Post # 1
Greeting our guests before the ceremony…doable?
Short version of my reasoning:
-post-ceremony receiving line ruled out because it forces everyone else to wait and leaves very little time to talk to each guest
-greeting guests as they come into reception isn’t ideal because I’d love to take the first half of cocktail hour for pictures around the reception venue
-table visits ruled out because it takes too long and I want to be able to eat (but, of these three, table visits are probably my preference)
So…I think I’d like to greet guests first thing as they come into the ceremony.
Pros: Guests’ arrival time is naturally staggered, leaving more time to talk to each person
It takes the pressure/”big reveal” factor out of my walk down the aisle. (I know this would be a con for some brides, but it’s a BIG PRO for me.)
No one is left standing around waiting while we greet everyone…except for the waiting that the early guests were prepared to do anyway
Cons: Timing. I imagine most guests will arrive in the 15 minutes before the invite time. Even though we’d plan to start the ceremony 10-15 minutes after invite time anyway, I still worry that there could be a big backup.
Stamina. If we take pictures at the church and greet guests before the ceremony, will our feet be killing us by the time the wedding actually starts?
Post # 3
@sunflower22: It wouldn’t be for me (I’m all for the big reveal – I like it as a guest too! and First Looks aren’t big here yet) but if you like the idea of the pressure being taken off then go for it! Certainly some guests will be surprised but that is not because it’s a bad thing, just not what most people are used too.
With regards to shoes I would say just make sure you get comfy ones. Regardless you are going to spending a lot of time on your feet that day so either way you want to make sure they have decent cushioning and aren’t pinching your toes etc.
Post # 4
I think it depends on the size of your wedding. We had 16 guests, and I chatted with everyone at least a little bit in the 30 minutes before the ceremony. But I don’t think I would have had time to talk to more than about 20-30 people!
Post # 5
How many people are you having at your wedding? I managed to talk to just about all our guests during the reception (the place had one person dedicated to taking care of DH and I, so we had a plate for each of us set aside & never empty glass). I know that the majority of my wedding guests were visiting with each other up until my BM’s entrance music.
Post # 6
Our four parents are greeting our guests (mini receiving line) as the arrive at the venue. We’ll be having photos taken then, in another part of the building, with the bridal party. Or course, we’ll be talking to our guests during the cocktail hour and visit among the tables, during the reception.
Post # 7
I honestly don’t think you will have any more time to greet your guest before the wedding than you will after. I would say a great majority show up 10-15 minutes before the ceremony which leaves as little time to talk to guests as a receiving line probably would. Also, a line will form as people get backed up going into the church and they will be standing and waiting just like a receiving line.
Also, as a guest I hate hate hate it when the ceremony starts late. I typically get there 15-20 minutes beforehand already and don’t appreciate the extra 10-15 minutes that I sit waiting.
Post # 8
I think it depends on the size of the wedding. It would not be my preference, though. As a bride, I would want the “wow” factor of no one seeing my gown until the ceremony. As a guest, I think I would be disappointed to see the bride before the wedding itself for the same reason.
Post # 10
As a guest, I would be a bit disappointed to see you before the ceremony, but I’d get over it 😉 Timing-wise, it does seem ideal. On the other hand, I loved having a few private moments with my girls and my dad, having some champagne, and relaxing before the ceremony, and I feel like you’d be rushed after talking to some late guests. I guess it takes away a bit of the magic for the guests. But again, if it works best for you, do what you want/need to do!
Post # 11
@Jess1483: and @MrsEdamame: , why is it disappointing as a guest to see the bride before the ceremony?
Post # 12
Receiving lines are notorious for messing up brides’ hair (all the hugs and such). I would seriously reconsider putting myself in a situation to have my hair destroyed before any of the pictures or the ceremony. Would seem like a waste to even get it done at that point.
Post # 13
@sunflower22: Because I like the moment where the groom sees her walking down the aisle (even with a first look–it’s still different), and I like to see her all dressed up in the more formal setting of the ceremony, rather than talking to another guest. Again, not a huge deal, and I’d get over it for sure, but I’d find it a little odd.
Post # 14
I would find it super weird to be greeted by the bride at her wedding and maybe a little put off. I personally as a guest would prefer to wait while you greet other guests after the ceremony. Every wedding I’ve been to has been like that and I’ve never thought anything bad about waiting. With say 100 people it’d only take like 15 minutes
Post # 15
I wouldn’t do this for myself, but if that’s what you want to do then you should do it. I would think it was a little weird but whatevs.
Post # 16
It’s a pretty big wedding–not counting the wedding party and family who’ll need to be there early anyway for the traditional staged family photos, we’d probably have 100 people to greet. But if we have 20 minutes to greet them (15 min pre-invite time and 5 after, probably?), that still leaves 12 seconds per person–more than we’d get with a ceremony release or traditional receiving line.) hmmmmm…