When choosing where to have your reception and how, first you must think about what kind of a celebration you would like. Small and intimate or a large celebration. Do you want it to be a traditional affair or a modern and contemporary event? In some cases your reception will take place in the same venue as your ceremony. If you are getting married in a castle, country manor, marquee or abroad then this will be the case. However if for example you are having a church ceremony then you will need a separate venue for the reception. This could be in a Hotel, Restaurant, in someone’s house or garden. If you are having it in someone’s house or garden or even in a country manor or marquee you may need to use caterers. It is important to make your arrangements well ahead and confirm them with the venue or caterers in writing. In most cases you will be expected to pay for all food ordered but only the drinks that your guests actually consume. At the reception the bride and groom normally arrive first then the parents. If you decide not to have a receiving line then the bride and groom could greet the guests at the door. At a very large wedding this could actually be a really effective way of saving time.
If you choose to have a formal receiving line then this is the correct order, bride’s parents, groom’s parents, bride and groom, attendants.
The traditional timetable would be: receiving line; the meal (the minister, if present, should be asked to say grace); speeches and toasts; cutting of the cake; departure of the bride and groom.