Here are some tips for creating small talk at a wedding reception.

  1. As you prepare for the wedding, shower, or bachelorette party, come up with a couple of things to talk about as well as a generic question or two that will get others talking. Here are some ideas from us but you can add to them.
    1. How did you meet the bride?
    2. What was she like when she was a baby?
    3. What type of flowers do you like for a wedding?
    4. (If they are wearing a ring) Was your (shower, wedding, whatever you are attending) like this one?
    5. Aren't they a wonderful couple?
    6. When was the last time you saw (the bride)?
  2. Because you are the maid of honor the people at these parties are probably going to know your name while you may not know theirs. This is difficult. Here are some friendly ways to get their name out of them. Try not to ask a question that doesn't get their name at first. If you ask if they are related to the bride you may get 'Yes. I am her cousin.'
    1. It is so nice to meet you. I apologize that I don't know your name. You are...
    2. (the bride) was so happy when she saw you. You are?...
    3. I love your (dress, hat, broach, necklace). I am sorry I don't know your name however. Are you....(then pause and they will fill in the blank).
    4. If you see someone wants to talk to you from accross the room and you can't remember their name, ask the bride, or someone who knows "who is that over there in the blue blouse?". Try not to point or draw attention. Thank the person who provides the name and then you can cross the room and say 'hello. It's ______ right?'. The person will be complemented that you cared enough to know their name.
    5. Just smile. Even if you don't get the name right, a friendly smile is a great greeting.
    6. Always go one generation younger if in doubt. Grandma would love to be asked if she is the bride's aunt. The bride's aunt would not want to be called Grandma.
    7. When they say their name if you remember something from their writing out their address on the invitation, it is nice to say it. "Aunt Mildred. Did you drive all the way from Germantown this evening?"
  3. Try to listen more than you speak.
  4. Stay away from any controversial topics. Politics and religion are inappropriate.
  5. Watch your body language. If you look comfortable and approachable people will feel at ease. Stand whenever possible. If you are seating at a table, you will seem less approachable.
  6. Take all compliments with grace and poise. Receive it as if it was a surprise gift. Thank the person who gave it.
  7. If you have an announcement rather than shouting it out, gather the bridesmaids and have them disseminate the info or have them draw attention to you so you can deliver the message.
  8. Have a few exit lines in case you need to move onto the next conversation.
    1. Oops. I am sorry. I have some Maid of Honor duties to attend to.
    2. I apologize. I think I have to attend to the bride. She is so wonderful that I want to take my Maid of Honor duties very seriously.
    3. I hope you are having a great time. I have to run a little bit.
    4. (if you are the hostess) Thanks so much for coming. I have to run but I hope to catch up later.
    5. I hope you will excuse me. I'm sure I am forgetting to do something.
    6. It was so nice speaking with you.
    7. It was wonderful to finally to meet you. I hope we get to talk again later

According to Susan RoAnne author of "Mingling Maven" your objective should be to make a great impression and to give people the impression that the bride is a wonderful person who has wonderful friends. "Be bright, be brief, and be gone"

Reference: Mingling Maven, Wedding Etiquette, CNN.com, Career Builder, Bachelorette.com staff.