Greeting guests prior to ceremony

posted 2 months ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
1412 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2021 - Australia

oh that’s a new idea. I can’t quite imagine what that would look like.

Our plan is pretty traditional – fiance will be waiting at the altar and people can come up and say hi beforehand before they sit down for the ceremony. 

Then after the ceremony we have 30 minutes mingling with guests and our photographer taking candid snaps of those interactions, before the cocktail hour begins. During that we do a few family shots (we didn’t really want/need many) and then sneak off for our couple photos.

We also quite like the idea of going around to each table, but we are having a ‘cricket wicket’ type set up with the bridal table and big long tables forming a giant ‘E’ shape, so it won’t really be possible to go around to each table with any ease.

We just went to a wedding where the photographer did all of the group shots, then called any of the guests who wanted photos up, and it took what felt like HOURS. I felt so sorry for the bride and groom. I’ve also been to a wedding with a receiving line, and again, I really felt for the bride and groom, who must have stood there and smiled and shook hands with people for ages.

Post # 3
7844 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I’ve seen some Jewish weddings on Four Weddings where the bride and groom separately greeting guests before the ceremony was the norm. 

Post # 6
2235 posts
Buzzing bee

My husband and I both mingled with guests after our pictures and before the ceremony and then everyone was seated and we did a traditional processional down the aisle.  I don’t think it’s that uncommon.  Our wedding was outside with reception at the same location.  I just didn’t see the point of hiding from guests for a big reveal. 

Post # 7
396 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

View original reply
@winterily:  I’ve never heard of this. In my case I was at the back of the church hiding until I came down the aisle ha ha!!!

We greeted guests in the receiving line at the reception which I think is traditionally the way it’s done in many cases but you should do whatever you want!!! 

Post # 8
49 posts
  • Wedding: July 2016

My husband and I greeted all our guests as they came in.  We did most of our posed photos beforehand and had a first look.  The venue opened at 5 with ceremony at 5:30.  Guests could get drinks, chat around, and find their tables.  It was in an historic dance hall, so tables were the guest’s seats for the ceremony.  At 5:25 the officiant asked everyone to grab a drink and find their seats.   Husband and best man came from behind the stage with the officiant, then I walked down the “aisle” (a path through the tables) with my parents.  After the ceremony, a cocktail hour then dinner.  I loved seeing everyone as they came in and being able to say hi and thank them for coming.  

Post # 9
1662 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2020

Just bear in mind that people might accidentally step on your train, or line up to take photos with you, or gush over you, thus delaying your ceremony or getting your dress dirty. People get excited about the bride and groom!

I had a 9 guest wedding and my train ended up with a footprint on it, even though I wore it for maybe an hour.

Post # 11
1445 posts
Bumble bee

I think it’s a lovely idea – go for it!  The more time you have to spend with people the better.

We had a 13 guest wedding due to Covid – because no ‘mingling’ was allowed after, and people had to file straight in to their seats and straight out again once the ceremony was over, my OH stood outside the church so he could greet people and have a brief chat at a safe distance beforehand.  I SO wish I had done the same, but with so many other traditions having been trimmed from the day, my family were really keen for the traditional ‘big entrance’, so I ended up walking down the aisle with my OH.  But it did feel a bit frustrating waiting in a back room and knowing that some of my nearest and dearest were just a few feet away!

Post # 12
267 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I got married in a church and this is what they strongly encouraged as the “traditional” route. I think the whole “seeing the bride for the first time” walking down the aisle thing is actually relatively new. Many years ago the bride and groom would greet their guests before the ceremony.

Post # 13
178 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

My spouse and I did the Jewish greeting before the ceremony thing, it is called a “tish” which is yiddish for “table.” At the groom’s tish they drank whiskey and told stories from the Torah. At the brides tish we sang songs and told stories of great women. It was delightful. Then we met to sign the paperwork, before the guests were seated and we did a traditional processional. 

Post # 14
3082 posts
Sugar bee

We did something like this!

We had a pre-ceremony “cocktail” hour so there was something to do during what we correctly anticipated as a 45 minute timeframe during which people arrived.  People gathered in the patio/terrace at our venue, our caterer served several types of infused water & we had our string quartet playing.  We popped out about halfway through and mingled a bit then disappeared shortly before the ceremony.  Our coordinator ushered everyone to the wedding garden space (and the string quartet relocated back there), then we had the (very brief) ceremony, then the real cocktail hour began.

It worked really well. Granted, we’re pretty untraditional and it was a fairly untraditional wedding. (No wedding party, we walked down the aisle together, no one gave anyone away…).  

Post # 15
536 posts
Busy bee

I love this idea! My husband technically did this while I was getting my HMU touched up. He just kind of hung around the entrance area and said hi/hugged all the guests coming in and directed them where to go. He didn’t linger too long with each person unless there was a lull, otherwise other people were coming and he would again direct them where to go and excuse himself to go meet the other people. I think there was only 2 people he didnt know (from my work) so it was really easy and smooth. 

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors