Receiving Guests

posted 3 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
11300 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Table visits. I really dislike receiving lines because I don’t usually know the people in them. We went to a wedding last fall with one and had to go through a receiving line with both sets of parents AND grandparents, none of whom we’d ever met before, then talk to the bride and groom and it was just uncomfortable.

I like your idea. Another one I saw was the bride and groom dismissing pews in the church to get hugs and congrats.

Post # 4
480 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Personally as a guest I find receiving lines really tedious.  You have to queue up for ages and then make small talk with people you don’t know.  Hmm, nah, I don’t like them.  I’ll be doing a route round the tables  to make sure I get to most of the guests

Post # 6
6447 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

We did a receiving line because we knew there would be guests there that weren’t at the reception. It was also nice to introduce my aunts and uncles to his parents. We attempted tables visits as well but only made it to about half of them before people started getting up to dance and go to the bar. We had a seated dinner and people were not at their tables until about five minutes before dinner was served. We didn’t want to skip eating so we went after dinner. Definitely a mistake… 

What you’re planning on doing sounds good though and seems like it would work with the buffet.

Post # 7
5460 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

We had nearly 200 guests, so a receiving line was out of the question.  We did table visits, and we kept them very short.  Like 2-3 min MAX.  It took us about an hour, but we asked the serving staff to bring our meals out first so we could scarf them down and start going by tables as they were sitting to eat.  By the time we finished our last table, pretty much everyone had finished eating and we did the speeches and cake cutting.  Timed out pretty well, and the bonus is that we got to eat our meals!

Post # 8
146 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I don’t like receiving lines, for the same reasons stated by PPs. We did table visits and it really didnt take as long as you think it would. We had about 20 tables and went to each table and hugged and said hi to everyone. We definitely did not spend 5 minutes at each table, but we did get to talk to everyone. Also, your guests will understand not standing there for 5 minutes talking to each person, they know that you have a lot of people to get around to.

Post # 10
1712 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@wabanzi:  We actually did both.

Receiving line: Just DH and I. Not everyone went through the receiving line and some just bolted to God knows where.

Table visits: We ended up having to do them while the dancing was occurring, so at many tables, we didn’t see everyone there.

Dollar Dance: This is a regional thing, and I wouldn’t recommend doing it unless it’s a part of your family’s tradition, but we also did this and it was another great way to get some one-on-one time with guests.


As much as we tried, it was impossible to spend time with everyone. I know we missed some people, but damn if we didn’t try.

Post # 11
920 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

Out of two I prefer line.

Another one I’ve seen is taking pictures.  Basically have a seperate room with like a pretty couch and just have the guest during cocktail hour just come take a picture with the bride and groom whenever they feel like it.


Post # 12
6158 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

@wabanzi:  table visits during dinner is how i’ve always seen it done and it works.

yeah, the bride and groom don’t really get to eat, but this is expected….

Post # 13
414 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@wabanzi: My husband and I did a receiving line with just the two of us. I really wanted to thank every single person individually for coming to the wedding. I was concerned that with table visits, we wouldn’t get to chat with everyone. Also, I really wanted to eat. My food was amazing, I wanted to enjoy it!

As I guest, I was in a receiving line and was invited as a guest of my husband’s childhood friend (who was the groom). I was stuck in front of the bride’s step father for what felt like an eternity. So I understand why Bees hate the extended receiving line.

Post # 14
1148 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

We did a receiving line immediately after the ceremony/before we walked out of the church, but it was just my husband and I receiving our guests. At my sister’s wedding, they did the thing where the parents stand there too, but I agree, it’s awkward to say hello/congrats to these people you don’t know and will probably not see again.

I’m not really a fan of the bride and groom dismissing the pews or rows of people to get a hug and congrats, but mainly because I’m not a huggy person, and it’s awkward because I tense up if someone hugs me.

If you want to mingle with your tables, go for it, but as a guest, I’d rather eat and then find you to talk than the other way around!

Post # 15
3280 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

If anything I prefer receiving lines with just the bride and groom. It’s quick say congrats then go eat. We’re having 300+ guests and I want to eat and dance so well be doing a receiving line after the ceremony.

Post # 16
9526 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

While I’m not a huge fan of recieving lines, the worst is when a couple intends to do table visits and they don’t make it to everyone. And with a large guest list it’s a real concern. 

We’re doing the modified recieving line where we dismiss each row from the ceremony. I also prefer recieving lines that are only the bride and groom. 

So I think there are lots of good options, just see what will work best for you guys!

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