Post # 1
My question is in regards to the the bride/groom, parents, and bridal party meeting and greeting all wedding guests. I have seen this done several ways but want to know what other people have done or what they think is best. Things are getting heated so I’d like some unbiased opinions, lol.
Years ago, I remember seeing parents only (or other usher-type people) greet guests as they entered the reception hall, a guest book was signed, the bride/groom and bridal party later made a grand entrance when the reception started. Later, before late lunch, everyone and their dog would line up and guests would pass by, say hello/give congrats, and then give their gift.
Now it seems everyone lines up around cocktail hour to greet guests, a guest book is signed, gifts are put in a box. Then the bride/groom and bridal party still make a grand entrance even though everyone just saw them, and there’s nothing later in the evening other than random mingling.
I’ve even been to weddings where I’ve never spoken a single word to the couple the entire night and they’ve made no efforts to say hello to guests. Weird.
Thoughts? (“Anything goes nowadays” is not helpful, lol).
On on the one had I prefer the more traditional way. Frankly, having a money drop box at the begining of the reception is, to me, tacky. As if guests have to pay admission and we didn’t have enough cash to pay the DJ. You also lose the “feel” of the grand entrance. On the other hand, people now are used to the latter scenario, and upon arrival even look around panicked “where’s the card box??” Plus I wonder how to corral people pre-late lunch so everyone actually lines up and says hello. Would it be appropriate to put it in the invite? E.g., cocktails 530, dinner 6, receiving line and late lunch 11. Or something like that.
Post # 2
We had a receiving line on the way into the reception, after cocktail hour. I liked it because people had a drink in hand and had a snack already so the hold up hopefully wasn’t too painful. I don’t think there’s any reason to include the whole bridal party, that would take forever. Just the bride, groom and their parents. I am a fan of the receiving line because I wanted to sit and eat and enjoy my reception and not be on duty for table visits during dinner.
i don’t really understand your dinner and then late lunch after dinner? I would just put the line somewhere people will have to move from point a to b anyway, and you just greet them at the door.
Post # 3
melissaa1000 : also, we didn’t receive gifts then. It would feel awkward for me to do that in front of everyone. We had a card box guests could visit at their convenience.
Post # 4
- Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre
We had our receiving line during cocktail hour
Post # 5
We had our receiving line as people exited the church. It was just me and my husband so it went quick.
Post # 6
I’ve only attended one wedding with a “receiving line”. The couple stood at the back of the church and greeted and thanked everyone on their way out. It was just them. No parents or bridal party. While this one wasn’t awkward because they were good friends, in general I feel receiving lines are kind of awkward and forced. I’m also not sure why you would need the whole bridal party to join in? Being an introvert, that would make me think twice about being a bridesmaid. At the weddings I’ve usually attended, the bride and groom will make a point to go around and greet everyone at their table or while they are socializing. It seems a bit more natural than lining people up. I’m curious as to why this has become a hot topic?
Post # 7
We got married at a church and had our reception in the private room of a restaurant. We had our receiving line of just us and our parents right outside the private room. There was a long hall that led to the room so it worked out well. Inside the room itself is where we had the table assignment numbers and a box for cards. We had a little over 100 guests so it wasn’t like we were standing out there the whole cocktail hour. Most of our guests went to the church so we greeted the majority at once. For those we didn’t, I either made a point to see them or they came up to us.
I think you’re overthinking the “grand entrance” thing. I’ve never felt that any kind of entrance is grand, no matter what wedding I’ve been to.
Post # 8
I’ve mostly seen:
–Parents greet guests as they leave the ceremony while bride + groom + wedding party rush off to do pictures during cocktail hour.
–Then couple and wedding party does a grand entrance into reception.
–Couple goes around to each guest at dinner time when people are seated.
–Most physical gifts are mailed ahead of time to couples home, but usually there is a gift table at the reception that guests drop off at at their convenience.
Post # 9
I’ve never attended a wedding with a receiving line. Usually the couple just makes the rounds during dinner or cocktail hour. Is there a reason you must do a receiving line at all? It seems very old fashioned.
I’ve also never been to a wedding where anyone brought a box gift. I’ve just seen card boxes by the guestbook. Usually the guest book is placed in a table near the front of the reception area.
Post # 10
I haven’t been to a wedding with a receiving line since I was a kid. I didn’t even know people did them anymore. I thought they went out of style with the chicken dance.
I prefer there being a table/card box when you walk into the reception and then the couple walking around to mingle during the reception. I usually see the couple stopping at tables to thank people for coming. My husband and I weren’t super formal about it, but we made sure to stop by each table to say hi and thank you before the end of the night.
Post # 11
Our ceremony and reception were in the same place, so I presume our guests dropped off their gifts on the table as they came in. We had the receiving line (just me and Darling Husband, no bridal party or parents) right after the ceremony exit, and then guests made their way to the cocktail hour patio. We went off for photos and then still had our “grand entrance” for the reception. It worked perfectly! I have never seen guests give the bride and groom their gifts/cards during the receiving line, that sounds really awkward. Like.. have they been holding onto it for the entire ceremony? Also I hate when the parents and bridal parties etc. are in the line as well.. what do you even say to them if you have never met them?
Post # 12
Maybe they’re old fashioned, but a receiving line (in the traditional sense) takes care of thanking everyone for coming without the bride and groom missing part of dinner or cocktail hour or anything else. We stood with our parents as people left the ceremony and greeted and thanked everyone, and then there was a table at the reception with a card box. Those who brought cards could deposit them in the box, and anyone who brought a boxed gift could leave it on the table. It would seem awkward to me to have the gift table right next to a receiving line entering the reception, and completely impractical to try to have a receiving line of any sort later on.
Post # 13
The most “proper” choice is to follow the prevailing norms in the social circle where you move. If you happen to move in a circle where “standard” formal etiquette is practiced, then the norms are:
- At any formal social event where more than a dozen guests are expected, wedding or not, the hostess greets her guests at the door and introduces them to her guests of honour. At a wedding the traditional standard is for the hostess to be the bride’s mother, and the newlywed couple to be the guests of honour.
- Boxes and packages are never carried to a formal social event. Wedding gifts are sent to the bride’s home prior to the wedding. Any gifts that are brought to the reception by guests who may not know of that nicety, are quickly whisked out of sight by staff or by the hostess’s assistants, to avoid giving the event a tawdry or commercial tone.
- Grand entrances are for royalty entering their court, or the court of another monarch.
If you remember “grand entrances” from your childhood, and “late lunches” are a norm that your guests understand, then it’s likely you come from a community with some ethnic heritage other than upper-class W.A.S.P. You can always follow standard (upper-class W.A.S.P.) etiquette if you choose to. But your family members and close community members may be disappointed. In some communities that have the kind of pre-late-lunch receiving line that you have described, this is referred to as “Presentation” and you put it on your invitation as such: “Presentation at eleven o’clock followed by late lunch”. The “presentation” here means the guests being presented to the couple. But traditionally it is also when guests make a presentation of their gift of money (although no-one should be so gauche as to mention money.) Have your best man standing around behind your groom, so that the groom can pass any envelopes to him and he can tuck them away discreetly.