Post # 1
My wedding is being held at a hotel, so we are able to do everything there – ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. What I’m really wondering about is the timing of everything. We plan on a 6pm ceremony, lasting about half an hour. Then I guess we’ll do a receiving line, but how long does it take to do a receiving line with about 100 people? Then the cocktail hour doesn’t start until 7pm. So there is potentially about 30 minutes between the ceremony ending and the cocktail hour starting. We’re going to fill up that time with a receiving line, which means we’ll have just over an hour for pictures. Is an hour enough time to get all the pictures I want? (We will be doing tons of pictures before the ceremony with parents and bridal party, just not with eachother. FI is adamant about not seeing me until the ceremony. What do you think? I guess what I’m asking is how long does it take to do a receiving line with about 100 people and is an hour of photos enough? Thanks!
Post # 3
no idea how long a receiving line will take. have you thought about skipping that and going around to each table during the reception? you can or should be able to get the pics of the two of you done in half an hour – 45 minutes. unless you are going somewhere off site or something. The only thing about taking pics before is that you’ll probably want some of the two of you with your whole bridal party, and families….give yourself enough time for that. bridal party and family will probably want to enjoy the cocktail hour as well, so you don’t want to keep them the whole hour. We really didn’t want to see each other either, but with the late ceremony (6pm too), there was no way to avoid it and still have fun and everything.
Post # 4
A receiving line for 100 people shouldn’t take too long, I’d budget about 20-30 minutes. It all depends if you want to chat with everyone as they come through or just give a quick hello.
Regarding pictures after the ceremony, definitely coordinate that with your photographer. Come up with a final list of the exact family and bridal party groups that you want including how many people in each and he/she can give you a time estimate. If you only want a couple of groupings and a few minutes of portraits with your husband, then maybe you could get it done in 20 minutes. If you have a longer list of groups, and want a more extended bride & groom portrait session it could easily take an hour. Your photographer should be flexible enough to do what you want.
Post # 5
The receiving line is really for big weddings. I skipped it because I knew I would have a chance to make a personal visit with each person at the reception. We had 50 people but no dance, so you will have more time to visit with your 100 people. I have to note though, my grandma was overheard gossiping about how there was no receiving line, but that was before I made table visits.
As far the timeline goes, I made mine out during a meeting with my photographer, I would recommend you do the same.
Post # 6
Thanks for the suggestions! FI and I plan on going table to table during dinner, but figured we’d also do a receiving line because there is a 30 minute gap between the ceremony and the cocktail hour and we ddint want people standing around…. but really, I’d like to get a head start on pictures at that time. Any thought on 100 people standing in the hotel lobby for 30 minutes waiting for cocktail hour to begin?
Post # 7
Having been to a few weddings as a guest where we had gaps, I would suggest that you not make people stand around– kinda boring! Could you start the cocktail hour any earlier? Have some punch/tea/other drinks waiting and maybe do a few passed appetizers? Set the guest book out in that space so they have something to do? I’m sure other bees will have even more creative ideas on how to fill that time…
Post # 8
I think half an hour for a receiving line is plenty. People will be fine with mingling and chatting for that long before cocktails. Besides, you never know, your ceremony may start late for any number of reasons, and could go long.