Post # 1
I’ll apologize in advance for the long post but I do appreciate you taking the time to read it 🙂
So I am having a major issue with our timeline. Actually it is not bothering me as much as it is my mother but since my parents are paying for everything I am taking into consideration any recommended changes they have.
Our wedding is in the evening, 4:45pm, to be exact and the wedding venue is at least an hour drive for all of our guests. When I first started putting together the timeline my mother was insistent that we have a receiving line following our ceremony. So with an approximate 30 minute ceremony and 30 minute receiving line for 200 guests and then an hour cocktail hour (time for pictures for the bridal party & immediate family) and then bridal party introductions and a blessing before dinner the first course wouldn’t even be served until 7:20…and now my mom is saying that she thinks this is too late and would like for us to move dinner up.
Getting rid of the picture hour is not something I am willing to consider as I am not willing to do a first look photo shoot it just isn’t for me, so I guess the only way we could move dinner up is by getting rid of the receiving line. I personally think that the receiving line is important and would really like to keep it. Also, by having the receiving line it allows us to relax and enjoy more of our reception.
We are serving food during cocktail hours (veggie, fruit, cracker & cheese trays) so I guess dinner at 7:20 doesn’t seem like a big deal to me.
What do you think…should I skip the receiving line to move dinner up by a half hour or just leave it the way it is?
Post # 3
Are you in the same place for the ceremony and reception, or is there travel between? I have to say, I think receiving lines when everything takes place in one place can be awkward. We didn’t have a receiving line, but tried to get around to all the tables at dinner (we failed, but that was the goal). My ILs were so happy they didn’t have to greet all of my parents guests (my parents are a bit more outgoing and wouldn’t have minded), and I think our greetings were more personal. In addition, as a guest, when I only know one person, or even two, I find greeting everybody (parents, etc) awkward.
Post # 4
Why not do the receiving line *during* the cocktail hour? People flow through the line, chat with you guys, and then go enjoy their drinks and chat with one another while you have a chance to enjoy a little bit of face time with each and every guest.
Post # 5
@KCKnd2: That would work nicely if we weren’t planning on taking pictures during that time.
Post # 6
The recieving line was one of my favorite parts. It was the only time that I got to thank everyone. I feel like I talked to almost no one at the reception so would have been dissapointed if I hadn’t gotten that chance in the reception line. Like PP said though maybe if it were the same venue it would be ok to not do one and if you are dedicated to getting arround to may people.
In regards to the timeline. If you want to do it all make sure that you plan well and that your photographer and bridal party are all on the same page so you can crank through pictures. Get as much done before as possible (without seeing eachother, there is still a ton you can do) and then you just have to do the group stuff after.
Post # 7
@Jess1483: We are at the same venue site for both the ceremony and the reception. I think it would also be awkward for our parents as well to be forced to say hi to everyone
@Tina.Baker: That is what I am afraid about not being able to talk to everyone at the reception. Also, we have 2 hours of pictures scheduled earlier in the day so all we would have to do during cocktail hour is the whole group and bride/groom pictures.
I have also heard of the bride and groom going back down the aisle after they live to release the rows of guests versus having a formal receiving line. Supposedly this does not take as long but allows us to still say hi and thank you to all of our guests. Has anyone else done this?
Post # 8
It depends what’s the most important to you – the thing to consider is that things often go longer than planned, so you may actually end up having dinner later than you hoped. Pictures may take a bit more time (ours went over by about 35 minutes), and a receiving line for 200 people sounds like it’ll take longer than 30 mins (especially since people will want to talk to you/give you their well-wishes).
We didn’t do a receiving line but we went around to the tables to thank everyone for coming. Maybe that’s an option? But you did say you want to enjoy your reception… you can say thank you in your speech to everyone for being there, and though that may seem like not enough, maybe your guests will appreciate it over the late dinner.
Bottom line, though: Do what you and your FI will enjoy most.
Post # 9
@michelle22214: Huh I have never heard of that but it could be interesting.
For the parents part of it, they don’t have to be part of the recieving line but if they are i was told to have them line up every other (i.e. MOB, FIL, FOB, MIL or however but you get the point) therefore they can introduce people to eachother and it cuts down on the akwardness.
I think it would be nice to do a recieving line and invite people from the ceremony to the reception side though and not akward (although may depend on layout). I think it is completely do-able though.
Post # 10
Since we don’t do receiving lines in my religion I have never personally been to one or witnessed one. However, I will say that because you are serving some food during cocktail hour it may not be the worst thing to keep the receiving line. I think that if your cocktail hour had some more food going on then I would totally say keep the receiving line, no question. Maybe you could just add some more food to the cocktail hour so if guests are really hungry they have choices and can eat more than fruits or veggies, as opposed to cutting out an actual event at the wedding that you would like to keep.
Post # 11
@michelle22214: That is exactly what we did and it took us about 15 minutes for 130 guests! It was nice because we got to say high to everyone, but it kept the line moving faster than a traditional receiving line.
Post # 12
@star_dust: Unfortunately, serving more food at the cocktail hour is just out of the question due to our budget.
@ieatunicorns: I have heard it is much shorter. I think this might be a good option for us so that we can say hi and thank you to everyone
Post # 13
Our wedding planners made sure we goofed firsthand then weren’t from table to table while our guests were eating. Our photographer followed and took pictures of us at each table. It took over an hour but it was totally worth being able to haves quick chat with all of our guests.
Post # 14
@michelle22214: We did it and it was GREAT! We put up a slide show of photos for people to watch while they waited to exit (heard about it for weeks after!), went back down the aisle as husband and wife and hugged our guests as they flowed to the center aisles and then out to the lobby. The parents waited there for those who wanted to say hello and congrats, but it cut down a LOT of time (my college friends wouldn’t really need to/think to hug Mr.Indi’s parents). And those who needed to get to the hotel before the receptoin for kiddos or to change could just head right out, no pressure to stay and mingle.
I think we hugged and thanked 275-300+ guests in 15-20 minutes. It was awesome to see everyone, find out who made it to the ceremony, and be in control of how fast things moved. I *highly* recommend it. Our guests that chatted with us weeks after the wedding said that it was really personal and a nice switch up from having to stand in a long line. Plus, you can get in the slideshow without throwing in a huge halt spot right in the middle of your dinner/reception.