HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    I'd start the reception at 5 pm.  Run away immediately after the wedding to do photos. Do a receiving line going INTO the dining room from the cocktail hour before dinner. That will keep people short and sweet, and moving along, b/c they want their dinner. 

    We had a noon wedding w/ a full Catholic mass and had the reception start at 1.30.  We took tons of photos inside and outside the church afterwards and still attended 50% of our cocktail hour.  Our venue was 10 minutes away from the church. 
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    Hi caring - I didn't have my wedding at a church so I'm not sure how that works... does booking it for 3:30 mean your ceremony will start at exactly 3:30, or does it mean that's when guests can arrive and be seated?
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    ALF's advice is spot on.  100%.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from cosmogirl. Show cosmogirl's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    A few random thoughts....

    1.  Do you have a lot of guests that are going to be checking into the hotel?  If so, you'd want to allow them time to do so, so I'd vote for 5:30.

    2.  The bigger the families, wedding party, etc., the longer it will take for pictures.  I'd vote for 5:30. 

    3.  If the ceremony gets out at 4:15, it would take you at least a half-hour to get through a receiving line at the church.  This would get you TO the hotel at 5:15, then at least a half-hour for pictures, so I'd vote for 5:30 to start cocktail hour. 

    4.  If you're stopping at another location for pictures, add more time onto that.

    5.  Since it's a late afternoon wedding, you might want to consider getting some of the formal pictures done before the ceremony.  Once everything "begins", the time FLIES by -- you won't believe it -- so the more you can get done ahead of time, the better.  Even if you don't want to see your groom that day, you can have the ones of you and your bridesmaids, parents, etc. and groom and his guys, parents done ahead.  
     
    I personally love the idea of doing the receiving line at the church -- bride, groom, and parents only.  Then it's done and you don't have to worry about it.

    Just my 2 cents.  Good luck!!!!

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    Caringteacher,
    I am with Alf. Start the cocktail hour at 5:00 and keep the reception line just before your guests enter the dining room.
    I never liked (actually hated, if I may be honest) reception lines right after the church ceremony. It is outside, wind blowing, raining, snowing, freezing or whatever - even melting hot. And here you are dressed up in your finest and have spent a fortune to get your hair and make up done. Not a very great combination.
    Even better scratch it all together, and you and you new husband go and visits the tables during the reception.
    So far I have to meet a person, guest or bride and groom, that LOVE reception lines. - Pingo
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    I agree, the receiving line can be ditched in favor of visiting tables.  People will come up to you all night long with hugs and personal thoughts, anyway.  You won't miss anything and neither will your guests for not having one, imo.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    We actually did not do a receiving line.  We went table to table. I only suggested doing one going into the dining room b/c the OP seemed to want to do one.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Rirlo01. Show Rirlo01's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    We haven't had our wedding yet, so I'm not sure my $0.02 are worth much, but I vote for 5.  I think a lot of people really despise waiting between a ceremony and reception, and it's a plus to keep the momentum going.  If some guests and/or you miss a little of that hour, no biggie; more importantly, nobody has to wait.  And if you're up for visiting tables instead of doing a line, all your guests will be set, and I bet you won't miss much, if anything, either (though it really depends on how you handle your photos). 

    That said, Cosmo makes some great points for 5:30, and this isn't like choosing between 5 and 7: the difference is minimal, and either one will work out great.  :)

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    I think that if it were up to me, I'd go with 5:30 because I always figure things will run late. But if you're the kind of person who runs early, or on time, go with 5:00.

    I did a recieving line, and I loved it. I was able to sit back and enjoy my entire reception without having to worry about getting to all the tables or stop and greet people every few minutes.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    We ended up doing both, and I'm an idiot for it.  A receiving line does beat getting to every table while everyone is still sitting at them.  It means you have to do it while dinner is on the table, and then when do YOU eat?  It was the most stressful part of the reception.  I had to move DH along with a subtle kick to the next table so we could manage to reach all 10, and we only had 80 people.  We wouldn't have made it around to nearly double the tables before dancing started.

    So, I guess I have a love/hate relationship with the receiving line...
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Prill. Show Prill's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    I'm with Pink and Cos - 5:30.  Things always run late/take more time than you anticipate.  You don't want to be paying for staff, venue etc for time that is not actually being used because people got stuck in traffic, you arrived late at the ceremony etc.

    If people arrive super early at the reception venue is there a bar they could wait at until 5:30?
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    In Response to Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.:
    [QUOTE]We ended up doing both, and I'm an idiot for it.  A receiving line does beat getting to every table while everyone is still sitting at them.  It means you have to do it while dinner is on the table, and then when do YOU eat?  It was the most stressful part of the reception.  I had to move DH along with a subtle kick to the next table so we could manage to reach all 10, and we only had 80 people.  We wouldn't have made it around to nearly double the tables before dancing started. So, I guess I have a love/hate relationship with the receiving line...
    Posted by kargiver[/QUOTE]

    We got served first. We got our first course, ate it, and then circulated for a few tables.  We  then got our second course, ate it, and then circulated for the remainder. We had 11 tables.  We hit them all and then had seconds [we had a buffet]. There was plenty of time to eat and chat.  We spent a good 2 minutes at each table.  The tables were full when we were there b/c we went around while people were eating. 
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    We wolfed down our dinner, visited 1/2 the tables, and then downed the cake and finished visiting.   If we'd enjoyed our meals at  a normal pace we'd have finished just as everyone else was finishing.  Our food was served to everyone at once so we had a pretty small window to eat and visit.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    DH is a chatty Kathy. A line was the only way to get him to greet people in a short-winded manner. He ended up going around to tables during dinner- for some reason, inspite of my warning that he might miss dinner- and it took him so long he never got to eat. So it gave me the reassurance that, had I not done the line, I wouldn't have eaten either. I would have been stuck standing at each table with DH for 20 minutes, starving to death.
    As it was I had to have the coordinator track him down for cake-cutting.

