Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Table visits

Could someone explain to me- at a table visit, do you go up to each person there and thank them? Or do you just stop by the table and chat naturally with people? The first seems kind of forced but the second might not be enough. Our tables vary from 6-12 people at each. I wasn't planning on doing a receiving line although we probably could. Which do people prefer?
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Re: Table visits

  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Both, kind of. The thank you just comes naturally as you go around and say, "I'm so glad you could make it!" etc sort of to the whole table, and then people individually chat with you. Some get up and hug you; some don't. I liked it. 
    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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  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    How big is your wedding?  We had a medium sized wedding (80 guests) and actually did BOTH a receiving line and table visits.

    The receiving line moved quickly and allowed us to make sure we said hello and thank you to everyone and allowed us to enjoy our dinner.  In between courses we still visited with tables, but it was a much more low key event and we didn't have to worry about if someone was missing from the table or if we missed a table in the middle.

    As long as you do one or the other you are fine.  
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  • So "great to see you!" or "so glad you could make it" count as well as "thank you for coming"? Of course I want to spend time with each person but the requirement to specifically thank them was making me a bit nervous. Hopefully I will get a good chance to talk with everyone. 
    Thanks for the input!
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  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    So "great to see you!" or "so glad you could make it" count as well as "thank you for coming"? Of course I want to spend time with each person but the requirement to specifically thank them was making me a bit nervous. Hopefully I will get a good chance to talk with everyone. 
    Thanks for the input!
    I think you are over thinking this.  :)  As you approach each table look around and smile/wave do what comes naturally.  If someone gets up to hug you, hug them back as long as you are comfortable.  Say a generic "thank you for coming" to the whole table and chit chat for a few minutes.  "Sally, your son is getting so tall!  Bob, I haven't seen you in forever.  Isn't it a beautiful day?"  

    You just need to spend a few minutes at each table (especially if you have a larger wedding) to greet everyone and thank them for coming.  Someone may comment on how pretty you look, or how sweet it is that your DH cried during the vows, but otherwise it will be "Congratulations, we're so happy for you!"
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  • AprilH81 We have 70 so maybe a receiving line is doable. I like the idea of not having to worry about missing someone among all the tables with stuff going on. Thanks! 
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    AprilH81
  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    AprilH81 We have 70 so maybe a receiving line is doable. I like the idea of not having to worry about missing someone among all the tables with stuff going on. Thanks! 
    With 70 people I would do a receiving line...  It might take 15 minutes, but probably not that long and then it lessens the pressure for the table visits so you can relax during the meal portion of the reception.

    You should still do your best to mix and mingle throughout the event, but with the receiving line completed you are 100% in the clear to not do the table visits if you don't want to.
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    Hysilvinialithibelleelabear
  • Yes, you're definitely overthinking this. As long as you make an effort to say thank you to every guest, you're fine!

    At our wedding, we had an impromptu receiving line after the ceremony. During the reception, we bounced from table to table to chat with folks and say thank you. We divided and conquered—he chatted with his family and friends and I chatted with mine. Guests also made an effort to come up to us, especially if they were leaving early, so we had another chance to say thanks.
  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Oh, and the receiving line should just be you and your husband.  Possibly the parents, but do not have the bridal party be involved.  It would be awkward for everyone and it slows everything down.
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    leelabear
  • AprilH81 We don't have any wedding party, so I will see if the parents are into the idea. Thanks for the tips!
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  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    AprilH81 We don't have any wedding party, so I will see if the parents are into the idea. Thanks for the tips!
    I would just let your parents mingle during cocktail hour and the reception to greet their friends and family.  With a small wedding that will be easy to do and will allow the receiving line to move faster.  

    This is just my opinion, there isn't anything wrong with having them there if you want it that way.
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  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I think you're overthinking table visits. The goal of tables visits/receiving line is to make sure that you say hi to every guest. It can be weird for guests if they spent time/money/effort attending your wedding and they don't even get to talk to you for a moment on your wedding day. However, you're not, like, The Worst Person if you aren't able to visit every table, or if a guest is temporarily missing when you get to their table. At the last wedding I went to, the bride got sucked into so many conversations that she wasn't able to make it to our table, so I just made sure to find her and congratulate her/say hi before the night was over.
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  • We plan on doing the receiving line. I want to make sure everyone is thanked or greeted by us. I don't want to walk around to every table, worry that I missed someone because they left early, were in the bathroom, buffet line, etc. Also, I have some family members that I don't like to hang around and if I have to go table to table, it is more likely they will corner me, trap me, and try to talk to me for an hour. Sorry Aunt Bertha but that is too long for a 4 hour reception. 

    If we do the receiving line, they cant talk too long because the person behind then will be pressuring them to hurry up before too long. During the reception I can enjoy myself. I can talk with whoever I want, about whatever I want, and for as long as I want while avoiding certain people. 

    If this sounds mean then you can try being related to these certain family members (the alcoholic, the selfish brat with passive aggressive insulting remarks, the grandfather that re-gifts everything you ever gave him and usually can't remember your name). All they get from me is a "hi, thank you for coming". 
  • Also, we plan on doing the receiving line with just the two of us. Our parents and wedding party aren't the type of people interested in that sort of thing. So we aren't making them.
  • I hate receiving lines. The last thing I want to do is wait on a line.
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