Reception Ideas

Receiving Line and Photos - or Table Visits?

All of our portraits will be taken directly after the ceremony. How would we manage/time the receiving line around this? My parents are not hosting, so we would like only the bride and groom to be in the receiving line to speed things along. We need the wedding party and our entire family to be in photos, however. How do we manage this, and not have them just standing around waiting for us for 20 minutes?

Our wedding will be a cocktail reception with about 110 guests. The reception is located straight down a hallway through double doors to the reception hall. I'm very open to table visits, but since our reception is only about 3, maybe 3 and a half hours not including photography time and we still have all the traditional works and dancing, it seems to me like table visits to everyone aren't very realistic. Our guests are very laidback, and I know the groom and I would love the time to just hang out with them.

Thoughts?




Wedding Countdown Ticker

KnotRiley
«1

Re: Receiving Line and Photos - or Table Visits?

  • downtondivadowntondiva
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    edited August 2016
    I'm not a big fan of receiving lines since they do tend to involve a fair amount of standing around. We did table visits at our wedding since our venue didn't really have an appropriate place to do receiving lines and kind of discouraged them. We started the table visits during the salad course, then ate our dinner, then did the rest. It did not take very long since we had a pretty small wedding, but I think even with 110 guests you could pull it off without it taking up the entire reception. Keep in mind that the point of the table visits is to thank your guests for coming, so you can keep each one pretty brief; it's not necessarily a time to get into long discussions with anyone. If you want to catch up more with some people, you can always go back and do that once you've visited all the tables. 
    image
    ernursejcrowsgirl15zitiqueen
  • I would try and get a few photos done before the ceremony. Your photographer could do all the shots of the girls you are wanting and even some with your parents. Then you would only have true family portraits and the whole wedding party left to do after the ceremony.

    I would skip the receiving line and just go for table visits. I've seen B+Gs start with 3 tables as the salad course is being served or first few tables are going up the buffet, sit and eat that course, then do a bigger batch of tables while next course is being served, sit and eat that course, do a batch of tables while dessert is being served or after cake is cut if that is your dessert and then do the final tables before you open the dance floor. I'm thinking that you probably would have about 13-15 tables if you have 8 at a table and a few open spots. That should be easy to break down in groups.

    laurad75
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    I always prefer table visits. I've always felt so awkward standing in line waiting to see the couple.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
    Knottie1470368383ShesSoColdzitiqueen
  • I'll make a case for receiving lines. They move quickly and you make sure that you thank everyone for coming. You rarely miss anyone this way. 

     If you're having a cocktail reception will people all be seated at tables at the same time or will people be mingling/walking around with passed apps? I would worry about missing people doing table visits this way. Table visits IMO work well with seated, plated dinners, but if not everyone sits at the same time you run the risk of missing tables.
    PrettyGirlLostCMGragainCasadena
  • I actually don't mind receiving lines as a guest (so long as they don't include the whole wedding party - I have no interest in meeting the groom's old college roommate or the bride's cousin whom I will never see again).  And it's not like it's going to take that long.  You're not catching up on old times, you're just greeting and thanking people - people who are anxious to get their drink on and you're in the way - there won't be much lingering.  My friend had 325 guests and I was at the end of the receiving line and I say it took 20-25 minutes at most (it may have been less).  110 guests will go through in no time. 

    Plus, you say it's a cocktail reception, so I image it's a buffet where people go up whenever they want and mingle at their leisure?  I think that will make table visits harder because you're likely to miss people as they are going back and forth between the bar and buffet.  I think table visits are easier when it's an actual meal where you get served first and then can visit tables while others are still eating or between courses.  With a cocktail reception, you're going to have a harder time keeping track of who you still need to get to if they weren't at a table at the time you visited.

    That said, where are the pictures taking place?  Having the people you need for pictures hang out for 15-20 minutes isn't that big of a deal.  Is there a bridal suite or other small room at the venue where they can hang out - you can have some pop, water, some veggie or cheese/cracker trays in there while they wait.  Or they can grab a drink at the bar first.  It's not like they'll be waiting for hours on end.  If you can get some of the pictures done before the ceremony, that will help, too.
    charlotte989875PrettyGirlLost
  • SP29SP29
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    I am also a fan of receiving lines. Personally, I find it awkward if the B&G (or anyone) comes over to talk and I have a mouth full of food. I also find it awkward to communicate when I am sitting and the person I am talking to is standing- feels "not right".

    Have your receiving line out of the ceremony space. After your recessional, stand by the exit doors, and thank guests as they file out of their seats out of the ceremony room. Your family/WP wouldn't have to wait too long for you to be ready for pics as everyone needs to get out of the room anyway, and usually people will chat for a few minutes afterward. Then do your photos. 110 people shouldn't take more than 15 mins.

    Otherwise I would say have your receiving line into the reception, but I see that won't work for you! (I initially assumed you wrote cocktail hour then reception).

    You can absolutely do table visits, but as said, I would be worried with it being a cocktail reception that you might miss guests who are up and about.
    charlotte989875PrettyGirlLostCasadena
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    I generally prefer table visits, but if you're worried about missing guests at a cocktail reception, a receiving line would work better.