    I got to enjoy my delicious dinner, and DH learned the most important thing a man can learn on his wedding day- sometimes it's best to just listen to your wife!
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    LOL, Pink - did the lesson stick???
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    I would do the receiving line at the church and start the reception at 5:30.  Guests might end with some time to kill, but it doesn't seem like it will be much.  I wouldn't want to pay for a venue from 5-10 (for example) if no one was even going to be there at 5:00.

    I wish we had done a receiving line because we only made it to half the tables, if even.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from Rirlo01. Show Rirlo01's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    I hope we don't regret our decision to visit tables.  My strategy is to see that we're served first and bounce around while guests are seated/eating so we're sure to catch full tables.  Our reception is longer than the standard (6 - 11), so that helps a little. 
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    I found it very stressful, Rirlo, and do regret it.  We rushed through our own food, hurried around, thinking, "COME ON, we're not going to make it to Table 10 at this rate."  I should have let the receiving line at the church suffice, but we actually planned the table visiting because the Wayside Inn told us that we wouldn't be allowed to have a receiving line at the chapel.  So, when they did allow it, it never occurred to me to change our table visit plan.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    I'm currently deciding what we should do.  We are using the same venue for both.  I think it might make sense for us to assembly near the door so that when guests walk upstairs for the cocktail hour reception that we can see them then.  Then we can go off with the WP and take pictures. 
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    In Response to Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.:
    [QUOTE]LOL, Pink - did the lesson stick???
    Posted by kargiver[/QUOTE]

    For the most part! and he's reminded every time someone brings up how much they liked the food (which still happens, 3.5 years later, believe it or not. they must have put something special in that chowder.) and then has to explain why he didn't get to eat any.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from Rirlo01. Show Rirlo01's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    Hmmm.  We're going to a wedding tomorrow, and I'll use that as a reminder to revisit the issue with FI. 

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    In Response to Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception. : For the most part! and he's reminded every time someone brings up how much they liked the food (which still happens, 3.5 years later, believe it or not. they must have put something special in that chowder.) and then has to explain why he didn't get to eat any.
    Posted by pinkkittie27[/QUOTE]

    Pink, Hahaha!  That's the best - you get to have the lesson reinforced without bringing it up.  Wow, what's better than that?

    Rirlo, good luck with it.  Maybe jot down a few notes for yourself beforehand to refer while you talk so you cover your thoughts thoroughly and don't miss things for being nervous to bring it up, again.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from ajuly09. Show ajuly09's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    I may be in the minority, but I'd start at 5. You won't be there anyway, but your guests will.  Most of the time I think that the cocktail hour is too long and I am usually waiting to go into the reception.  If many people aren't staying at the hotel then they don't need the time to check in, and many may have checked in before the ceremony.  I'm just not one for waiting around and think starting earlier for the guests that are there would be better.  I didn't make it to any of my cocktail hour and we did most of the photos before the reception!
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    Brides, beleive me, for most guests the receiving line is  a CHORE.  Sorry, but I have been in many weddings. Including my son's. Hated every minute of it - didn't know most of the guests. They had never met me before, and most of them gave me just a soft hand shake and was looking forward to get to the bar and their table. I kicked off my shoes, but it didn't help me much.
    Son was trying to get rid of it all together, but MIL wanted it. Well, she paid for the wedding - so what was he to say.
    Visiting the tables? I have been to several weddings were we were not visited. Did it bother us? Not one bit. We all have been married at one time and know, how hectic those few hours were.
    To the bride and groom I would say: Get married, have a great time at your reception, which is just for you to celebrate and don't worry about what everyone else thinks. No one will curse you for not thanking them for being there. Remember most have been in your shoes before.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from MM379. Show MM379's posts

    Re: HELP!!! I can't figure out when to start the reception.

    I'm sorry I think I'm in the minority, but I enjoy receiving lines and congratulating the bride/groom and I enjoyed having one.  I hate the feeling of seeing the bride and groom wisk away in hiding to not waste a moment of picture time - why not savor the moment a little and enjoy the church and the guests (as long as there's enough space or its nice enough outside to do a line).  We did receiving line and table visits (pretty much a MUST in my Italian-American family).  I think either way you go with it, some people are going to want one, the other, or both, and some guests are going to hate one, the other, or both, and if you don't do one or the other, someone is going to think that's weird, too.  I say do what makes you happy as long as in some way, shape, or form, you do get to greet/thank your guests for sharing such a special day and taking the time to be there.  In terms of the reception start time, I'd just go over the details with the church one more time.  45min seems like a long estimate to me for a non-Mass.  Most non-Mass Catholic ceremonies I've been to have lasted 30min or less.  Is a lot of music planned or a large bridal party or many special parties to seat?  Perhaps that accounts for the longer length.  I think if it sounds like 45 minutes is the real deal and you do a receiving line and you want to do pictures elsewhere, definitely start the cocktail hour at 5:30.  If you or anyone in your immediate families is notoriously late, also pushing it back to 5:30 makes sense.  If you aren't necessarily doing all those things, or pics are on-site, or you think the ceremony really could be 30min, then I'd go with 5pm.
     

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