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Etiquette

Do I have to visit all tables?

My plan is to join everyone at cocktail hour and make my rounds there to say hello. This means no receiving line and no visiting tables (other then to the elderly who may not be up and about). Anyone else who wants to see me can still come up to me at any time or preferably find me on the dance floor. The past few weddings I have been to the couples did not come to the tables (some were not even at the cocktail hour at all and also did not have a receiving line). However, my mom and grandmom are appalled at my plans. My mom even said her and my dad are expected to go to all of the tables (what??). I am having about 200 people and one friend told me it took her about 45 minutes to visit all the tables. I'm sure the day will be a blur and I want to enjoy it, not spend 1/4th of the reception walking around to tables. 
Summary: Do I have to visit every table during the reception?

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Re: Do I have to visit all tables?

  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer

    You must make the effort to greet and thank every one of your guests. Whether that is a receiving line, talking to everyone at cocktail hour or doing table visits, you must do this.

    These people have taken tons of time, money and effort to celebrate with you. If you want to "enjoy" your wedding and don't want to spend time talking to people, then you shouldn't have invited 200 people.

    This. I think you need to visit every table to make sure you don't miss anyone.
    PrettyGirlLostMairePoppyjaprincess24
  • APDSS22APDSS22 O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A is OK member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I would also try to visit every table, even if only for a couple minutes. We started circulating again because we'd made a whole round and still had missed a couple people.

    If your parents are hosting, they should probably table visit too, though being the wedding couple will make you more of a hot commodity. I think if you don't want to spend time with your guests you shouldn't have invited them.

    If you want people to come to you, you will likely miss any less social guests who might feel they would be interrupting you by butting in on the dance floor.

  • Hmm...ok but isn't it the same chance I'll miss someone at the tables? People are up dancing/getting drinks/bathroom, etc? 
    What do I do then at the cocktail hour? Not go around and say hi to everyone so I'm not repeating it at the tables?

    We only have 15 minutes after the church ceremony before we have to leave so I don't think a receiving line there will work. Also, his family does this tradition where everyone waits outside for us and rings bells when we walk out so they will already be outside and we won't see them when they are leaving the church.

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  • I think you should find a way to do a receiving line. People move through the receiving line faster because there are people behind them, and usually cocktails and food in front of them. It is easy to get held up during table visits or mingling during cocktail hour, so if you are worried about time do a receiving line. Maybe you can beat your guests to the cocktail hour and do the receiving line as they enter.
    image
    misshart00ifeelgoodifeelgreatifeelwonderful[Deleted User]Blue_Bird
  • Not before the ceremony, but we will take some at the church right after and then I figure I can join the cocktail hour before it's over. Maybe the last half hour? The other pictures will just be on site at the country club where the reception is. I gave us a half hour in between when I think the ceremony will end and when the cocktail hour starts so by the time people are done chatting they can head over, check into the hotel there, a half hour will have gone by. 

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  • @liatris2010 Thanks, I really like that idea! I'll have to play around with things to see if I can work the timings out to do that. 

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  • Why invite people if you don't even want to say a quick hello to them? I just don't understand. 
    RebeccaB88Blue_Birdindianaalum
  • I do want to say hello to them...at the cocktail hour and not by visiting all tables. 

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    kgd7357
  • I do want to say hello to them...at the cocktail hour and not by visiting all tables. 
    So how exactly are you going to ensure you see all of your guests during cocktail hour? 

    Also, relevant questions:
    1) When are you taking pictures?
    2) How long will you be at your cocktail hour for?
  • How can there be no gap? The ceremony and reception are not in the same location and I don't know exactly how long the ceremony will go for. People need a half hour to get from one place to the other.

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  • Hi @rebeccaflower, see above about the pictures and I think I'll be there for the last half hour.

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  • There is no way you can greet 200 people (especially not seated) in 30 minutes. Not going to happen. 

    Can you copy & paste your timeline to us so we can help finagle table visits? I think you need to take note from your mom and grandma especially since they obviously know your circle better than we do. 
    ashley8918indianaalum
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    You need to do table visits or the receiving line.  People at my brother's wedding were very upset that the B&G did not do table visits.  Are you doing a buffet or plated dinner?  If plated dinner you can go around to the tables in between eating your dinner courses.  This is what H & I did.  Or as soon as you have finished eating dinner, if a buffet, then start your rounds then.

