(Closed) Non-traditional Bee here! I have questions!

posted 7 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
5183 posts
Bee Keeper

Its your wedding! You can do or not do anything you want lol

Guestbook- yes, you can do without it

Recieving line- no, you don’t HAVE to do this.. but it would be nice to. And if your Boyfriend or Best Friend wants to do this.. maybe you should. Men have so little say in weddings these days

Ceremony and reception are OFTEN done in the same place. Whisking the guests off to a different room for cocktail hour is a great way to go.. so they don’t see the set up. i am sure your venue does this often (hopefully) and pretty much have a routine down

What is a sneak peak for pictures during cocktail hour?


Post # 4
2065 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

We used our photobooth scrapbook as our guestbook, it gave everyone a push to go use it and have fun! It’s totally up to you if you want to have a guestbook or not. My sister had one and thought it was SO SUPER FREAKING IMPORTANT…and it has sat on a shelf in her closet for almost 4 years now gathering dust.

No need for a receiving line if you’ll be greeting guests at their tables.

When you say same place, do you mean the same room and it will need to be flipped? Our ceremony and reception were in the same building, but different rooms so there was no problem, logistcally. What kind of venue is it?

Attending cocktail hour will be difficult, but do-able I’m sure. You just have to make sure ALL your bridal party photos and individual photos of you and the groom are done before the ceremony. Then have a strict schedule and a list of exactly what family formal photos and photos of you and your husband you want and just get them knocked out as quick as possible.

Post # 5
135 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I don’t think it’s necessary to have a guest book, but it’s a great way to remember later who was there, and the fun you had with them.

I think the point of a recieving line is to make sure you say hi to everyone. I don’t think you need to do that if you are already planning on walking around to all of the tables. Fiance and i are planning on not doing a receiving line, but talking to everyone throughout the night ๐Ÿ˜€

A lot of people these days choose to have their wedding all at one place. Ours is all in one place, and we are not doing pictures before the ceremony either. We are doing our separatebridal party pictures (bride with bridesmaids, groom withgroomsmen) but are saving everything else for after the ceremony. We are hoping to make it to the end of cocktail hour, but are not counoting on it.

Hope this helps!

Post # 6
135 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@MrsNeutrino:  I think she meant she had to do pictures after the ceremony (during cocktail hour) because she doesn’t want a first look ๐Ÿ˜€

Post # 7
5183 posts
Bee Keeper

@Baker2Be:  ah gotcha! 

–In that case.. it will really me tough. I mean.. if you don’t care about pics that much you could always cut the pic taking short. Or you could have a hour and a half- 2hr cocktail hour. 

Post # 8
2261 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

We had wishing notes instead… best wishes for the couple that kept a lot of our guests busy and they’re fun to make and keep! 

 If you don’t like something… do away with it! ๐Ÿ™‚ We certainly did that to a lot of things that weren’t missed at all. 

Post # 9
3624 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I didn’t do a receiving line and everything worked out fine, and I also had my ceremony and reception at the same venu!

Post # 10
5073 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2012

Our ceremony and reception are in the same venue.  We are not doing first look pics.

Here’s our planned time line

5:00 – 5:30 ceremony in the promenade (area connected to hall)

5:30 – the hall will open for guests who came to the ceremony.  Bar will be open.  Munchies will be served. Photo booth will be open.

5:30 – 6:30  bridal party, family pics etc (we are hoping to be done sooner)

6:30 – we are introduced, we immediately cut cake, have first dance

Reception officially starts at 6:00 pm.     Dinner will be served no later than 7:00.

we are not doing a receiving line.  We will circulate during dinner     

Post # 12
9029 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

You can do anything you want since it is your wedding. We didnt have a guest book or a receiving line.

It is possible to have the reception in the same venue as the ceremony but just make provisions for where the guests will be while the room is being “changed” for the reception. I personally think its a bit hectic to have both ceremony and reception in the same place, but it has been done before

Post # 13
3148 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

@kayberry:  I think you might regret not having some kind of guest book. 

