Post # 1
I am so stuck about doing a receiving line or not! We are not having a very “traditional” wedding. It is outside, at a winery and we don’t feel the need to have all the traditional elements and I never thought I wanted a receiving line. However, after being at/in a couple weddings this summer I saw that if you don’t do one you sometimes feel stressed about having to make sure you get around and talk to everyone during the reception – and I really just want to be able to have fun!! Does any one have any ideas of a different way to do this? As of right now I have us doing a receiving line right after the ceremony and before we move off to do our photographs. Thanks!!
Post # 3
That is what we are doing. I decided to just have FI and I in the immediate recieving line with the parents staged a few steps away. That way we can greet everyone and those who want to see the parents can head that way. If the parents get chatting with their friends, then it won’t hold up the line. I hope to keep it moving fairly quickly. Again, this all sounds perfect in my head so we will see what the day holds!
Post # 4
- Wedding: March 2013 - Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
The last wedding I was at did a sort of modified receiving line. The wedding part did the normal recessional from the alter and then the bride and groom came back down and “released” the guests from the pew. So instead of everyone waiting in a big line to see the bride and groom, the guests could sit in their chair until it was their turn to congratulate and hug.
Post # 5
@Bri1o: I kinda wish we would have planned for one, the day really does escape you and you are so ”high” from all the excitement that you might not make the time to talk to everyone. I was ”in the moment” the entire day and my logic went right out the window lol (that is probably how we forgot to do bridal portraits :/ )
I say yay to the receiving line.
Post # 6
My photographers shared an idea another couple they shot had that wears considering for our wedding. The couple greeted their guests as they went through the buffet line. If you’re not doing a buffet, this won’t work, lol. This gave them the time to take all of the pictures they wanted esp at the church. Just an idea!
Post # 7
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@Bri1o: There are so many great ways to do this but it depends on the size of your guest list.
We are doing photos after the ceremony and since we only have a limited amount of time with the photographer, we are choosing to greet guests during the dinner hour. We are only expecting 50 guests so we plan to go from table to table greeting guests (it worked perfectly for my first wedding, plus I got pictures with all of my guests.)
A friend of mine had a large guest list of around 150 so she did a circle dance with her husband and all of the guests. The DJ called all of the guests on the dance floor and had everyone get in a huge circle and then the bridal couple went around the circle greeting and thanking guests while music played. Then they danced the hora since everyone was alread yon the dance floor.
Post # 8
@Bri1o: THis may not work for you because I am not sure if you have a gap in between wedding/reception, but we have decided that we will have our receiving line approximately 45 minutes before the reception starts, at the cocktail hour. We will indicate on our invitations, via an insert, that the reception starts at 6:15pm, but that we will be receiving guests at 5:30pm, while they are able to enjoy beverages/music. This way they know our plan, and can choose to see us then, or not get any one-on-one time with us by just showing up to the official reception.
This works out best for us, because I am not interested in going table to table after we eat, etc!
Post # 9
We did ours as the guests were entering the reception from the cocktail hour.
It worked pretty well. The guests had been enjoying food and drink and so were in good moods. Many had their drinks with them, so waiting in a line was not all that bothersome for them.
It reduced the amount of time we could be at our cocktail hour – we got there late from photos and left early to be there for the receiving line. But in a way that was OK. The cocktail hour setting was difficult for us because there were so many people you couldn’t really chat with anyone without ignoring others. And when people wanted to monopolize us it was hard to get away to try to greet other guests.
Once in the receiving line we could have a quick greeting and a few words with everyone individually. People knew that it should keep flowing so they didn’t try to monopolize us for long periods. We had our moms stand together so they could introduce each other to their own family members.
Ours took about 20 minutes for about 100 guests.
I was not looking forward to doing a receiving line, but afterword I did think it worked well.
Post # 10
We had nearly 200 guests so a receiving line would have taken FAR too long. We did table visits during the meal. We spend about 2-3 minutes at each table, and were able to greet 8 people during a 2 minute span.
Post # 11
@Bri1o: I just ewent to a wedding with a receiving line. It was horrible and there werent even that many people at the church. Some people even went out the side entrance instead of waiting to see the bride and groom! A lot more showed up for the reception so even with the receiving line you may not see everyone.
At our wedding we did not have a receiving line – we timed our pictures so we could go to the end of the cocktail hour and talked to some of our guest then. Then we went around to every table to talk to the guests during dinner. It was perfect – and we still were able to eat our dinners!
Post # 12
We had a fairly untraditional backyard wedding and we did the modified recieving line where we dismissed each row and it was perfect. It goes quicker than a traditional recieving line because it’s just the two of you and people don’t tend to stand around and talk for as long. Also, guests can sit while they wait instead of standing in a line. And that way we could be sure we had at least greeted each and every guest and we could be more relaxed throughout the night. I was so happy we decided to do this!
Post # 13
So many good ideas!! Keep them coming 🙂 I am loving the idea of putting an insert into the invitation saying that the receiving line will happen at the beginning of the reception/cockatail hour. If it helps at all (there have been some questions) We have having around 150-160 guests and the reception/cocktail hour is in a tent right beside where the ceremony will be taking place. IF we do a receiving line, it will also be just myself and my new husband as my parents are divorced and his parents will want to talk to everyone forever!
The “modified” receiving line where you go to each seated row is interesting too although I assume you would have to have your officiant make an announcement so that people knew that was happening.
Post # 14
I honestly don’t like when the bride and groom release each row. The ones I’ve been to took forever, and as a guest, you don’t really have a choice but to sit and wait. I think a receiving line where people can come at a time of their choosing is the best option (aka, you aren’t forced through the receiving line in order to leave the ceremony or get into the reception). At our reception in DH’s hometown, we had a receiving line on the side of the room once people had already entered, so people were able to go get drinks and appetizers if they wanted before waiting in line. If the line was too long, people would go chat/eat/drink, and then when it died down a bit, they’d come get in long. It worked really well for us.
Post # 15
My biggest advice is do a receiving a line. You give every single one of your guests a warm hello and thank for coming and get everything out of the way before the reception. Otherwise, you are chasing everyone down during reception, taking up time, maybe missing people, people feel slighted,etc.
Post # 16
As far as a receiving line taking “too much time” its probably had their entire bridal party up there shaking hands. Yes, that will be time consuming, WE only had us and our parents at the line, and it went by in only 20 minutes. WELL WORTH IT.