At many weddings, it’s often only the bride and bridegroom, plus 1 or 2 other people that will know almost everyone attending and there are usually many guests that don’t know many of the other guests. For the gregarious and extroverts this isn’t a problem as they have no problem in just starting conversations with all and sundry but many people are more reserved and don’t find that so easy.
There are several ways to break the ice and help your friends and family members quickly and easily get to know those they haven’t yet met. One way is to have a Receiving Line, a tradition that is common in the USA but happens rarely at most UK weddings. The way it works: The bride, bridegroom and bridal party line up at the entrance to the room for the wedding breakfast. All the guests then greet each member of the bridal party before they enter the room. This can then be coupled together with a Grand Entrance which again is carried out at most American weddings. After all of the guests have taken their seats I give each member of the bridal party a special introduction and they walk into the room accompanied by a special/appropriate piece of music. The introduction can be formal, humourous, cheeky and sometimes might include a nickname for that person. The last people introduced into the room are the bride and bridegroom and they are given a very special introduction and special piece of music and given a standing ovation and rapturous applause by the guests as they enter the room.
Another way of breaking the ice is by the use of some games. One such game is called Pearls of Wisdom. The Pearls of Wisdom cards are placed on every table and the guests are asked to write their words of wisdom for a long and happy marriage. Some of the answers will be cheeky, some will be naughty and some will be quite touching. The Master of Ceremonies collects all the cards and reads out a few of them. With each one he reads he asks the person who wrote it to stand. So if for example the card being read out is from the brides uncle Frank, when Frank stands and it’s announced who he is, all the grooms family get to know Frank’s name which makes it easier to strike up a conversation at the bar later, especially if his Pearls of Wisdom were funny or touching. This game serves many purposes; it’s a perfect ice-breaker but it can also be hilarious. It’s often done after the meal and speeches or sometimes done during the evening buffet. At the end of the game I usually place all the cards in a special presentation box and give it to the bride and bridegroom which make for some great memories when they read all of them after the wedding.
There are a few variations of the Pearls of Wisdom game that can work just as well.