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They say the wedding ceremony is for you and the wedding reception is for your guests, but really, isn't the whole thing about marrying the person you love? And since you're planning this awesome party, you should get to enjoy it together, right? But with relatives and friends traveling from far and wide to see you, there's pressure to make sure to spend time with them, too, so we asked our experts how much time the newlyweds should spend together during their reception. Here's what they had to say.
The short answer is, spend as much time together as possible. This is your day, and it's a monumental one, so take every opportunity to soak it all in. Drink together, eat together, dance together... Spend as much time at one another's side as you possibly can.
But of course, there are other people around! Getting the most enjoyment out of your wedding reception means striking a fine balance between staring at your new spouse and yelling "OMG We did it!", hugging your grandparents and cousins, and getting down on the dance floor with your friends. The best way to do this is to plan your timeline wisely.
If you're having a first look, you're in luck. Taking photos before the ceremony means you'll be able to add all or most of cocktail hour to your available socializing time. Use cocktail hour to make the rounds of family members, particularly older ones who probably won't stay through the reception. If you're not having a first look, consider scheduling a longer cocktail hour, or pop from table to table during the salad course to say hello. (But make sure you ask your coordinator or planner to grab you when dinner is served so the two of you can eat in peace!)
Once the dancing gets going, try to divide your time between rocking out to your favorite tunes from college with your old roommates and twirling around the dance floor to those love songs that now mean so much more with your new husband or wife. Try to slip away for a few minutes to catch your breath, share a drink, and bask in it all.
And don't be afraid to be selfish. Yes, these people came here to celebrate with you, and yes, you should make time to say hi to them and thank them for coming, but they're not the person you just married! As long as you make a point to devote some time to your loved ones, you can spend the rest of the night holding hands with the one you love — no judgement!