Post # 1
OK, so we’re having a small wedding, about 50 people including our wedding party. The ceremony and reception are occuring at the same place (it’s a small art gallery with a retail space in the front of the building).
So basically, we’re having the ceremony, the guests will come out to the retail space for hors d’oeuvres and cocktails for about 1 1/2 hours, while the wedding party goes and takes photos. During this time the ceremony space will be transformed into the reception space.
The wedding party will come back through the retail space so do we really need to stand by the entrance door to the reception area to greet everyone? Or would mingling during the cocktail hour and mingling during the reception suffice? The point of us having a small wedding is so we could have more one on one time with all our guests, I don’t know if a receiving line is more for large weddings so you can respectfully say hello to everyone.
Post # 2
Personally, I wouldn’t have an official ‘receiving’ line.
I think mingling with your guests would be much more natural with the size/type of wedding you are having 🙂
Post # 3
- Wedding: December 2014 - Norton Country Club
Sounds like a really neat space! We are facing the ceremony-to-reception-changeover too, but with 150 guests. We are still wrestling with the subject of ensuring one-on-one time, but I know we will table-mingle anyway. One other option that we’ll be using is having two chairs placed across from us at the head table during the reception with a sign inviting folks to come “visit” us too. I’m not sure if that would work or if you’ll be sitting much, but I love the option and thought it was worth a mention!
Post # 4
If you think you can keep track of all 50 guests and make sure you speak to each one and thank them for coming then I you don’t need a receiving line. That’s much more manageable with 50 than 200, so I think you could probably pull it off. However, if you would prefer to not have to keep track of whom you’ve spoken with, you certainly can do a receiving line! They aren’t limited to large weddings.
We had 150 guests and we (my husband and myself) did a modified receiving line where we came back into the ceremony space immediately after the recesional and dismissed each row and hugged and thanked each person as they left their row. It made the rest of the evening stress free, because while we tried to get around to most guests to visit with everyone – I knew we had at least thanked and hugged everyone.
Post # 5
Just mingle! It’s the same thing anyway (talking to your guests), but less formal and stuffy. and you’re not trapped at the door without food and drink.
Post # 6
I had a pretty big wedding and did NOT do a formal receiving line after the ceremony. We got married at a theater in the city, so the sidewalk space was super teeny tiny and narrow as was the street. And the lobby wasn’t very big either. A receiving line was almost physically impossible for our venue.
Plus I really wanted to maximize the time we had at a park to take the formal portraits, so we skipped the receiving line.
We mingled casually with our guests at the reception, and we also did the bridal dance, which gave us a lot of time to chit chat with everyone.
I don’t think it’s a big deal if you don’t do one, especially if you have a small wedding. You will probably have plenty of time to mingle with everyone at the reception.
Post # 7
I personally would have the receiving line immediately after the ceremony. We thought we would have time to come back and mingle during cocktail hour, but photos ended up taking longer than we expected. I was glad we had already made a point of greeting everyone personally so I could actually eat during dinner.
Post # 8
I don’t know for sure if this will work for you, but we didn’t do a receiving line either. We had a plated dinner, and they served the head table first, so after we were done eating, we went around to all the tables and greeted everyone as a couple, and it took about 45 minutes for 200 guests. That way we made sure to talk to everyone and we didn’t have to take up more time between the cocktail hour and the reception.
Post # 9
The rule of thumb is that you need to get around to speak individually to each one of your guests to thank them for coming. With a larger wedding, a receiving line is one way to ensure that you don’t miss anyone. Since you have a very manageable number of people attending, the choice of whether or not to do a receiving line is yours.