(Closed) Brides with 200+ wedding guests… how did you deal?

posted 5 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
Member
4803 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

We had about 160 people and went through table by table – and honestly, I wish we hadn’t, it’s the one thing about our wedding I would go back and change if we could. I thought receiving lines were kind of outdated and I didn’t feel like working it into our timeline, so I just figured we’d be served food first (we had a buffet), and then we would go through and say hello to everyone once we were done and they were all finishing dinner. But in a receiving line people seem to understand to say congrats, keep it pretty short, and move along. When you’re going through table by table people just talk and talk and it’s so hard to break away and keep moving along!

Post # 4
Member
5479 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

We invited about 200 people (180 attended) and I didn’t know (m)any of his extended family… neither did he hahaha!

We skipped the receiving line, simply because if everyone took 30 seconds to say hello, we would have been standing there for 90 minutes.  Sheesh, no thanks.  We arranged for the venue to have the staff serve us our food first so we could scarf it down quickly then go table to table as the rest of the guests were being served/were eating.  It still took a good bit of time, but we could greet 8 people at one time, spend about a minute thanking them for coming, and then scoot on to the next table.  We had 23 tables, so it only took about 30ish minutes.

I didn’t necessarily feel like the complete and total center of attention either (at the reception)… of course the ceremony is a different situation- everyone is looking at us!  Honestly though, I hardly noticed.  I was looking at the love of my life, and so excited and happy that we were getting MARRIED!!  We could have been alone, or on live tv, and it wouldn’t have even registered in my brain.

The toughest part was the seating chart, but I took care of my friends & family and delegated MIL to handle her part.  We simply alternated tables, I had odd tables, she had even tables, until one of us ran out of guests to put at the tables.  It wasn’t the terrible headache I had anticipated.

The good thing about having a larger wedding is that there was always someone on the dance floor!  The timeline went very well because we had an amazeballs DJ to help keep us on track, otherwise it would have been too easy to get caught up chatting with out of town guests and friends I don’t see often enough.

Also, having a venue with an event coordinator was immensely helpful as well.  She helped keep things moving along and was available to assist guests, such as finding the restroom, setting out the guest book, coordinating the staff to serve us first, set the tables appropriately, etc.  All I did was show up, get dressed, get married, smile for pictures, eat very quickly, say hello to everyone, dance, eat cake, and mingle!  Easy peasy!

Post # 5
Member
3720 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@MissCalifornia:  You sound like you could have been me 18 months ago ;). My approach is that I love my FI and this is important to him. Because it is important, I’ll do my best and he will be involved in all elements of planning a huge wedding (including skipping part of a bar crawl to pick out linens). He gets that it is not easy and appreciates all I am doing.

 

As far as a receiving line, our moms have the gift of gab and we only have the church for two hours, so the receiving line will be just us. We will also go table by table, there are only 18 tables, it’ll go quickly.

As far as people I don’t know, there were over 100 when we first met the list. During the pre-engagement and engagement I met everyone who will be coming, or almost everyone. At first I couldn’t compehend how I would deal with everyone, but now I can appreciate how awesome it is to have so many people who want to be part of our day.

Post # 7
Member
2616 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

i did table to table  we invited 200 only had 130 show so that was a good thing

Post # 8
Hostess
16217 posts
Honey Beekeeper

We had 250 guests and I honestly thought it was a blast.

As an alternative to a receiving line, after our ceremony and recessional, my husband and I went back into the church and ushers our guests out row-by-row, greeting them that way. It really only took about 20 minutes to usher everyone out (because people are less inclined to talk for too long that way).

During the reception, we still tried to talk to our guests, but we were no longer obligated to visit all 25 tables because we’d already greeted our guests. 🙂

Post # 9
Member
1627 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

We did an *optional* receiving line with bride, groom, parents.  I asked my sisters (MOH’s) to go through the line and tell people that they didn’t have to wait (it was a looooong line, 325 guests here!), and that we’d catch them at the reception.  Luckily many of our parents friends/extended family waited though b/c dinner was a little messed up and we didn’t end up having time to go around to the tables (33 of them) like I wanted.   People seemed to understand. 

Post # 10
Member
3569 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

We invited 194, looks like our total is going to end up being right around 170. We are nixing the receiving line and plan on joining our guests for a portion of the cocktail hour & we’ll shove some food in our faces at the reception and visit the tables. We’ll have 15 tables, so it shouldn’t be too bad. I just have to keep in mind “If we stop at every table for ONLY a minute or 2, that’s going to add up fast..” I have to keep us moving!

Post # 12
Hostess
16217 posts
Honey Beekeeper

@MissCalifornia:  I really enjoyed it. I saw it at my cousin’s wedding first. And a bunch of our guests told us how nice it was to get to sit and wait for us to come to them rather than stand in a receiving line.

Post # 13
Member
9143 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@MissCalifornia:  Find a place to cut the list and do it.  You will be so thankful that you did.  There is no way to physically greet and be congratulated by over 200 people in a night, especially if you plan on eating and dancing at some point during the evening.

The best way to deal with this is to sit down with the ILs and ask whether they want it to be an intimate affair like you and your FH want with people you actually know and care about.  Or a bunch of random people they feel like impressing with your wedding. I can tell you now that letting them make it a gigantic affair is going to cause you grief in the longrun because they are set out to impress people and not necessarily make it your wedding using your ideas.

And you have social anxiety disorder?  Stop this train before it’s too late to get off.  Have a serious conversation with your FH and write down 5-10 words or phrases that describe your perfect wedding.  Then talk to his parents about what you would like.  Ultimately it’s you and your FH’s wedding and it should be an event that you look forward too and enjoy, not one that seem daunting and is more of putting on a show for strangers.

Post # 14
Member
1627 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

@MissCalifornia:  Awww, thank you!!  That was so sweet!  And yes, 325 attended out of the like 450 we invited.  Crazy, I know, but big families and I had to stop fighting that battle b/c things were were starting to turn ugly.  Wink

Post # 16
Member
1465 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I am with you I will have high anxiety because my FI just informed me two days ago that the wedding list is back up to 350 maybe more. I asked for a ball park and he said “I just gave it to you 350”.

I know I am going to feel as though I am in a fish bowl because 300 people I will not know and I get to meet them the night of the Jack & Jill party and for those who cant make it I will be meeting them for the first time at the wedding.

There is no way I can do this without a nice stiff drink before the ceremony a vodka shot.

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