I set up an antique typewriter with some heavy paper and let people go at it. I left lots of colored pens too, in case the typewriter didin’t work out for them. people absolutely loved it, and we got some very touching and very hilarious messages!

we didn’t do a receiving line, instead, we had coctail hour right after the ceremony and let people approach us to congratulate whenever they felt like it.  (we took photos before the wedding to get that out of the way)

ceremony & reception in same venue: yes, tons of people do that, it’s just fine. I was lucky because we had a separate room for the dinner, so guests didn’t see the tables being set up.  the ceremony was in the same room that the bar/dancing would be later. after the ceremony, we had an outside courtyard where people went out. wine was set out and hors douevres were passed.  while we were out there, the staff whisked away the chairs and put them in the dining room. nobody noticed. it worked out great! 

your venue coordinator and/or caterer can help you figure out what is best for your space.

Post # 14
265 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Man, I did all these things. 

1) Guestbook – nope. We didn’t have one and didn’t miss it. My Mother-In-Law made one for us at our 2nd reception in my husband’s hometown, and I think I’ve looked at it once. The day of the reception. So. 

2) Receiving line. We skipped it at both receptions, no one cared. I would especially recommend skipping it if you expect to be dying of hunger by the time of the dinner because you will hate everyone for being between you and food. (From my personal experience as a bridesmaid in a receiving line, anyway…) 

3) Ceremony and reception in same place. Totally doable. Ours was outdoor/indoor, so there was a level of separation, but we did have the cocktail hour in the same place as the ceremony. Pro tip – just don’t do anything where you have to tear down in between. If need be, set up the reception or cocktail area at the back of the room you’re having the ceremony in and then get the officiant to direct guests there after you’ve made your exit. 

4) Photos! We had plenty of time for photos and cocktail hour. Here’s how we did it: all the bridesmaids/bride photos and groomsmen/groom photos were shot prior to the wedding. Get ready an hour earlier so there’s time (the boys will be ready way in advance of you so don’t worry about that.) Get ready, then send the photog to the guys to do some shooting while you drink copious amounts of champagne with the bridesmaids, then get to the venue early or make a detour to do bride/bridesmaid photos en route to the wedding. This works only if you and groom will be in relatively the same location pre-wedding eg. the same hotel. 

Now you only need one group shot post-ceremony and you can run off with your husband for couple shots, not needing to herd cats. Restrict your couple-only pictures to the immediate area in and around your venue. (Scout out nearby parks, alleys, interesting-looking buildings or billboards etc beforehand. You can really make two blocks look like eight different locations if you scout it. Maybe see if you photographer might be available to take a 20 minute stroll around the venue neighbourhood with you to help identify three or four good locations.) 


PM me if you want more info! 

Post # 15
2493 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@kayberry:  Your wedding sounds like mine ๐Ÿ™‚ Here is what we are doing (in answer to your questions)

Guest book– we were going to go without until I saw a fingerprint tree and LOVED IT. I thought traditional guest books were not for us, but I really liked the idea of using a guest book as art on our wall. The other idea we were given by our DOC was to do a canvas, tape off small squares and provide paints for each guest to paint during cocktail hour.

Receiving line – We are NOT doing a recieving line, but we also know that logistically, having 50 people (including us) will make it very possible to go around to everyone.

Ceremony/Reception– We are having it at the same location, but not in the same room. The ceremony is outside or in an upper room if it rains and the reception is on the bottom floor. I was too nervous having it in the same room just because you’d have to figure out how to flip everything from ceremony to reception during a cocktail hour… and you would have to see who could/would do that.

Pictures– I think if you want to attend the cocktail hour and do pictures iwthout having the cocktail hour turn into the cocktail afternoon, you might have to decide one or the other. The other option, beyond sneak peaks, is to do a day after photoshoot with just yo uand your Fiance, while quickly snapping family and Bridal Party pics the day of.

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