There are a lot of little details that the bride will have to coordinate when finalizing the details of her wedding reception. One of the most important ones is the seating arrangements of the "parents' table."
Making sure that proper seating protocol is followed is a must during a wedding reception. If you decide to go with a "parents' table" the seating should be as follows: the mother of the bride, would have the father of the groom sitting to her right. The father of the bride, or whoever is accompanying the mother of the bride, would sit across the table having the mother of the groom to his right. The seat to the left of the bride's mother is usually reserved for the person who performed the wedding ceremony. The mother of the groom has the bride's grandfather (or other male relative) on her right side and the seating arrangements go on alternating family members or close family friends.
For everyone who participates, in a wedding reception, it is important to know what part of the place setting belongs to them and what belongs to the people sitting to their left and to their right. As a rule of thumb, all glassware for a place setting, are to the right of that place setting. The bread and butter plate is always on the left of a place setting. Any utensils on top of the place setting are to be used for the dessert.
The napkin can be in a lot of different locations and knowing which one is yours is vital, as it could leave someone on the table without a napkin. Usually napkins are placed in the center of the place setting, but you can also find them next to the forks in the left of the place setting, in the wineglass or the coffee cup if this is set on the table. Another place where the napkin can be found is on the bread and butter plate. Observe the place setting before using the silverware, glassware and napkin.
An important part of both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding reception is toasting. Usually the best man will begin the toasts and then other people can follow.
A toast is a very special honor for the person receiving it. Throughout the course of the meal people will start toasting the wedding couple. The person giving the toast stands. The couple that is being toasted remains seated hold their glasses, but they do not raise them or bring them to their lips to drink. One does not drink a toast to oneself. It is appropriate for the person who was toasted to rise and respond to the toast, to which he/she may drink. Other guests may then propose toasts.
Becoming aware of all these little details will take the guesswork out the day of the special event and will let everyone enjoy the celebration.