Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday's Wedding Poll: Receiving Lines


Receiving Lines: I was so torn on whether or not I wanted to have one. This is what I found on the knot:

Is it necessary to have a wedding receiving line? Our wedding is at 7 p.m., immediately followed by a formal wedding dinner. We are stretched for time as it is. Plus, there will be around 350 wedding guests. What is appropriate?

Sorry, but you gotta have one. With that many guests, there's no way you'll ever greet them all personally otherwise! Any time there are more than 50 guests at a wedding, you should have a receiving line. Try not to look at it as an annoying obligation. It's actually a very polite thing to do: Give each of your 350 guests a few seconds to hug you and wish you well before the blur of the reception begins for you and your new spouse. You'll also get to meet guests you may not yet know (maybe relatives from the other side of your new family). Yes, this will take a bit of time, but it's worth it. You won't regret it, and neither will your guests.

Now, I don't particularly agree with the above. I think if the wedding is immediately following your ceremony, especially at the same location, then let the festivities begin!! You'll have extra time to greet people during cocktail hour. But for us, we have 2 1/2 hours in between our ceremony and cocktail hour, so there is plenty of time to do this. Plus, there will still be time for our out of town guests to go back to the hotel and check in before getting picked up by the shuttle.

On one hand, I didn't want our guests to have to line up, wait in a long line, and then awkwardly say "hi" to people they, or we, don't even know (and there will be a lot of "first meetings" like this at our wedding) before leaving the church.

On the other hand...people have been doing receiving lines for centuries. Mainly, if I say "hi" to everyone during the receiving line, I won't feel as pressured to go around to every single person to say "hi" at the cocktail hour and reception, and that to me is a BIG plus and also why we are going to do the receiving line.

But now this leads me to my next question: Do we have our guests throw something at us as we leave the church? I really hadn't planned on doing that...but I don't want to lose out on a great photo opportunity.
Personal: This is my friend Christina - how great are these bubbles?

I researched possibilities and there are a lot of different "items to throw" ideas out there! I also found this interesting:
While tossing rice became most popular in America, many countries have their own traditions. In Morocco, figs, dates, and raisins are thrown to encourage a "fruitful" union. Italians traditionally shower the newlyweds with sweets and sugarcoated nuts. (The word "confetti" may derive from the root for the Italian word for "confectionery.") In Korea, the groom's father tosses red dates at his new daughter-in-law to bring fertility. In France, wheat greets the happy couple. Eggs represent new life in some European countries and are thrown at newlyweds. An old Irish tradition has the couple being pelted with pots and pans (ouch!) in honor of their new domestic life.

Eggs?? pots and pans?? figs and dates? This was very interesting, but not appealing to me in the least. I also read that the rice killing birds thing is an urban legend, and they actually won't die from eating thrown rice. I thought that was true!

As you can see...I'm getting down to actually having to make these little decisions which have been so easy to put off until now. So tell me, "Did/Are you do/doing a receiving line" Also, any ideas on great creative things to throw after the ceremony?


Mom said...

Yes we did a receiving line and I think it's a very nice way to acknowledge everyone who came out to wish you happiness as a couple. It's important to make eye contact, physically touch and greet those who've come to share and it espresses your appreciation. Don't underestimate the value of this little tradition.
And btw, I'll be bringing several dozen eggs! Lol.

HiLLjO said...

I think the Knot said yes because not every wedding does cocktail hour. Our ceremony is at the same venue as the reception but we are doing a receiving line because so many people have traveled so far just to see us. I want to hug them!
After they're done hugging us, they can munch on chips and dip in the venue hall until everyone is back upstairs.

Bicoastal Bride said...

The formal receiving line wasn't for us, and we prefered to greet our guests more informally at dinner and throughout the night. With just 75 guests, it worked out fine. I also would have loved guests to throw something, but the church didn't allow it. Hopefully, yours will, because I think it can be fun. Rose petals are my favorite!

Danielle said...

I'm pretty sure we are having one. Our ceremony and reception aren't in the same place plus.. like you said, I won't feel pressured to go up to everyone at the reception and thank them for coming. I'm going to be shaking my booty on the dance floor!

We're doing bubbles when we leave. I originally wanted confetti, but the church doesn't allow for confetti, rice, petals, etc. So.. basically.. that left bubbles. lol.

SG to SP said...

We didn't do a receiving line because we wanted to take pictures right after the ceremony, however during the reception, we ate quickly then stopped by every table to say hello and greet guests which worked out well, but we only had 10 tables so it didn't take too long.

Mrs.Vid said...

We are not planning to have a receiving line but we are having a cocktail hour where we plan to go around and greet our guests! I'm sure whatever you do will be great just as long as you get around to everyone.

Kassi @ Truly Lovely said...

We will most likely have some kind of receiving line. At my friend's wedding, they planned not to have one, and it just kind of happened anyway... They were standing to the side after the ceremony and people just started lining up! It's what most people are accustomed to I guess.

I like the idea of sparklers after the wedding if your venue will allow it. Or bubbles.

It's A Love Story said...

Im not going to have a receiving line. Our wedding is at 2pm we will have an hour long mass, the reception is at 6pm. We will be going around all the tables to say hi. I believe that receiving lines are old fashion and we dont want to lose time not getting pictures. People understand this day is about you!

Shana said...

I rhink it's ok not to have one! and if you do not a huge full wedding party one. I HATE those!

Emily Silver said...

I'm with you. I have a lot of potential guests whom I feel would take up whole minutes instead of seconds in the receiving line, and the awkward "hi I've never met you" thing is way unappealing, but I feel like it's expected!

Mike said...

We did a greeting line and it worked out great for us.

I've been to so many weddings where the couple spent the whole time going from table to table and didn't get to enjoy anything.

We told everyone to find us on the dance floor or at the bar and it worked out fine (for us!).

Erin said...

We did not do a receiving line because our intention was to greet people at the cocktail hour as well as the reception (we had about 200 guests). However, during the cocktail hour, an impromptu line formed for people to greet us. As much as I would say its a waste and can be accomplished other ways, maybe its just something unavoidable on your big day :)

Heather said...

I'd like to do a receiving line so we can just have fun eating, mingling and dancing at the reception. But since our ceremony and reception are in the same place and we'll be having pictures right after the ceremony, it just doesn't seem logistically possible.

♥ cheryl elisabeth said...

We are doing a receiving line but more because it's tradition for our families than because of etiquette. I think etiquette can be throw out the window in some situations today.
My thing is that I have no idea how long it will take! We've got 180 guests, but we're on a tight schedule between ceremony and reception!

Sara said...

We didn't do a receiving line...closest thing we had like that was everyone coming up to us at the morning after brunch and to be honest it was the only part of the weekend I wasn't a fan of... I felt like a ping pong ball and said the same thing to everyone one after another.

We DID do a petal toss (pics on my blog) and I *loved* it!! The shot was beautiful :-)

Miss Modern said...

We are having a recieving line. I dont really like them, but with 180 guests there is no way we are really going to get to speak to everyone at the cocktail hour, and we dont want to spend the whole night going to tables becase we want to dance.

So we are going to have a recieving line during the cocktail hour. That way we can greet everyone pretty quickly and the guest wont get bored.

Anonymous said...

I just went to a wedding where there was no receiving line, and the couple did not stop by each table to say hi, nor did they mingle with anyone during a cocktail hour. There was no opportunity to say best wishes, or to greet the bride and groom. It seemed "odd" to me but I have been told nicely to shut up and mind my business, because young people do their own thing. Am I wrong to feel that it was impolite on the two familie's part?