Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Receiving Line at the Reception?

My fiance and I are having the ceremony at the same location as our reception. Would it be awkward if we did the receiving line as everyone entered the reception ballroom approximately 20-30 minutes after the ceremony ended? We're getting married in an old theatre that has a lot of cool stuff to look at in between so I figured 20-30 min to mingle in the lobby and look around wouldn't be too big of a deal. This would give us a chance to do our 20 min with the photographer direclty after the ceremony and then be upstairs to greet everyone. Would this be weird? We have approximately 230 guests that will be attending.

Re: Receiving Line at the Reception?

  • I chose 2, because I understand your venue works like this:
    Theater for reception, can accomodate everyone, and can be closed off
    Lobby for interlude, can accomodate everyone, and can be closed off
    Reception area, can also be closed off

    I'm a bit reluctant to have people standing around for 20 min. with no food or drink, just looking at the museum/lobby, but 20 min. isn't that long.

    I know it won't work unless you can shoo people out of the ceremony area and basically lock them out of the reception area. Otherwise, they'll linger in the ceremony space, distracting you during pictures, and they'll rush to the reception space, claiming seats before you can set up a receiving line.

    I rarely see receiving lines at weddings these days. They're tricky, as you understand, with after-ceremony photos, and once guests stop expecting them, it's hard to corral guests in a way that makes them work.

    This is in contrast to my parents' wedding, where all photos were taken before the ceremony; my parents left the church immediately after the wedding, arrived at the reception site, and had to wait for guests who politely lingered at the church, to give the receiving line time to form.
  • 230 people going through a receiving line will take quite a bit.  I vote skip it and go around to the tables at the reception not to mention your pictures *might* take longer than 20 minutes (we took as many as we could before hand and with a small WP it still took us 45 minutes).
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  • I voted to skip it too.  230 people standing in line waiting to go into the reception hall sounds exhausting to me, both as a WP member and as a guest.

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  • I think we hug each person as they come to the center of the aisle like they will be doing anyway to get up and leave, except we'll greet them at the aisle and make oure way down the benches.  There will be no wedding party, I don't even know of my parents will be there, so I want to avoid anything that highlights that issue.
  • I agree that your pictures might take longer than 20 minutes. Esp if you're not doing a first look. I kind of agree with PP about skipping it and hitting up all the tables at the weddingm 250is a lot to be waiting for the receiving line if you don't have food/drinks for the cocktail hour.
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