(Closed) Let’s talk about receiving lines

posted 7 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
3314 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I might be more of a talker then you, but I had 76 people at my reception and it took me quite a while to go table to table.  Don’t get me wrong, I most definitely prefer it that way and wouldn’t change it for the world!  To me it’s a more personable way of greeting and thanking your guests for being there, but it does take maybe more time then a receiving line.

Post # 4
1664 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

The only other thing you can do is to go to all of the tables during dinner.  This might be hard to do with 100-150 people, and still have time for dancing.  And no matter how hard you try, I think you’ll inevitably end up missing someone.  I’d like to hear other suggestions for this though, b/c we are sort of in the same boat.

Post # 5
540 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

We are doing one also. I am not the biggest fan, but my mom really wants us to do one also. She knows that people will be wanting to talk to us and explained that it will really just turn into a line of people who want to say hi and give us hugs anyway so we might as well prepair for it and just do it. We decided that if we have to do it we want it to just be just us and our parents. Not the whole wedding party.

How ours will work logistically is after the ceremony we will walk out, and across a lawn about 50 yards away. People will come towards us and as they get to us they will see where the cocktail hour is, with the bar and food in hopes that seeing that will keep them moving and not lingering for long. We will also walk back the way that we came down the line to where we will take pictures, which will make is go faster. We are hoping that it is wont be as bad as we once expected.

Oh, and ours is about 130 guests.

Post # 6
4385 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

We didn’t originally plan on a receiving line, we thought we’d go to all of the tables during the reception. We are now planning on the line though, I think it’ll be easier to “get it out of the way” right after the ceremony, and not have any obligations during the reception. Also, what if you don’t get around to everyone? I think it’d feel like a lot of pressure.

Post # 7
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I’m skipping the receiving line. We’re doing the same as you and planning to eat quick first and then table-hop during dinner. Also, we’re doing a first look so we’ll be there for at least half of the cocktail hour which will give us extra mingling time. We’re only expecting about 90 though, so it isn’t quite so hard as 150 🙂

Post # 8
732 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010 - The Tower Club

I liked the receiving line idea. I wanted to make sure I spoke to people, and also that my husband and I could dance all night without people feeling like they needed to talk to us. 

To keep things quick, our receiving line was just the two of us (no bridal party or extended family — let the moms go table-to-table if they want), and we stood there at the entrance to the reception area immediately following cocktail hour, so people were wanting to go and sit down. 

It worked out really well; we spoke to every single person, and it also removed some of that “oh, she’s the bride, I won’t bother her” that people tend to feel at weddings. 

I actually got the idea from Mrs. Dahlia.

Post # 9
6248 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 1900

I also like the idea of a receiving line, like oyster said. I want to make sure I at least say a quick hello and thanks to all my guests, but I also want to enjoy my first meal with my new husband, dancing, and enjoying the celebration. I don’t want to worry about who I forgot to greet or rush through my food so I can run from table to table in a mass greet-a-thon. For me, a receiving line sounds like a good idea.

Post # 10
233 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

We opted to do both. We had a receiving line immediately after the ceremony (just us & our parents, no WP), and then when we finished eating, we made sure to say hello to all of the tables- this way, we didn’t miss anyone, who may have skipped the receiving line or happened to be away from the table when we stopped by.

I like receiving lines, because I feel like it gives everyone an immediate opportunity to say hello at the wedding, and congratulate you. I also feel like it sort of give people… permission? to leave the ceremony location. They’ve said their hellos, and now they are free to make their way to the reception. The few weddings I have attended that did not have a receiving line, everyone just stands in the lobby for a few minutes, unsure of what they should do, especially if there is no mention that the bride & groom will meet them at the reception rather than greeting them in the lobby of the ceremony location.

FWIW, one of my H’s favourite photos from our wedding was from our receiving line, where he is hugging his ailing grandfather after he congratulated us and told us the ceremony was beautiful.

Post # 11
241 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

We did one.

I enjoy receiving lines as a guest–I like meeting the family and seeing their emotions and stuff. I think it’s a nice way of being sure you get to chat with your guests.

Post # 13
5118 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

One thing I haven’t seen mentioned that Fiance and I are considering is releasing the guests from the ceremony yourselves. The bride/groom/party/etc all do the recessional as usual, and then instead of ushers letting the guests out pew by pew/row by row, you and Fiance come back and can do this as a new couple. Then you see everyone, get your hugs and a moment with each guest, and are more in control of how fast thing move along. If your mother/parents/MOH/BM want to be part of it, they can wait towards the lobby (with smiling faces to coax the folks that are hugging you out to the open area). 

Post # 14
7300 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

We are doing both. It doesn’t take that long. Plus, it will just be us. I’m not sure why my guests need to greet my bridal party. 

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