Say 'Thank You' to your wedding guests
"Thank you all for being here at our special wedding day!" Your mom was right; you should always say thank you. Gratitude empowers everyone at the event to feel welcome and special and enjoy themselves fully at your big day (even the uninvited plus 1's and the 'other side of the family' you rarely speak to). You should also make a pointer getting around your entire reception in person to say 'Thank you!' and give hugs. But make sure you have a plan to keep it brief so you get to everyone: the buddy system works well for this so if you notice your partner getting caught up with a particularly wordy guest you can say "oh honey look there's Uncle Fred who flew in from Florida!" to keep momentum (and they can return the favor) to keep you both moving through the event as a team. This also comes in real handy when you cannot remember someone's name. Make sure you and your partner have a signal for "I can't remember this person's name or who they are" or "I need help moving on".
The old tradition of a receiving line served an important purpose; guests could file past the entire wedding party and say "Congratulations!" and you could say "Thank you!" in return! But most couples today prefer to make the rounds out to their guests in person once they are seated for dinner. But however you say 'thank you' know that it will mean a great deal to your guests.
Tell your parents you love them at your wedding reception
"I love you Mom and Dad!!" Nothing gets a tear in everyone's eye like taking the time to publicly tell your parents you love them and why. Be specific to have more impact and emotion like; "Mom I love you for your sense of humor (which helped me get through wedding planning!) and your kindness and patience. Dad I love you for being so open to my changes in life and for supporting my career path when everyone else thought I was crazy. You both have given me such incredible examples of unconditional love and paved the way for me to love Brian with all my heart." You can lead off this easily by saying "I would like to take moment to give some thanks and attention to the two people I have respected and loved most in my life....and I've known them my whole life!.....Mom....." Families are not always perfect so if you've had issues in the past with family this type of public message can be very healing and even start a brand new chapter of relating and closeness.
Thank your newlywed partner's family (and friends) for all the love
Another moving and import thank you must go out to the people who raised your partner to be the person they are. Again specificity adds impact and it goes without saying always be positive. Do this one right after you thank you own parents or family ...."And I also want to say a heartfelt 'Thank You' to (your partner's NAME say Brian for example)'s family [NAME and NAME] for raising such an incredible person whom I love with all my heart. Brian is such a good man thanks to you. I see your family's integrity and honesty in everything he does and in the way he loves me. I am so glad to be a part of your family now too."
TIP: if you get nervous thinking about speaking over a microphone ask your DJ if you can practice for a second before the guests fill the reception room. And remember if you fill yourself with the emotions of gratitude and love towards others and how you will be making them feel with your words it can take away a lot of your nerves since this is all about putting the focus on your families for a few moments of love and emotion. And don't worry about getting emotional - your feelings are the true gift of love here for all.