    Can you do it outside your ceremony venue right before you go to the reception?
    PrettyGirlLost
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    We did table visits.  What helped TREMENDOUSLY was our DOC.  She joined us and kept us on schedule.  We got 1.5 - 2 minutes per table, then she gently moved us along.   It was great because she got to be the "bad guy".



    Anniversary
  • We did table visits after dinner. We did some before cake and some afterwards. Some of the visits we used as bringing over cake - like to the older guests - so it worked for us.

    I prefer table visits because you can sit and chat with people better.
    OurWildKingdom
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    member
    I had a cocktail style reception in a mansion and we did a receiving line because that was the only way we could be sure we would catch everyone to thank them. 

    Doing table visits would not have worked because the tables were spread out over multiple rooms on the 1st floor of our venue, and then there was also a 2nd bar and photobooth in the wine cellar.

    Our receiving line was just us and our parents and it occurred during the end of cocktail hour as our food stations were being set up, so that people could pop in and out of line as they wanted to, with drinks and apps in hand!


    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    We had an impromptu receiving line at the back of the area where the ceremony was held.  It doubled as the bar line too.  :)   Those who skip the bar (only because someone else was getting their drinks) we made sure we stopped by their table.     

    I do not mind receiving lines.   I also grew up going to Catholic mass.  You always had a line trying to get out of the church. Sometimes had to shake the priest's hand.   Receiving lines at weddings were pretty much the same.  If you wanted to skip the line you just went out another door.    Again, not a big deal too me.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    PrettyGirlLostCMGragain
  • We are planning a receiving line beacuse I also hate when the B&G come up while I am eating. Our venue lends itself to a natural funnel when people enter the reception from cocktail hour. FH and I will stand by the door while everyone goes in to find their seat. 
    charlotte989875PrettyGirlLostCMGragain
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited August 2016
    CaitFins said:
    All of our portraits will be taken directly after the ceremony. How would we manage/time the receiving line around this? My parents are not hosting, so we would like only the bride and groom to be in the receiving line to speed things along. We need the wedding party and our entire family to be in photos, however. How do we manage this, and not have them just standing around waiting for us for 20 minutes?

    Our wedding will be a cocktail reception with about 110 guests. The reception is located straight down a hallway through double doors to the reception hall. I'm very open to table visits, but since our reception is only about 3, maybe 3 and a half hours not including photography time and we still have all the traditional works and dancing, it seems to me like table visits to everyone aren't very realistic. Our guests are very laidback, and I know the groom and I would love the time to just hang out with them.

    Thoughts?

    The photographer won't wait until your guests leave the ceremony site?  I don't understand this at all.  Immediately after the ceremony, you greet your guests in the receiving line.  They go to the reception and you get your pictures taken.

    What time of day is your wedding?  What is a cocktail reception?  No food?
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    InLoveInQueens
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    member
    Cocktail reception usually means hors d'oeuvres. 
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited August 2016
    Yes, and we served hors d'oeuvres before the brunch reception.  They are often served before the dinner reception, too.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hors d'oeuvre

    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • CMGragain said:
    Yes, and we served hors d'oeuvres before the brunch reception.  They are often served before the dinner reception, too.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hors d'oeuvre

    Regardless, a cocktail reception typically means some sort of appetizers or hors d'doeurves and some sort of drinks. No full meal is served. 
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited August 2016
    Ironring said:
    CMGragain said:
    Yes, and we served hors d'oeuvres before the brunch reception.  They are often served before the dinner reception, too.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hors d'oeuvre

    Regardless, a cocktail reception typically means some sort of appetizers or hors d'doeurves and some sort of drinks. No full meal is served. 
    This may be something that some people do, but it isn't a substitute fo a reception at meal time, which is why I asked about the wedding time.

    I have searched the internet.  A cocktail party is one hour long, and it is usually one where business is discussed, people socialize, and drinks and hors d'oeuvres are served.  The traditional time for this is early evening, never in the afternoon.  This is why, at wedding receptions, it is called a "cocktail hour" and is before the meal.

    This may be simply a misnomer.  If the reception includes a lot of foods and drinks, then it is a buffet reception, either luncheon or dinner, and it is fine.
     
    To serve some hors d'oeuvres and drinks at a meal time is not a proper wedding reception, and the OP said she expected her reception to last three hours or more.  For cocktails?  No.

    If the reception is held in the mid afternoon, which is not a meal time, then a tea reception would be fine with cake, punch, and finger foods, but it would not last three hours.

