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By:    On: 2013-04-11

Most Eagle courts of honor conclude with a reception, but some include a full meal instead. Offering a meal adds cost and complexity, of course, but it also gives guests a better opportunity to linger and mingle. A meal is perhaps most appropriate when you expect a lot of out-of-town guests who can’t go home for dinner.

If you’re interested in going the meal route, the first thing to decide is whether everyone should be invited or just a smaller group, such as family and close friends. Either option can work as long as it’s handled tactfully.

For the everyone option, be sure details are include the invitations that go out ahead of time. Specify an RSVP deadline and clearly state the times of both the meal and the ceremony. This allows someone to skip the meal and come for just the ceremony (but hopefully not the other way around).

For the small-group option, send meal information separately, perhaps as an insert added to invitations. To avoid awkwardness, build in some dead time between the dinner and the ceremony and hold the two phases in different locations. The honoree’s home is a logical location, but you could also use a different room at the same facility.

Republished with permission of Mark Ray at

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