Reception Planning

Reception Planning

The information contained herein is quoted from Social Usage and Protocol Handbook: A Guide for Personnel of the U.S. Navy (OPNAVINST 1710.7 dated 17 JUL 1979)

The military host will often have junior officers appointed to plan and/or assist during a reception. The following checklist may be helpful.

  1. Primary Planning
    • Determine who will host the function
    • Will there be a guest of honor?
    • Select a convenient date and time for the function
    • Determine the location
    • Select an appropriate attire
  2. Guests
    • Prepare a guest list
    • Mail invitations 3-5 weeks in advance (include a map if using an unfamiliar location)
    • Keep a working list of acceptances and regrets
    • Will any of the guests require special attention: (Handicapped persons, dignitaries to be met, etc.)
  3. Location - if using a club or caterer:
    • Select an appropriate menu
    • Ensure an adequate number of bars and tenders
    • Ensure nonalcoholic beverages are available
    • Coat/hat check available
    • Name tags at check-in table if desired
    • A podium and microphone if needed
    • Lighting at appropriate level
    • Parking facilities available
  4. Miscelkmeous
    • Decorations as appropriate, flowers, flags, etc.
    • Music, at appropriate sound level.
    • Photographers, properly briefed beforehand.
    • Receiving Line
      • Inform members of order beforehand
      • Place a carpet runner in desired location of the line
      • Have a table near by for the ladies’ purses and members’ beverages
    • Special events–will there be speeches, or presentations?
    • Aides. Often it is helpful to have junior officers and spouses aid in manning check-in tables, directing guests, etc.


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