    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • I just researched cocktail parties to make sure my information was not out of date, and it isn't.
    Cocktail parties are not wedding receptions.  Wedding receptions are not cocktail parties.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • CMGragain said:
    I just researched cocktail parties to make sure my information was not out of date, and it isn't.
    Cocktail parties are not wedding receptions.  Wedding receptions are not cocktail parties.
    Maybe this is just a miscommunication in titles. But I've been to many (and heard about many) cocktail wedding receptions. It's exactly as described by the OP and @SP29. There's been no issues with the guests understanding what it is. 
    SP29STARMOON44
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    5000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    Viczaesar said:
    Ironring said:
    CMGragain said:
    I just researched cocktail parties to make sure my information was not out of date, and it isn't.
    Cocktail parties are not wedding receptions.  Wedding receptions are not cocktail parties.
    Maybe this is just a miscommunication in titles. But I've been to many (and heard about many) cocktail wedding receptions. It's exactly as described by the OP and @SP29. There's been no issues with the guests understanding what it is. 
    And there is nothing wrong with it as long as it's not at a meal time, or if it's at a meal time there's enough food to constitute a meal.
    In another thread, OP states her ceremony is at 1:30 PM.  She stated that the length of the reception was intended to end prior to the start of an expected meal time.  Works for me.  Sounds lovely.
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited August 2016
    MobKaz said:
    Viczaesar said:
    Ironring said:
    CMGragain said:
    I just researched cocktail parties to make sure my information was not out of date, and it isn't.
    Cocktail parties are not wedding receptions.  Wedding receptions are not cocktail parties.
    Maybe this is just a miscommunication in titles. But I've been to many (and heard about many) cocktail wedding receptions. It's exactly as described by the OP and @SP29. There's been no issues with the guests understanding what it is. 
    And there is nothing wrong with it as long as it's not at a meal time, or if it's at a meal time there's enough food to constitute a meal.
    In another thread, OP states her ceremony is at 1:30 PM.  She stated that the length of the reception was intended to end prior to the start of an expected meal time.  Works for me.  Sounds lovely.
    Great!  This is a cake and punch reception (technically a tea reception) where cocktails are being served.  It is simply a misnomer.
    No, there are not "cocktail wedding receptions", but yes, there are lots of receptions where cocktails are served.  The OP is fine with her plans!  Timing is everything!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    MobKaz said:
    Viczaesar said:
    Ironring said:
    CMGragain said:
    I just researched cocktail parties to make sure my information was not out of date, and it isn't.
    Cocktail parties are not wedding receptions.  Wedding receptions are not cocktail parties.
    Maybe this is just a miscommunication in titles. But I've been to many (and heard about many) cocktail wedding receptions. It's exactly as described by the OP and @SP29. There's been no issues with the guests understanding what it is. 
    And there is nothing wrong with it as long as it's not at a meal time, or if it's at a meal time there's enough food to constitute a meal.
    In another thread, OP states her ceremony is at 1:30 PM.  She stated that the length of the reception was intended to end prior to the start of an expected meal time.  Works for me.  Sounds lovely.
    I know that.  I was talking about cocktail receptions in general.



  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited August 2016
    Viczaesar said:
    CMGragain said:
    MobKaz said:
    Viczaesar said:
    Ironring said:
    CMGragain said:
    I just researched cocktail parties to make sure my information was not out of date, and it isn't.
    Cocktail parties are not wedding receptions.  Wedding receptions are not cocktail parties.
    Maybe this is just a miscommunication in titles. But I've been to many (and heard about many) cocktail wedding receptions. It's exactly as described by the OP and @SP29. There's been no issues with the guests understanding what it is. 
    And there is nothing wrong with it as long as it's not at a meal time, or if it's at a meal time there's enough food to constitute a meal.
    In another thread, OP states her ceremony is at 1:30 PM.  She stated that the length of the reception was intended to end prior to the start of an expected meal time.  Works for me.  Sounds lovely.
    Great!  This is a cake and punch reception (technically a tea reception) where cocktails are being served.  It is simply a misnomer.
    No, there are not "cocktail wedding receptions", but yes, there are lots of receptions where cocktails are served.  The OP is fine with her plans!  Timing is everything!
    No, I don't think is is.  If there are cocktails and nibbles it's a cocktail reception.  There may or may not be cake, punch, or tea.  Why are you so hung up on the name?  Why do you think a cocktail reception can't be in the afternoon?
    Can luncheon be at 8:00 PM?  Can breakfast be at midnight?  Mid afternoon is tea time.
    There is no such thing as a "cocktail reception".  There is a cocktail hour that can be held before a reception.  Cocktails are mixed drinks, and they can be served at any time, but by old school rules, after 5:00 PM.  I'm not holding on to old school rules here.
    Many young people do not understand what a cocktail party actually is.  I posted a link on a good definition earlier.  Cocktails can be served at any kind of party, but that doesn't make them "cocktail parties" unless they fit the definition.  ONE HOUR.
    I attended a few when I lived in the Washington, DC area. Out here in the west, they are unknown.
    As I said, there is nothing wrong with the OP's plans, now that I know what time of day her reception is being held.
    What, no cake?
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited August 2016
    Actually, they are not called "cake and punch receptions", either!  Tea reception is the proper term, because afternoon is tea time, and hors d'oeuvres are often served with tea, coffee, punch, mimosas, etc.  I guess I should be more consistent.  Of course, you aren't supposed to put what kind of reception you are having on the invitation.  Just "Reception to follow."
    I am happy that OP is having her reception in the afternoon.  Nothing wrong with it.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards