Minnesota-Minneapolis and St. Paul

Friday wedding help

With reading the last post about so many Friday weddings and Sundays...I need some input on some things.  This may help other brides who are having a Friday wedding.

Facts:  Ceremony starting @ 6:30 and hopefully only lasting 30 min.  We are catholic, but not doing mass.  If we set a time frame, our priest will stick to it.  Reception venue is approx 20 min away from ceremony site.

Help needed on:
To do or not to do a receiving line.  This will take some time and cut into the reception.  Our priest thought of an idea of having us greet the guests as they arrived.  At first I was agaisn't...but now I am wondering if it's not that bad of an idea.  I don't like to be the center of attention and it makes me ill thinking about all our guest starring @ me walking down the aisle.  I was thinking if I greet them before...maybe it will calm my nervous.  Thoughts??  If we do not do a receiving line, is it weird that the ushers will not be ushering everyone out of the chapel?  If we didn't do one, then the WP would all get on the bus ASAP to head out.

We are doing food stations, buffet style.  Carved meat that you can make sandwiches or eat just plain, mashed potato bar, fruit and veggie trays, etc.   Do we make the reception more as a seating style or have both standing table and seated tables?  Do we have a head table?  FI and I were thinking of having tables for everyone (including head table) so that everyone can take a seat to eat and for when we do speeches.  If we do it that way, do we do assigned seating so everyone knows they should sit down even though it's a heavy hors d'oeuvre type of reception.

I want to create a timeline to figure it all out but it's hard to figure out.  And I would like the dance to be longer than just 2 hours.

Note: The music has to stop and the alcohol has to stop flowing @ midnight and we have to be out by 1.
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Re: Friday wedding help

  • edited December 2011
    I'm kind of in the same boat as you.  Our ceremony is at 6pm in Eagan and reception is in Mpls at the PEC.  We're not planning on doing a recieving line, but we're going to head straight to the PEC and greet our guests as they arrive there.  We're not really doing a cocktail hour so we're going to start dinner as soon as everyone has arrived.  We're doing a plated meal.  Hopefully, dinner will start around 7:30 so dancing can start about 8:30-9pm and dance will last until 1am.  We have to be out by 2am
    Hitched! 09.30.11
  • FutureMrsS13FutureMrsS13 member
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    i, personally love the idea of you greeting others in.... I really like that idea!!!!!!!!  I like ur food station idea also. My best friend is going to do that for her wedding also. I think having a head table and tables for guest is a great idea because then everyone can sit and you also have a place to relax and eat too!. And also setting for speeches.

     Good luck!!!! :)
  • edited December 2011
    I'm right there with you ladies & now I'm second guessing everything we had decided on!  = /

    - We're doing a Catholic ceremony at 5pm w/o a full mass, which our church lady told us will take 40-45 minutes. 
    - We aren't doing a receiving line to save on time, as it can add an hour or longer to everything. 
    - Our reception site is 20 minutes away from the church, but may be shorter, if they finish building 610 before September.
    - We aren't having a cocktail hour, but were planning on getting apples, along with chocolate & caramel dips to tide people over before we get there.  The beverage service & DJ will already be there at this time.
    - When we get there, I'm thinking around 6:45-7pm, we will be announced as husband & wife & literally head straight to the buffet, to get dinner started.  Then the WP, then family.  We're going to have the DJ call the rest of the guests up by their table numbers, so there isn't a mad rush to get food. 
    - We're going to eat & then go vist with people as soon as we're finished.
    - We aren't having our food catered, but do have helpers who are going to refill all the food & help with clean up.
    - We're hoping to have the dance start around 7:30-8.  Music will have to stop at 11:15 or 11:30 at the latest.  So we can get everyone out & start a light clean up, that our venue requires.

    For you, I would skip the receiving line, as it really adds time to how long you'll be at the church & pushes everything else back.  I've never heard of someone greeting the guests as they come in.  But if you & FI are fine with it & you have the time, I say go for it!  It will def. ensure, that you say hi to everyone at the ceremony!  We're not having ushers, so I can't help you on that, other to say, I don't think it's weird for people to not be ushered out.  I think seating for everyone, including a head table is a great idea.  People will want to sit & enjoy their food.  I'm not sure on the assigned seating, but if may not be a bad idea! 
  • newlyseliskinewlyseliski member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    A few of my friends did the receiving line at church (after the mass), but they essentially came back down to the front of church and "dismissed" people by rows, working their way back and greeting them as they exited their pews.  I probably didn't do the greatest job explaining it, but I really liked how it worked and am a bit sad that my church won't let us do a receiving line there! 

    We're going to need to do our greeting of people at the reception and will probably go around to each table during and after dinner before the dance starts and visit with people... that way we can catch everyone in case any people take off before the dance starts!
  • jmkaiserjmkaiser member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Most of the weddings I've been to do a recieving line. Most people I think don't do it before hand because the bride doesn't want people to see her dress until she's walking down the aisle.

    I will not be doing a recieving line just because it makes me extremely uncomfortable--I'm not a touchy feely person and huging or shaking hands with people makes me really uncomfortable (I'm weird I know)

    For your reception I would have enough tables for everyone. Not everyone is going to want to stand all night long so it's nice to have seating for them. But if you want to have the laid back vibe I would just let people seat themselves and not worry about a seating chart.

    Good Luck! Your wedding sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun!
  • edited December 2011
    I would consider not doing one.  Especially with the time crunch.   We didn't have that kind of time crunch but we still didn't do one.  I personally am not a fan.  I don't like the idea of person after person standing in line to say congratulations, etc one after another while the next person waits to greet you.  We just tried our best to make ourselves available during the reception so that people could approach us when they wanted, and to approach people whenever we could, too.
  • maybe984maybe984 member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I do think SOME sort of receiving line is really appreciated, so I would advise against skipping it altogether. I personally wouldn't do it beforehand, just because you're bound to have some older relative pitch a fit about how you're cursing your marriage by being near your not-yet-groom in your dress or something silly.

    However, instead of doing it on the way OUT of the church, maybe you could do it as people GET TO the reception venue? This would mean you'd have to make sure you get to the venue before any of your guests do (are you taking pictures beforehand?) so it could be tricky... but I feel like it would cut down on people's desire to stand there chatting and holding up the line.

    Also, ditto jmkaiser. Have enough tables and seats for everyone, but don't have assigned seats if there's no seated dinner (that's overkill). I wouldn't think you NEED to do a formal head table, unless you really want one... but yeah... people are going to want a place to sit once in a while... and preferably one that they don't have to fight over with other people.
  • drdifabiodrdifabio member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Receiving line - I would do it - depending on how many quests you have.
    Just have quests stay in the pews and then you can walk back in and usher them out. It goes by fast as people wont sit there and talk to you. We went through everyone (about 160 people) in less than 10 min. And it was nice to see everyone if only for a quick second. Unless you REALLY try during the reception it will be really hard to see everyone later.

    I also am not sure that I personally would want to greet guests.
    I needed some down time before the ceremony. The rest of the day you are going to be running around talking to before. I think that before the ceremony it is important to just focus on the fact that you are about to get married. Celebrating with everyone else should come later IMO.

    For the food - this really depends on the kinds of style or reception you want as I think all of the options you listed would work. If you have assigned seats I think it makes it a bit more formal and open seating is a bit more relaxed. If it were me I would still assign tables as people like to have a home base even if they dont spend a lot of time there. Plus then you can guarantee that your parents and people you want up front will get spots and that family can sit together. You could just reserve those tables up front too if you didnt want to assign tables.

    GL!
  • edited December 2011
    I do not think we are doing a receiving line. I think it is kind of a personal preference thing. I haven't really talked to J about it yet, so if he feels strongly about doing one, maybe we will. I do not really want to do one. I am not the type to be all touchy feely, either.
    We are also doing a Friday wedding, with food stations. I think after the ceremony is over, we will probably transition into some sort of cocktail break before they begin serving food. We are doing assigned tables, but not assigned seats. I agree with drd on this one, people like to have a home base and it also guarantees seats for family members to be near each other, etc.
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  • schmoodschmood member
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I did a Friday wedding.  Ceremony only at a catholic church. Started at 6, done by 6:30.  Reception site about 20-25 minutes away.  Cocktail hour 7-8:15.  Dinner served 8:15/8:30.  Speeches around 9.  Then we went around to every table, cut the cake (we did individual cakes on each table) and took a picture of us with each table.  So we used this time as our 'receiving line' if you will.  First dance around 10.  Last call 11:45.  Reception over at midnight.

    I have also seen the bride/groom dismissing each pew - and that has gone pretty well and pretty quickly.  It doesn't allow people to chat real long.  As PP mentioned I don't think it too more than 10-15 minutes. 

    As for seating, I don't know that you'd need to assign seats, but at least make sure there are enough seats for everyone to sit down. 
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