The Refreshments Table

With a recital coming up this evening, I have “reception etiquette” on the brain. Here are a few good things to keep in mind when attending a reception:

  • Cell phones are still off…

Hopefully, you turned your cell phone off for the main event (e.g. the service, ceremony, recital, etc.). But, just because the more formal part is over, it doesn’t mean your phone should be turned back on. Unless you are expecting an important call, leave it off. And if it has to be on, turn it on vibrate only. Focus your attention on these people surrounding you in person.

  • Mingle

Be friendly and engaging, and try to mingle with lots of people. You have come to a group-gathering – so it’s best not to monopolize any one person’s attention, or (for us introverts) ignore/avoid the group as a whole.


And, now we come to the highlight of this post… Regarding the food line:

  • Children should be accompanied throughout the entire event, and accompanied through the food line.
  • Use moderation.

At many events (such as the recital I hope to attend tonight), there will be refreshments offered at some point. If it is not stated to be “Breakfast”, “Lunch”, or “Dinner/Supper”, DO NOT EAT AS THOUGH IT WERE. I’ll be honest – I could eat a meal every couple of hours. I’m very partial to the Hobbit meal schedule… But, this table full of refreshments is not my opportunity to fill myself up. Here’s a good rule of thumb for refreshments:

– One small plate of food (NOT heaping. I was serious when I said “small”.)

– One glass of punch

If that sounds skimpy, just remind yourself that this is not a meal. It’s not offered because people are hungry. This is a social gathering, and the hostess has been kind enough to provide some light refreshments. When you overindulge, you’re creating a shortage of food and simply being rude. Once again, we have to think of others first. Will everyone have plenty to choose from?


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