    An alternative would be to do the receiving line with everyone as they exit cocktail hour for your reception room.

  • Seriously these people traveled to see you on your special day because they love you, likely bought you gifts, etc. - and you don't want to talk to them? Why are they invited then?

    Achievement Unlocked: Survived Your Wedding! 
    indianaalum
  • APDSS22APDSS22 O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A is OK member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer

    Hmm...ok but isn't it the same chance I'll miss someone at the tables? People are up dancing/getting drinks/bathroom, etc? 

    What do I do then at the cocktail hour? Not go around and say hi to everyone so I'm not repeating it at the tables?

    We only have 15 minutes after the church ceremony before we have to leave so I don't think a receiving line there will work. Also, his family does this tradition where everyone waits outside for us and rings bells when we walk out so they will already be outside and we won't see them when they are leaving the church.
    I think if you go around to the tables while food is still on them, you'll catch almost all. If they're in the bathroom you can make an effort to catch up with them a little later.

    I also think it's unlikely that you can properly greet and thank 200 people in about 30 minutes.

    Blue_Bird
  • I'm not sure why people keep commenting that I don't want to say hi to people. 
    This is the first line of my post: "My plan is to join everyone at cocktail hour and make my rounds there to say hello. "
    liatris2010 had a great suggestion.

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  • My plan is to join everyone at cocktail hour and make my rounds there to say hello. This means no receiving line and no visiting tables (other then to the elderly who may not be up and about). Anyone else who wants to see me can still come up to me at any time or preferably find me on the dance floor. The past few weddings I have been to the couples did not come to the tables (some were not even at the cocktail hour at all and also did not have a receiving line). However, my mom and grandmom are appalled at my plans. My mom even said her and my dad are expected to go to all of the tables (what??). I am having about 200 people and one friend told me it took her about 45 minutes to visit all the tables. I'm sure the day will be a blur and I want to enjoy it, not spend 1/4th of the reception walking around to tables. 
    Summary: Do I have to visit every table during the reception?
    This line is why people think you don't want to greet your guests.
    huskypuppy14indianaalumclassyduck
  • I don't want to walk around to tables to greet them but I never say I don't want to greet them at all.

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  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    Then do a receiving line. I think that's your best option if you don't want to go to each table.
  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    Receiving line.  And as PPs said, it doesn't have to be at the church.  You can do it as guests enter or even exit cocktail hour.
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    image

    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

    lc07
  • slothiegalslothiegal The Sloth Farm member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    My plan is to join everyone at cocktail hour and make my rounds there to say hello. This means no receiving line and no visiting tables (other then to the elderly who may not be up and about). Anyone else who wants to see me can still come up to me at any time or preferably find me on the dance floor. The past few weddings I have been to the couples did not come to the tables (some were not even at the cocktail hour at all and also did not have a receiving line). However, my mom and grandmom are appalled at my plans. My mom even said her and my dad are expected to go to all of the tables (what??). I am having about 200 people and one friend told me it took her about 45 minutes to visit all the tables. I'm sure the day will be a blur and I want to enjoy it, not spend 1/4th of the reception walking around to tables. 
    Summary: Do I have to visit every table during the reception?
    PP's have already stressed the importance of visiting with each guest and given you some ideas, so I won't beat that dead horse.  I just wanted to point out that table visits don't have to be that daunting of a task.  Granted, we had a much smaller guest list at our wedding, but we simply went around during the plated meal.  (Eat our salad, start making rounds.  When the second course was served, go back, eat, then start where we left off, etc.)  We also had a coordinator who helped keep us on track and make sure we didn't get stuck at any one table for more than a couple minutes.
    Anniversary

    image
  • thanks ladies! It's nice to get insight from others as I had never seen a receiving line at a reception, or before the cocktail hour, and therefore didn't think of this myself, but I really like those ideas!

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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its

    You must make the effort to greet and thank every one of your guests. Whether that is a receiving line, talking to everyone at cocktail hour or doing table visits, you must do this.

