Ask Natalie by Natalie Bencivenga

Wedding Etiquette Continues to Change

DEAR NATALIE: What is the etiquette for greeting the bride and groom at a wedding reception? It seems that the receiving line for the bridal party has disappeared. Should one wait for the bride and groom to visit one's table, or should you try to greet them during the reception to offer congratulations and best wishes? Thank you. -- Frequent Wedding Guest

DEAR FREQUENT WEDDING GUEST: Etiquette at weddings is getting harder to navigate as the old rules have given way to new ideas about how and when to do certain traditions. It can leave guests feeling a little befuddled as to when, or if, they should approach the bride and groom. Because the bride and groom usually take photos during the reception hour in between the ceremony and dinner portion of the wedding, finding a way to get to them may feel awkward. Try approaching the mother of the bride or groom and offer your congratulations. Then, ask when it would be appropriate to offer your well wishes to the happy couple. Usually they are flattered that you are asking for help, and they can guide you to the bride and groom much more easily than if you tried on your own (especially if it is a large wedding). If that doesn't work, try approaching the bride and groom toward the end of the evening, after the cake cutting when things are settling down, so that you can send your warm wishes without interrupting their dinner.

Natalie's Networking Tip of the Week: Don't be afraid to ask for an introduction. If you are at an event with a friend and want to meet someone new, ask them to introduce you. Remember, none of us is in this alone, and any friend will be happy to be a point of contact.

Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to or tweet them to @NBSeen. You can also send postal letters to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)