Post # 1
The first wedding that I went to after getting engaged had a receiving line. I totally understand the convenience of seeing your guests all at once so that you have more freedom at the reception. However, after waiting 30-40 minutes to get through the line, I made my first wedding-related decision: No Receiving Line!
This weekend, my fiance and I went to a wedding were the couple did table visits to make sure they saw everyone. This was going to be our plan after the receiving line experience. But now, I don’t know. The couple was still going through tables after dinner was over. This was an issue since a lot of people had moved to different tables to mingle or they’d moved on to the dance floor. The bride and groom seemed tired of the process at the end and stressed about making sure they got to everyone.
So, what are y’all’s opinions about making sure you see everybody? Receiving line or table visits? Or do you have another option?
Post # 3
honestly, i prefer the table visits. the last wedding i went to did the table visits during dinner and since it was a buffet that helped a lot with the pacing so everyone was still eating after the bride and groom finished their meals and started the table visits. they also took that time to personally hand out the favors which was a really nice touch.
i went to one wedding that did a receiving line and honestly, i just hung out in the back of our church and waited it out because it was just a mess. if you’re looking for another option, one wedding i went to, after the recessional, the couple came back in and greeted the guests as they left the pews, so they essentially excused us from our seats if you will. that was cool and another option for you.
Post # 4
I like table visits rather than receiving lines too. Besides the terribly long wait, something just rubs me the wrong way about having to stand in line just to talk to someone that I’m good friends with. Then again, we’re only having 7-8 tables, so it might be different with lots of people.
Post # 5
Piehan17 – We’re having 150 people or so. So it’s not too big. I just want to have the same quality time with the first table as with the first. Our friends this weekend basically just waived to our table because they know that we understand and Aunt Whoever won’t understand. I totally understood, but I don’t want to have to do that.
Tea – I really like the idea of going back to the pews after the recessional. It seems a little more personal than the receiving line. But, I think I’d rather have that post-ceremony moment for us to freak out about actually being married!
Post # 6
No receiving line! We actually want to have some time to talk with our friends, not the 30 seconds or so you get in line. And for family that one or the other of us doesn’t know, we are pretty sure we won’t even remember them after just shaking hands.
Its a lot more work for the bride and groom to go table to table, but if you think of it as getting to socialize with your guests rather than as another set of boxes to be checked off I don’t see why it should be stressful. We are both pretty social, so I’m thinking it will be a lot of fun.
Post # 7
We are also doing table visits during the entree, that way we know people will be at the table eating and enjoying their meals and it gives us a chance to say hello them. Granted that means Fiance and I and our head tables won’t get to eat, but isn’t the wedding all about the guests anyways?!
Post # 8
We are totally doing a receiving line…we’re only going to have about 80 guests so I think it will go quickly and it’s just going to be Fiance and me…not a long line of people nobody knows. We’re having our wedding at a historic inn so I love the idea of greeting everyone at the door and welcoming them to our reception and pointing them towards the dining room. For me it’s like greeting guests at the door of your home. This is probably more impractical if you’re having a 200 person wedding.
Personally when I’ve been at a wedding having the bride/groom come around to the table has seemed so forced and like the bride and groom are just seeing how quickly they can get on to the next table. Plus most of the time the bride and groom never eat and there’s no way I’m missing out on our food.
Post # 9
Is anyone else here in support of receiving lines? I kind of don’t want to waste our "picture time" in between the ceremony and the reception ushering the guests out of the church. And I’m also positive that I’m going to be starving and will want to eat the dinner at my reception.
We’re thinking about arriving at the reception before everyone else (we have approx. 1.5 hours in between) and greeting everyone as they walk in. That way, we get to enjoy our cocktail hour too, and we get the handshakes knocked out right away.
Is this a bad idea? I’m sure I’m missing something here.
Post # 10
Most of the weddings that I attended, people don’t get to say much when going from table to table except "congratulations" and toasting. The thing that stood out in my mind at one friend’s wedding was that she spent the entire evening going from table to table. She told me that in hindsight, she wished she took a step back and enjoyed her wedding more. You spend so much money and energy planning the event, it’d be a shame to let it fly by.
I didn’t do a receiving line (destination wedding). And based on several friends’ experiences, I didn’t do table visits either (guests do appreciate them but most friends know that you are under a time constraint and don’t care about it – there are plenty of opportunities to catch up some other time). We had 240 people at the reception and 5 hours to party. We mingled with guests during cocktail hour (so we got a chance to chat with a bunch of people) and then stayed out on the dance floor all night long. Most of our guests joined us out there.
Post # 11
I think its totally your preference. I don’t like the receiving line when I’m a guest. Its not so much the wait in line that bothers me, although that can be long if there are lots of guests. But I usually want to say hello and best wishes to the bride and groom, and maybe I also know one set of parents or a few of the bridal party. Shaking hands with the rest of the line, and introducing myself without the chance to actually chat, seems pointless to me. The people in line that I didn’t know will absolutely not remember my name later, and vice versa. As a guest I would rather get to talk to the bride and groom for a few minutes later during the reception, and skip shaking hands with the bridal party.
As the bride and groom, Fiance and I really don’t want to meet each other’s extended family in a line. So we will just circulate and try to spend a little time with everyone. We will probably have around 14 tables, so that is absolutely do-able during our cocktail hour and reception, still leaving time for dinner and dancing.
I think you just have to figure out what works best for you and your guests – its totally a matter of personal preference.
Post # 12
- Wedding: July 2007 - Rosary Chapel & Monterey Marriott, Monterey, CA
We did a receiving line with just "us" … it only took about 10 minutes total. THEN… at dinner, we visited every table and made sure we said hi to everyone again. We had 140 guests.
I wish we had even more time to spend with our guests… it all flies by so quickly. I’ve been to many weddings where greeting guests was an impossible task due to guest count or time limitations… so they didn’t do it. I don’t remember those events as weddings, but rather as parties.
Post # 13
Cocktails and tables. Our cocktail is an hour and a half so we plan on taking a few pictures directly after the ceremony and than mingle with our guess during the cocktail hour. We personally want our guess to fully enjoy the extended cocktail hour and not have to wait in the sun to go thru the receiving line and miss out on it. We will also mingle with them table to table just so we can be a bit more personal with our guest.
Post # 14
- Wedding: May 2008 - United Methodist Cathedral & historic downtown hotel in Cleveland
I’m actually in support of a (small- just bride and groom) receiving line. My favorite, though, was where the bride and groom actually greeted everyone at the beginning of the reception.
I’ve actually waited for awhile at weddings for people to go around table to table, and have felt trapped waiting for the bride and groom to arrive.
Post # 15
Plus if you do the table visits, you give everyone a chance to rave about the party you’re throwing.
Post # 16
I think my favorite is the release from the pew example. People are sitting so there not as antsy, and I think its such a sweet moment. You seriously JUST got married – so the congratulations seem so genuine (like really – you just did that!). I want to do a picture which each table too – but I might not do a full blown visit. This has gotten me thinking 25 tables – that’s a lot of time….