    These people have taken tons of time, money and effort to celebrate with you. If you want to "enjoy" your wedding and don't want to spend time talking to people, then you shouldn't have invited 200 people.

    This a million times.

    We did a combo.   Receiving line doubled at the bar line.  We attended part of the cocktail party.  We did some table visits after dinner.  

    I made a point of hitting up all the older people for table visits.   My friends I seemed to hit up by the bars or on the dance floor.  


    I personally think the THOUGHT of greeting 200 people was way worse then actually doing it. It didn't seem like a hardship to me.    I took time to look around the room and say "oh, I haven't said hi to my parent's friends yet".  Then off I went over to the table.    Took a few moments and then I was on my way to see other guests.

      No one expects to have in depth conversations with the couple.   They know it's a meet, greet and off you are to other guests.






    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. 
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I've seen a receiving line at the reception. I think it's a good idea. I'd definitely do it while people are going into the reception. 

    PrettyGirlLost
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    My plan is to join everyone at cocktail hour and make my rounds there to say hello. This means no receiving line and no visiting tables (other then to the elderly who may not be up and about). Anyone else who wants to see me can still come up to me at any time or preferably find me on the dance floor. The past few weddings I have been to the couples did not come to the tables (some were not even at the cocktail hour at all and also did not have a receiving line). However, my mom and grandmom are appalled at my plans. My mom even said her and my dad are expected to go to all of the tables (what??). I am having about 200 people and one friend told me it took her about 45 minutes to visit all the tables. I'm sure the day will be a blur and I want to enjoy it, not spend 1/4th of the reception walking around to tables. 
    Summary: Do I have to visit every table during the reception?
    PP's have already stressed the importance of visiting with each guest and given you some ideas, so I won't beat that dead horse.  I just wanted to point out that table visits don't have to be that daunting of a task.  Granted, we had a much smaller guest list at our wedding, but we simply went around during the plated meal.  (Eat our salad, start making rounds.  When the second course was served, go back, eat, then start where we left off, etc.)  We also had a coordinator who helped keep us on track and make sure we didn't get stuck at any one table for more than a couple minutes.
    We had 220 at our wedding.  Table visits weren't bad at all.  Our meal was a buffet, so DH & I went up first to get our food.  We ate immediately while the guests were in line.  As soon as we were done eating, we greeted each table.  Our DOC was with us and kept each table to 2 minutes. 



    Anniversary
    PrettyGirlLost
  • lyndausvisarahbear31, I think you're right, I think the thought is really overwhelming but it might not be so bad as long as I keep things moving.

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  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Do you have a DOC?  She was a HUGE help to us to keep us moving, and to help us remember whom we had visited and whom we hadn't.




    Anniversary
  • You're not going to make it to everyone during cocktail hour. It's just not going to happen. You should do either table visits or a receiving line. 
    image
  • kaitlynmichellekaitlynmichelle British Columbia member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Name Dropper
    I still remember years after a wedding that the bride and groom did not greet everyone. They did the mingling/you had to find them to say hello. I literally didn't get a chance to speak to either of them the entire day because I couldn't get to them on the dance floor. I said bye to the groom on our way out but only because I managed to finally catch him at the bar.

    You might miss someone if you don't do table visits or a receiving line, and they will likely be hurt. My family travelled from about 8 hours away to that wedding and as we are their family members, I was really surprised and felt ignored the whole time. They focused on partying with their friends.

    Find a way to ensure you greet all of your guests.
    image Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • We recently went to a wedding of about 100 people where despite a formal church exit and a Catholic gap so the bridal party could take pictures and attend cocktail hour we never saw or talked with the bride all day. There was neither a receiving line nor table visits, and the reception was spread out on an estate. People were constantly migrating between dancing and lawn games and the photo booth and cigar bar. We did catch the groom (husband's friend) for a quick hello but would have loved to congratulate the bride. We had about 60 people and did a 5 minute receiving line to get people from cocktails to dinner. The DOC kept it moving. If you're having a buffet dinner, the staff could premake your plates allowing you to greet people as they walk in to dinner to their seats without delaying the start of dinner for the guests.
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