tosses her bouquet (or a substitute) to all the single women in attendance.
After the tossing, a chair is set in the middle of the dance floor, for the bride to sit on while the groom removes the garter from her leg, and tosses it to all the single men in attendance. The man and woman who catches the garter and bouquet are said to be the next to marry.
Dancing and Fun
This part involves virtually everybody in the hall and it is the job of the entertainment team to play songs that get people out of their chairs and on to the dance floor. You can help the entertainment team out by giving them a list of your favorite songs but you shouldn’t confine them to your list as there should be room for flexibility on their part to add other song that the crowd can dance to.
Vote of thanks
Now, it is time for the couple to acknowledge and appreciate the guests that took out time to honour them with their presence at their wedding reception.
After the vote of thanks, everyone heads and home and the couple leave for their home or honeymoon destination.