Customs and Traditions

Receiving Line or Table Visits After We've Been at Cocktail Hour?

Hi everyone! I'm struggling with deciding how to greet our guests.

We'll be attending the cocktail hour, so one option is to greet arriving guests as a receiving line at the reception venue. But I'm not sure I love the idea of having to stand there and likely miss the whole cocktail hour - plus making our guests wait in a line just to talk to us for a few seconds!

I was considering table visits at the reception, but is that strange when they've already mingled with us at cocktail hour? And I'm nervous that some people find that interruptive when they are eating... Just seems like there's no real good answer!

Open to any thoughts and suggestions whatsoever!

Note: we have about 210 guests.

Re: Receiving Line or Table Visits After We've Been at Cocktail Hour?

  • I would do table visits. Your wedding is large and I'm guessing you're having 10 top tables. Doing 1-2 minutes at each table will allow you to thank everyone for coming in 30ish minutes. Spending 30 seconds with each guest in a receiving line would take 1 hour 45 minutes. 

    While you're at cocktail hour, you can still greet people and thank them for coming. Of course. The table visits will just be to ensure you don't miss anyone. 

    If you do a receiving line at the entrance to cocktail hour (versus as people leave the ceremony, as is often the case), I would have passed apps and passed drinks to serve people in line as they wait to talk to you. Because moving 210 guests through a receiving line with enough time for them to enjoy the food/drink you're hosting for cocktail hour will be challenging.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
  • edited May 25
    is it weird that I have only been to one wedding where either were done? I think it's not very common in my area unfortunately. I was @ a wedding this past weekend where we didn't even get to say hi to the b&g... but that happens @ most weddings I attend so I'm used to it.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • lkevanlkevan
    Name Dropper First Comment
    member
    edited May 26
    Thanks everybody! I think table visits too...

    @OwningAHome1981, that's strange! I can't imagine not being greeted by the couple. Although it definitely takes some of the pressure off them!
    Heffalumpcharlotte989875southernbelle0915InLoveInQueens
  • HeffalumpHeffalump
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    I'm another vote for table visits.  I don't think it will seem strange. 

  • lkevan said:

    Thanks everybody! I think table visits too...

    @OwningAHome1981, that's strange! I can't imagine not being greeted by the couple. Although it definitely takes some of the pressure off them!



    People just try & catch them when they're eating or dancing to say hello. I went to only ONE wedding where they did a receiving line @ the church... it was a super religious wedding though. It was a little strange b/c I had never seen it before. The whole family was hugging all the guests. I'm not big on hugs from people I don't know. It was a wedding I went to with a female friend whose husband couldn't attend and I was single @ the time so she brought me as her date. I thought it was uncomfortable, TBH.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I've never seen a receiving line! I think that's because i don't really attend church weddings. I also vote table visits
  • geebee908geebee908
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    member
    I don't like receiving lines where the whole wedding party is in the line. So awkward to think of even a few words to say to total strangers in a lot of cases. I'd prefer only the bride and groom and perhaps their parents. I'm another vote for table visits.
    DrillSergeantCat
  • SP29SP29
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    I'm usually a fan of a receiving line- I think they are pretty simple, though I do agree, bride and groom (and hosts, if they are others) only. We had a receiving line out of the ceremony, and it was not a religious ceremony.

    However, I can agree that when you have a large guest list, a receiving line could take a long time and table visits are probably better. Table visits won't be weird, and because people are eating it will be natural that you won't stay long. A simple "Hi, thanks for coming, good to see you" will keep you on track.
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited June 5
    Receiving lines were a "must do" until the mid-70s.  If done properly, they don't take long.  Your greet the people and say "Thank you for coming to our wedding.  We will see you at the reception."  You shake hands and turn to the next person in line.  It is considered rude to start a conversation in a receiving line.  If you are having a church wedding, they are usually done outside the church sanctuary, in the narthex. 
    My daughter had one for 130 guests, and it took less than twenty minutes.
    I didn't have one at my own church wedding simply because my FMIL refused to stand in the line with "that bitch" (MOB).  It was a lot more work to be certain that I had spoken to every person there, many of whom I did not know personally.
    I would think it would feel awkward for you to be drinking with guests during your cocktail hour when you had not yet spoken personally to all of them.  It's not like you can blend in.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    edited June 5
    I vote for table visits as well. 

    I have seen only table visits done at the weddings I've been to. I can't remember attending any with receiving lines.
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    member
    I vote table visits, too. I don't think it'll be awkward at all. If you see someone you've already spoken with, just say, "Thank you, again, for coming. I'm so happy to have you here."
  • I didn't know you were supposed to pick one or the other, so I did both. We did the receiving line after the ceremony. I didn't go to the cocktail hour as that is when we did our pictures. The table visits took much longer as I got caught in some longer conversations at some tables. It may be a know your crowd thing. My family is used to just saying congrats in the receiving line. The table conversations were longer. I had 175 guests. I would guess the receiving line was about 20 min, table visits were closer to an hour.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member


    I didn't know you were supposed to pick one or the other, so I did both. We did the receiving line after the ceremony. I didn't go to the cocktail hour as that is when we did our pictures. The table visits took much longer as I got caught in some longer conversations at some tables. It may be a know your crowd thing. My family is used to just saying congrats in the receiving line. The table conversations were longer. I had 175 guests. I would guess the receiving line was about 20 min, table visits were closer to an hour.


    I think that as long as you do at least one, it's okay if you do both. The important thing is that you need to greet your guests and thank them for coming.
    ILoveBeachMusic
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    Ditto Jen, I would much rather have the couple speak to me twice than not at all!
    InLoveInQueens
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards