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S/O: Receiving line and table stops

First, um, what's a receiving line? I know the point of it but does every guest stand in a row and you go by one by one (I picture this looking like a graduation: shake with your right hand, take the scroll in the left and smile for the camera)?

Table stops: Do you typically do this DURING dinner? After you eat? Are the guests still eating?



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Re: S/O: Receiving line and table stops

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    The way I've seen it done is the bride and groom leave the church, stand right outside the church doors, and greet each guest as they exit.  

    We had our ceremony at our reception location.  We did table visits.  We sat down, had our salad, then got up and visited some tables.  Then when the main course came out, we made sure we ate right away, then got up and visited the rest of the tables.  Yes, guests were still eating, and that's the only way I've ever seen it.....at no other time will all the guests be seated for you to thank them.

    If you are doing a receiving line, no need for table visits.  And vice versa.
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    We ate and then did table visits.
    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
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    We chose table visits over having a receiving line.  Not everyone goes to the church so we saw more people there.  We were served at the head table while everyone else went through the buffet so we finished eating first.  As soon as everyone was seated from the buffet we did MOH & BM toasts and then we began table visits.  We started with who ate first so we pretty much got to every table as they were finishing dinner.
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    Receiving lines are the bride, groom and any other "hosts" like the brides' parents or both sets in a line outside the church.  As the guests come out, they shake hands, maybe hug with the bride, groom and whoever else and say a few nice words about the ceremony while the bride and groom and whoever else thank them for coming. 

    Table visits are usually done while the guests are eating since that's when they're all sitting down.  I have seen it done during a cocktail hour since the guests were all seated and the couple did their pictures pre-ceremony but that only worked because everyone was seated.  If you do table visits you should make sure you and your FI get fed first so you can catch people still seated but have a wee bit of time to scarf your dinner.
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    Ah I see. And if there's no church there's no receiving line?



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    we did table visits throughout the reception.  Husband and I split up so he took one side and I took the other side, but each made a point to see every table. I liked this because even though we could not have extended conversations we were still able to see everyone and converse a bit. 
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    Ive only seen the receiving line at a church wedding that I went too.  But after the ceremony the couple and possibly immediate family and bridal party stand outside and talk to everyone as they are leaving.  It could take pretty long depending on how many people are there, but its almost guaranteed you will at least get to talk to everyone.

    We unsuccessfully did table stops.  I don't think its possible to visit every table if you are having over a hundred guests. 

    One other wedding we went to did table stops.  Every other wedding - we just saw the couple at some point during the reception.  Ive never been to a wedding with less than 130 ppl

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    Ah I see. And if there's no church there's no receiving line?
    You could.  It depends on your venue.  We had our ceremony in a sectioned off part of the main room and that part of the room had to be changed over to the during the cocktail hour so the venue really needed the guests out fairly quickly.  We also didn't want them to miss out on the cocktail hour going on! 

    We left the ceremony room and went straight to the bridal suite.  We were able to have a glass of champagne, bustle my dress and enjoy a few minutes together before joining our guests at the cocktail hour.
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    There are two ways to do a receiving line.

    One is when the B&G (and possibly WP and parents) wait outside the church/ or ceremony site (doesn't have to be a church) and greet/thank guests on their way out.

    Second, is for the B&G (and possibly WP and parents) to greet guests as they enter the reception venue. 

    My FI and I will be doing a receiving line as guests exit the ceremony room. We are having our ceremony and reception at the same venue, but guests must leave the ceremony room so it can be transitioned over for the reception, so we will greet guests at this point.

    My cousin married a man of Italian descent, and in his family's culture, the B&G (with WP) receive their guests into the reception and at the end of the line the guests each take a shot of something (I don't even remember what it was...but something strong). 

    Table visits are usually done at some point in between courses, or after the main meal but before dessert. 
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    SP29 said:
    There are two ways to do a receiving line.

    One is when the B&G (and possibly WP and parents) wait outside the church/ or ceremony site (doesn't have to be a church) and greet/thank guests on their way out.

    Second, is for the B&G (and possibly WP and parents) to greet guests as they enter the reception venue. 

    My FI and I will be doing a receiving line as guests exit the ceremony room. We are having our ceremony and reception at the same venue, but guests must leave the ceremony room so it can be transitioned over for the reception, so we will greet guests at this point.

    My cousin married a man of Italian descent, and in his family's culture, the B&G (with WP) receive their guests into the reception and at the end of the line the guests each take a shot of something (I don't even remember what it was...but something strong). 

    Table visits are usually done at some point in between courses, or after the main meal but before dessert. 
    I'd be wary of having table visits after the main meal.  Once the meal is done, the dance floor is usually open and you'll never have everyone sitting down again.  
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    I meant before "dinner" was finished, before everyone gets up out of their seats. But, the main courses are done so the B&G get to eat, but dessert (not the wedding cake) has been served. 
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    Ah I see. And if there's no church there's no receiving line?

    I've been to a few church weddings where the receiving line has been held off until the reception. The B&G stood outside the doors to the ballroom and received their guests as they transitioned from cocktail hour to the dinner.
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    From an etiquette perspective, a formal wedding reception is just like any other formal party, and the same rules apply. The hostess and optionally the host should greet every guest as he or she arrives, and introduce him or her to the guests of honour. Any time you have more than about thirty guests, the easiest way to accomplish this is to stand by the door with your guests of honour, so that the guests pass directly by you as they come in. You greet them, and introduce them to your husband if necessary, who introduces them to the first guest of honour, and so on down the line. If you have a good support system of socially-experienced friends and relatives, they circulate near the end of the line so that as people emerge out the end, they can shepherd them off to various conversation groupings and introduce them to three or four more people, thereby preventing the lonely-wallflower effect and also preventing traffic jams as guests come to the end of the receiving line and wonder "now what do I do".

    Standard etiquette holds it to be "not quite proper" to have a receiving line at the church. You are not the hostess at the church: the vicar or pastor is. That practice derives from the old practice of having receptions in the adjoining church hall: guests would file out of the church and greet the pastor at the exit, then walk a few steps into the hall and start greeting their hosts as they entered the reception venue.

    Standard etiquette also frowns on people getting up and wandering around during a formal meal. In fact, at high formal meals, getting up from the table for any reason short of a medical emergency is a social solecism (so go to the bathroom before you sit down!) The hosts, of course, can get up to serve a special dish -- that is considered a special honour to the guests that they serve, since most serving is done by servants or wait-staff. So the hosts, or the new young couple acting on behalf of their hosts if the bride's parents are hosting, can pass the cake or some other sweetmeat (often Jordan Almonds). It really constitutes "table visits", but hides under the excuse of being part of the meal.

    If you are having dancing, that is another excuse for visiting. Technically each gentleman present should invite every lady present to dance. That means the bride would get a one-dance visit with each gentleman; and the groom would get a one-dance visit with each lady. At most private formal parties this is quite reasonable, because many ladies will decline the invitation (but still have a few seconds to chat over the course of the invitation), so there need take only be twenty or thirty dance-tunes to fulfill the obligation. For the modern three-hundred-guest mega-wedding it would be challenging but then, perhaps that is why some brides are planning eight-hour-long parties or longer.
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    First, um, what's a receiving line? I know the point of it but does every guest stand in a row and you go by one by one (I picture this looking like a graduation: shake with your right hand, take the scroll in the left and smile for the camera)?

    Table stops: Do you typically do this DURING dinner? After you eat? Are the guests still eating?
    Receiving line is right outside the church of either the whole wedding party or just bride and groom. We're doing just bride and groom because my parents want some sort of receiving line. Basically the guests oogle over the dress and tell you congrats and gives you a chance to thank them for coming, give a hug and smile.

    Table stops: You do it during dinner because you want everyone in one spot (in their seats). The bride and groom get their meals served first so this lets them be able to eat first and done before everyone else. The guests are usually still eating esp. if you're serving cake as dessert
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