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Meaghan
VIP April 2017

Table visits /receiving line time estimate

Meaghan, on March 29, 2017 at 1:48 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 22
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I am planning to have a receiving line directly after our ceremony. Reception and cocktail hour are at a separate venue. Any estimate on the amount of time we might expect with 100 guests? I'm not counting the wedding party as we will be spending the morning already- I'm talking about guests who are seated and coming through. Also curious if any one did table visits- about how long was that per table? We should have 13.

22 Comments

Latest activity by Erin Wood, on March 29, 2017 at 5:08 PM
  • A. L.
    Master July 2017
    A. L. ·
    • Flag

    Definitely avoid a receiving line. They are old fashioned and a waste of your guests' time. Going table to table is much easier, and guests don't have to stand around waiting to greet you.

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  • Mrs. Knolle
    Master July 2016
    Mrs. Knolle ·
    • Flag

    It's going to take at least 30 minutes and require your guests to stand in a line. I would not recommend a receiving line. Table visits will take less time and will inconvenience your guests less.

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  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    I hate receiving lines honestly. it seems really dated and that "hello, you look lovely" is really sorta meaningless.

    I am old as fuck, but I think if you're going to invite people you theoretically want to celebrate with you, much of your time should be spend talking with them. Or else why invite them?

    A recieving line for 100 guests, depending on who is ON the receiving line (it should just be you two and your parents) will take.....longer than you think.

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  • MrsSki
    Master April 2017
    MrsSki ·
    • Flag

    I hate table visits. The bride and groom don't get to eat unless they scarf down their food and FH and I have been to several weddings where the couple hasn't even made it to our table in the 35-40 minutes it took to eat dinner.

    We're doing a receiving line with just FH and I at the church exit. Based on how long it typically takes to clear a sanctuary on Sundays, should take 20-30 minutes to clear 100 guests from your ceremony space. If you have ushers dismiss them row by row, guests won't have to stand very long.

    Everyone remembers the old-style receiving lines that included parents and the entire BP. Don't do those because they do take forever. Just cut it down to you and your new spouse and you'll save time and still be able to greet your guests.

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  • Meaghan
    VIP April 2017
    Meaghan ·
    • Flag

    @MrsSki I agree. It would only be me, FH, and our moms only. Dads, siblings and bridal party would basically wind around back to the sanctuary space for pictures.

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  • Meaghan
    VIP April 2017
    Meaghan ·
    • Flag

    @Celia, it is very important to me to talk to my guests on wedding day for precisely that reason. We don't live close to anyone thanks to the Navy. Just asking for budgeting time purposes.

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  • A. L.
    Master July 2017
    A. L. ·
    • Flag

    MrsSkiToBe, if you are inviting people to your wedding, it becomes about them, and not whether you have time to eat. Your moms don't need to greet anyone.

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  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    RL; 45 minutes

    Tables; 5 minutes each, at least.

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  • A. L.
    Master July 2017
    A. L. ·
    • Flag

    I usually just walk around receiving lines. Too awkward for me.

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  • CJ
    VIP May 2018
    CJ ·
    • Flag

    I don't think receiving lines are awkward.

    We'll most likely do a receiving line at the exit of the church, that way we get an opportunity to at least say hello to everyone, nothing too drawn out just a simple greeting. I would estimate about 30 minutes. We'll try to visit as many tables as we can during the reception, but if we don't make it at least we had that moment where we said hello at the church.

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  • MrsSki
    Master April 2017
    MrsSki ·
    • Flag

    A.L.C., actually my parents are the hosts for our wedding so yes, they should greet our guests. They will be doing so as guests arrive at the church. After the ceremony, it's my and FH's responsibility to thank guests for coming to celebrate with us, which is why I suggested the couple only for a receiving line. Being able to take ten seconds to speak individually to each guest and offer a hug or handshake to each person is more personable than dropping by a table like you're a waiter checking on restaurant diners. Especially if, like in OP's case, you're separated from family members most of the year. Those hugs are meaningful and necessary for families like ours.

