Post # 1
My Fiance and I have been discussing how we will be greeting the guests at our wedding. I am assuming we will be having around 180 people attend. At our best friends wedding, they greeted each table individually and they never hit the dance floor once except for their designated dances. I find a receiving line to be gawd awful and we are having an outdoor, non-traditional wedding so dismissing the guests after the ceremony would seem difficult.
This is my thought… weddings are becoming too much about “etiquette” than the real reason why you are there, to CELEBRATE the union of you and your mate. This day is already outrageously expensive and we would like to be able to enjoy every last second of it. I would prefer to get on the microphone and thank everyone for coming and let everyone know that if they want to mingle with us they can find us on the dance floor! Obviously we will be chatting with people before and in between dancing, especially the elderly guests that cant exactly jump on the dance floor. If a guest of my wedding is offended and think this is rude, well I frankly dont really care. Anyone that is a guest at my wedding should understand that we payed a good chunk of cash for each and every person to be there. They shouldnt be offended but instead happy and thankful we wanted to share that day with them.
I hope this doesnt come off too crazy sounding, but I am just so over the “what you are and arent supposed to do at your wedding”. I dont want to lose sight of the real meaning of my wedding by getting caught up in the “etiquette”.
Post # 3
I like your “weddings are becoming too much about “etiquette” than the real reason why you are there, to CELEBRATE” statement. We had an informal receiving line, even though I dislike them, then walked around the tables when everyone was pretty much finished eating, but before dancing. There were a few people we missed, I think mostly everyone enjoyed themselves, and that is what matters, right?
Post # 4
We are not doing a full receiving line but are going to stand near the door as people exit the ceremony and give quick hugs (just FI and I, no other people). It should go pretty quickly and also will help direct them to the next location.
I think it is very important to be sure to have at least a few words with every guest. I also agree with you that enjoying your reception is important. Presumably we like most of the people there, so I think the two are compatible – I’m going to enjoy saying hi to everyone and sharing the excitement with them!
Post # 5
For the most part, i agree, but here is the statement that just doesn’t sit right with me:
If a guest of my wedding is offended and think this is rude, well I frankly dont really care. Anyone that is a guest at my wedding should understand that we payed a good chunk of cash for each and every person to be there. They shouldnt be offended but instead happy and thankful we wanted to share that day with them.
Like it or not, your day is not only about you. It is very much about the guests. While you will be the center of attention (as you should be), you and your groom are also the host and hostess of the party (regardless of who pays), and as such, you are expected to look out for the happiness, comfort and enjoyment of your guests. The attitude that “if they don’t like it, I don’t care” is not the right one to take on your wedding day. Learn to be a gracious hostess and factor in your guests’ enjoyment of the day.
So I would look for a balance in there somewhere, keeping in mind that you are going to be far busier that day than you imagine. You WILL be pulled in 20 different directions at once, and you’re a little misguided if you expect that you’ll be able to spend the entire evening dancing. I would plan a set time for dancing, outside of any traditional dances you will do, and have someone in charge of getting my butt onto the dance floor at the set time. Block out maybe 30-45 minutes for that; you’ll be ready for a drink and some relaxation after dancing for that long anyway. And set aside an equal time to spend mingling and greeting your guests.
You may also consider cutting your bridal photos short or doing some photos before the ceremony so you can spend more time actually at your cocktail hour.
But don’t ever lose sight of the facts that it is the guests— the people you love— who will be so much more meaningful to your day than any venue, DJ or cake can ever be. Show them the respect they deserve.
Post # 6
We had nearly 200 people and were able to make it to each and every table, albeit briefly. I had time to eat my whole meal- though we did ask that they serve us first so we could scarf it down and then start to make the rounds while others were eating. We had time to dance a bit, and mingle after we did our “official” rounds. Sure, we missed a few people due to the bar or the bathroom, but we did our duty and greeted every table. I don’t feel like it took away from our celebration at all- some of these people drove hours or flew in for the weekend, it’s kind of the least we could do to provide a nice meal, some tasty adult beverages, and greet them in person to thank them for coming.
Post # 7
@fishbone: +1. Well said.
Post # 8
A lot of our guests are people we never get to see, especially some family members of Fi’s that I haven’t had a chance to meet. We definitely want to spend a little bit of time with everyone.
Post # 9
You know, I get that etiquette can get WAY outta hand sometimes…and I guess that some of the newer generations just aren’t as concerned with it because we have other priorities…my grandmother, who was fabulous in every way, used to say, “Ceremonies are for the bride and groom, receptions are for the guests.” And you have most likely put a lot of care and concentration as well as hard earned capital into making the reception a wonderful place to be, and most of your guests will appreciate that and be fine…if it were me, I would make it a point to thank every person I bumped into, since receiving lines are the stuff of awkward nightmares, and make a point to single out the older generation attendees who might get a little torked if you don’t follow the old ways about greeting every guest…make it case sensitive and succeed!
Post # 10
It is definitely tricky to find the right balance of enjoying the moment with your new husband/wife, visiting with all your guests and enjoying the party/dancing. But I am going to try to do it all….with like 400 guests.
Post # 11
I have been to weddings where the bride and groom didn’t greet guest and I was fine with it. With that being said, I wouldn’t feel right in not greeting all of my guest. Yes it’s going to take some time, but we plan on greeting each table, half before the main course, and the rest later. I think it’s a balencing act and there are always going to be people who are offended just for the sake of it, that being said I think it’s so important to remeber being thankful and grateful for your guest who are also spending a lot of time, money, and effort on your wedding which could have just as easily been spent elsewhere.
Post # 12
@Nona99: I COMPLETELY agree with you. I know a portion of my post comes off as selfish. But what I am really trying to convey is that we want to ENJOY our wedding day. Of course we are going to make it a point to visit with everyone, especially those from out of town, or the older generations at my wedding. After seeing what our friends went through, we are a little put off by the table visiting. There isnt one guest on our list that isnt important to us, which is why we have gone the extra mile to ensure every guest has a wonderful time at our wedding.
I guess I am just a little jaded by so many people telling me “you are supposed to do this”, “its only proper to do that”, “no that isnt etiquette”…
Post # 13
We’re going to take photos for just 30 minutes after the ceremony, and then attend our cocktail hour for its remaining 45 minutes. Hopefully that will give us a chance to mingle with most of the guests!
We’re also having a dollar dance to get a chance to talk one-on-one with more guests, but I know that’s a touchy topic around here 🙂
Post # 14
@EricaRenea: If a guest of my wedding is offended and think this is rude, well I frankly dont really care.
Well, as someone who does care about etiquette and would find this pretty rude, I was going to comment. But apparently, you won’t care.
FWIW, one of my cousins did this at his wedidng, and my family is still talking about how distasteful it was, six months later.
Post # 15
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
We only had 13 tables, and we tried to hit everyone during dinner, but it didn’t work. People wanted to pull me aside for long conversations, the photographer wanted sunset photos, people had left their tables and were on the dance floor/outside, etc.
We did greet the family tables, and those with older guests. DH and I also split some tables, so one of us spoke to every guest there. And we got on the mic and gave a nice thank you to our guests after the toasts, which I think was a good compromise (recognizing that we knew it was tough for people since it was a Friday night wedding, thanking those from out of town, etc.)
If you make an effort, your guests will appreciate it, and none will fault you.
Post # 16
I ony had about 80 guest but I went to every table socialized and hugged all my relatives.