Wedding Reception Q&As

Answers to your questions about toasting, timing, and traditional reception rites and rituals.

Q: Neither my fiancé nor I smoke and we would prefer not to have people doing so at our wedding. Is it appropriate to ban smoking?

A: Many people today are as offended by cigarette smoke as the two of you. It is, however, an area of great controversy: Many smokers feel that they should have the right to light up, especially at a social event like a wedding. And if it's a generational issue—perhaps your parents friends still smoke even though yours do not—such a decision is likely to cause friction. While it's certainly your prerogative to ban smoking altogether (assuming your reception site or caterer agrees as well), you might be better off setting up a designated smoking area. If it's too much trouble to try to arrange smoking and nonsmoking sections among tables, then post notices asking people to go to the lobby, lounge or an outdoor terrace to smoke. To encourage this practice, your caterer can refrain from putting ashtrays on nonsmoking tables, and ask waiters to point out the smoking areas to guests who light up where they should not.

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