(Closed) Receiving Line after the Ceremony

posted 6 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
16196 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Instead of doing a receiving line, all of our guests stayed seated after our recessional, and then we came back in and “ushered” our guests out ourselves row by row and greeted them then. It probably took about 15 minutes for our 250 guests.

If you are short on time, I’d recommend just trying to make your rounds to the tables at your reception. That’s what a lot of brides and grooms are doing now.

Post # 5
909 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Our wedding also has a short time window in between ceremony and reception. We plan on doing a smaller receiving line to save on time. It will be just us and our parents greeting our guests (while the bridal party stands outside and hands out petals to toss when we exit).

Post # 6
5475 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I think it depends on how many guests you’re expecting.  We had nearly 200 people, so even if we only took 60 seconds per guest, we would have been standing there for over two and a half hours!

Our solution was to ask the reception venue’s caterer to serve us our meal first so we could eat quickly then go table to table and greet our guests as they were being served or eating.  We managed to visit each and every one of our 23 guest tables just in time for our best man/MOH to do their speaches, then we went right into the cake cutting.  For us the timing worked out perfectly πŸ™‚

Post # 7
16196 posts
Honey Beekeeper

@lovelylight99:  Ooh, well then it’s definitely an option to consider. πŸ™‚ Our guests all loved it because they got to stay seated and chat until we got to them, and then we loved it because we didn’t have to worry about making it to every.single.table at the reception or possibly missing people who are dancing/at the bar, etc.

Post # 8
16196 posts
Honey Beekeeper

@DaneLady:  That’s a great idea too! And I’m impressed. That’s about how many tables we had and I think that would have been daunting!

Post # 9
2716 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

We didn’t have one because our church wouldn’t allow it but I have been to weddings where they do have them.  I think it will really depend on the number of guests that attend.  If you have a bigger wedding (around 150+ guests) receiving lines take forever and I personally get bored and annoyed at having to wait.  If you have fewer guests, then the lines to don’t take that long and I don’t see a problem with it.

Also, I would probably just keep it to you, your Fiance, and parents.  I don’t really see the need for the Bridal Party to be part of the receiving line. 

Post # 12
1835 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor

@lovelylight99:  Are you having a cocktail hour? If you are, then that is a great time to eat. Mr. W and I ate in a private room during our cocktail hour – and we tried to eat quickly – so that we could join our guests during dinner. We went and chatted with every single table during dinner (we had ~120 guests, with a buffet-style dinner, 2 courses, and we had just enough time to talk to each table by the time people were finished eating). Just something to consider! Also, regarding the receiving line – we thought about it, because we had a pretty flexible schedule and our ceremony and reception were at the same location…but we wanted a little bit of time alone after the ceremony, including 10 minutes for some portraits of just the two of us, and I am SO GLAD we did it that way. I was feeling really emotional (happy/elated emotional) and I can’t imagine talking to a zillion guests immediately. 

Happy planning! And PM me if you need any help planning our schedule. Mr. W and I put a lot of thought into ours and it went really smoothly!

Post # 14
11418 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Because our ceremony and reception were both at the same venue, there really wasn’t a way for us to do a receiving line. Our plan was to go around to our guests’ tables after dinner to greet everyone; sadly, however, our timeline became completely derailed, and we only had an hour after dinner before the end of our reception (and, in that time, we still had to take family pictures, cut our cake, and dance with our respective parents), so we never had any time to greet many of our guests.

This caused me a tremendous amount of grief following our wedding. I literally felt as if I did not attend my own reception, since I had no interaction at all with so many of our guests.  If you can find a way to either have a receiving line or go back in to usher your guests from their rows, I would strongly suggest that you try to make that happen.

Post # 15
257 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

We didn’t want to do a traditional receiving line- my Mother-In-Law wouldn’t have known most of the guests (there were very few people from my DH’s side) and I know she would have felt super uncomfortable. We actually bartended for the first 45 minutes-hour of the reception (more of a cocktail hour) and that gave us a chance to see a large number of our guests. Then after dinner we tried to make it to as many tables as possible to visit with people.

While I don’t feel like we got to spend enough time with ANYONE, I think it was the best way to do it for us.

Post # 16
327 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013 - Canal St Inn

We’re having a second line around the block of our B&B, and when we get back around to the venue, we’ll have a short cocktail hour, the band will still be playing, my coordinator will be setting up for the reception, and we will be taking a few post ceremony shots with family and the wedding party. We’re thinking about a half an hour from end of ceremony to beginning of the reception. Once the reception is ready to start, Fiance and I will come to the front of the congregation, shake hands, say hellos and thank yous as our guests step into our now-reception area. I figure if I was traveling for someone else’s wedding, I’d want at least a thanks, a smile, and handshake. This is our way of making sure everyone gets that from us.

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