    Also, it's downright ridiculous to equate needing to eat dinner (and opting not to interrupt guests while they're trying to enjoy their own meal) to poor hosting. I'm not giving them cocktail weenies and boxed wine.

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  • Meaghan
    VIP April 2017
    Meaghan ·
    • Flag

    @CJ that's exactly my thinking. If people don't want to stand or do the line, there is a chance to exit a different door or walk around- but these are guests we don't get to see often. For some it's been years.... The Navy takes you from everyone. And for people to spend a flight, hotel, etc? I imagine they want to give well wishes for a minute. Maybe I'm wrong.

    I do prefer receiving lines as a guest too because whenever table visits happen, I'm usually with my mouth full and my Spanx are about shot. (Haha).

    Either way, I think it is incredibly rude for bride/groom to not make time to say hello to their guests. I've been to weddings where I never said one thing to them because they were too busy. Sad. Table visits and/or RLs or whatever to greet each person are a must

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  • MrsVoegs17
    VIP September 2017
    MrsVoegs17 ·
    • Flag

    We decided to do a receiving line because FH has weird social anxiety and doesn't want to do table visits and try to make small talk with unfamiliar people for 5 minutes. With a receiving line, the hope is that we will get a chance to see and talk to everyone there, and then we can continue to mingle at the reception without feeling pressured to make it to every table before people leave or end up missing someone. I don't think receiving lines are awkward at all, in fact it's pretty custom for all of the weddings I've been to.

    • Reply
  • Danielle
    VIP March 2017
    Danielle ·
    • Flag

    Team table visits. We did this this past weekend and I want to say maybe 45 min for 92 guests. I have absolutely no clue we just went out there and then the dj came up to us a couple times to keep us on track of time. We started it a while after we had finished eating because I completely forgot about it. I wish we would have started right after we finished bc it did push back our timeline a bit. I am really glad we did it though. I otherwise definitely wouldn't have had the chance to talk to a lot of people. We had a lot of people who came from out of town and out of the country (H is Australian) and I think it helped make them feel we appreciated them being there. Especially my parents friends and people I wouldn't have otherwise gone out to spend time with i think really appreciated it.

    The past couple weddings I've been to - the couple didn't do table visits or a receiving line and I kinda felt like I traveled all this way to be here and only got a quick hi in passing. I know it's really really hard to talk to everyone but I feel like it's worth it to at least try. Definitely take the time to do it!

    • Reply
  • Nonna T
    Master April 2014
    Nonna T ·
    • Flag

    UO Love the lines, dislove the table visits.

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  • Dani
    Devoted July 2017
    Dani ·
    • Flag

    I'm not a fan of receiving lines. So impersonal and awkward.

    • Reply
  • HolyMoly63
    Super September 2017
    HolyMoly63 ·
    • Flag

    Table visits are an option?! OMG, we are so doing that. I stood in a receiving line for an hour and a half last summer in a wedding I was in, and it was torture! What a great idea.

    • Reply
  • Grace
    VIP June 2018
    Grace ·
    • Flag

    Team table visits as well, I feel like receiving lines are also way outdated. the first wedding FH and I ever went to had one (the groomsmen also wore camouflage vests and jeans the BM wore jeans and tube tops that were camo) and my FH was the only one in a suit besides the reverend - it was an awkward event all around. the receiving line was so long and I felt super awkward looking more dressed up than the bridesmaids. they also had a cash bar and I'm pretttttty positive it was a potluck. we dipped out early, grabbed a pizza, and went to the hotel to swim. never be like those people, pretty please.

    • Reply
  • Meaghan
    VIP April 2017
    Meaghan ·
    • Flag

    @Grace G, no our whole event is professionally catered with an abundance of food and open bar. As far as Dress...well, my BMs are in long dresses and GMs are in tuxes.

    I have to laugh a bit. Since when did "outdated" mean "hard no" necessarily..?

    • Reply
  • Miranda
    Dedicated November 2018
    Miranda ·
    • Flag

    If you do decide to do quick table visits have your photographer take a picture of you guys at each table. Then you have at least one photo with everyone. My cousin did this and I thought that was great.

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