Author Topic: Receiving Lines? How and whether to have one...  (Read 2257 times)

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peaches

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Re: Receiving Lines? How and whether to have one...
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2013, 01:32:46 AM »
I wouldn't have a receiving line at an engagement party. It would seem stiff, formal, a bit over-the-top.

I would think "If they're this formal at an engagement party, what on earth is the wedding going to be like?"

Save the receiving line (if you like them) for the wedding reception.

shhh its me

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Re: Receiving Lines? How and whether to have one...
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2013, 07:58:52 AM »
  I'm not sure a receiving line works for an engagement party.   They work for wedding because all the guests are moving for point A to point B at the same time and done at a transition point.  Engagement parties people tend to drift in for 20-40 minutes.

Also, having a receiving line wont change your obligation to facilitate conversation between your guests. That's the point of your party so your family can met your intendeds family.  after the receiving line you'd still need to take cousin Bob to met cousin Sue.

Oh Joy

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Re: Receiving Lines? How and whether to have one...
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2013, 12:00:34 PM »
Actually, depending on your home layout and the volume & timing of guest arrival, this could be kind of charming.  A little Gone with the Wind plantation party throwback.

It might work to line everyone up to receive the guests and introduce themselves as they enter, moving the guest down the line.  Then you'd need an assistant hostess or two to settle the guest in with a drink and a snack until the 'welcome' part of the event is done.

Or maybe not.  :-)

Best wishes!

daen

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Re: Receiving Lines? How and whether to have one...
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2013, 04:40:22 PM »
I have seen receiving lines done as follows:
Mother of the Bride
Father of the Groom
Bride
Groom
Mother of the Groom
Father of the Bride
The rationale behind this grouping is that the bride's parent can introduce at least some of the guests from the bride's side to the groom's parent, and vice versa.

(Granted, this doesn't work cleanly when you add in partners of parents, but it would work to separate the former couple who are now teeth-clenched polite.)

I agree with previous posters who suggest that a receiving line is better suited for a wedding, when there is a specific time period when everyone will be coming or going.

lilfox

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Re: Receiving Lines? How and whether to have one...
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2013, 04:45:49 PM »
  I'm not sure a receiving line works for an engagement party.   They work for wedding because all the guests are moving for point A to point B at the same time and done at a transition point.  Engagement parties people tend to drift in for 20-40 minutes.

Also, having a receiving line wont change your obligation to facilitate conversation between your guests. That's the point of your party so your family can met your intendeds family.  after the receiving line you'd still need to take cousin Bob to met cousin Sue.

I agree with the PPs who said a receiving line doesn't sound like the best option for this particular circumstance, mainly for the reasons given above.

I'm very glad we had a departure line (like Bluenomi) at our wedding to make sure we said hi to everyone as they walked from the ceremony setup over to the reception/dining area.  It gave us a chance to greet everyone properly, but it felt a little like being on a conveyor belt in that there's no good way to have any kind of real conversation with each person before you have to turn your attention to the next.  For a party, though, I think individual introductions are best, and allow time to exchange a few pleasantries or even get into a longer chat.

Having just been to a big dinner party with mostly acquaintances, I will say that the best strategy I've come up with (as an introvert) is to find an extrovert and let them do most of the talking!  So if you know one or more of your relatives are particularly chatty, introduce them first and let them take over the conversation.  They may even take the lead in introducing folks from one family to the other.

shhh its me

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Re: Receiving Lines? How and whether to have one...
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2013, 05:26:49 PM »
  I'm not sure a receiving line works for an engagement party.   They work for wedding because all the guests are moving for point A to point B at the same time and done at a transition point.  Engagement parties people tend to drift in for 20-40 minutes.

Also, having a receiving line wont change your obligation to facilitate conversation between your guests. That's the point of your party so your family can met your intendeds family.  after the receiving line you'd still need to take cousin Bob to met cousin Sue.

I agree with the PPs who said a receiving line doesn't sound like the best option for this particular circumstance, mainly for the reasons given above.

I'm very glad we had a departure line (like Bluenomi) at our wedding to make sure we said hi to everyone as they walked from the ceremony setup over to the reception/dining area.  It gave us a chance to greet everyone properly, but it felt a little like being on a conveyor belt in that there's no good way to have any kind of real conversation with each person before you have to turn your attention to the next.  For a party, though, I think individual introductions are best, and allow time to exchange a few pleasantries or even get into a longer chat.

Having just been to a big dinner party with mostly acquaintances, I will say that the best strategy I've come up with (as an introvert) is to find an extrovert and let them do most of the talking!  So if you know one or more of your relatives are particularly chatty, introduce them first and let them take over the conversation.  They may even take the lead in introducing folks from one family to the other.
Oh one more thing

At a wedding many of the guests first interaction with the bride , groom ect is in the receiving line. The HC is busy getting married moms are helping them get ready , fathers walking down aisles ect prior to the receiving line.  It's other people jobs to direct the guests until that point.   It would seem odd to me to have all these key player stop interacting with guests to make a receiving line once everyone had arrived. All of the introductions have been done already and as a guests what do I say to everyone " a pleasure to met you again  MOG and BF , we just met 10 minutes ago  in the living room."  ect.  If your circle doesn't do receiving lines its sort of like serving a dinner with nothing but utensils you guest haven't seen before and used in new ways it may confuse them a bit.

 So does,  standing at the door for 30 minutes while guests trickled in (I imagine with gaps of a few minutes in between guests) saying  "Hi  thanks for coming."  now every though there are 6 people here we are going to stand by the door not interacting with you until everyone is here.

I think the best way is to have the guests in a "lobby" of sorts without any of the key players and then move them through the receiving line into the main party.  That's still a little awkward because it would be a mingle type atmosphere without the people needed to make introductions. You would need seating , drinks , maybeapps and people to direct the guests.

blarg314

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Re: Receiving Lines? How and whether to have one...
« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2013, 09:52:46 PM »

I think a receiving line could work for an engagement party *if*

- the party is large (minimum 50 people)
- the party is reasonably formal (thick formal reception, not cocktail party)
- people will be arriving in a fairly narrow window of time (ie, not a drop in or open house)
- the party is held at a venue where there is a lobby where people can stand while waiting until they are received (not outside the front door of your house) and their coats can be collected and checked when they arrive.
- the party is being managed by a staff that can take care of your guests during and before the receiving line (collect coats, serve drinks and food, direct people to the washroom, pick up empty glasses and plates, etc)

Then, a receiving line would match the formality and organization of the party. Asking guests to huddle outside in the rain until they can be received, and then having them mill around the party on their own until you are finished wouldn't work.

I did a quick bit of searching for non-wedding reception lines, out of curiosity, and what I came up with was funerals, political functions, large formal parties held at places like country clubs, cotillions, and military receptions. For funerals and weddings, it's done as people leave the ceremony, all the other events are held at venues with staff to manage the party.

This link

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1314&dat=19890605&id=qlpWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=0O8DAAAAIBAJ&pg=2514,153192

Addresses mixed families and the receiving line.