Friday, December 29, 2006

THE RECEIVING LINE: A NECESSARY EVIL?: PART III

While I'm sitting at work with nothing to do (a rarity for me), I figured I'd wrap up this series with my final thoughts.

I've noted various questions that I suggest a bride asks herself when considering having the receiving line. This final question/issue may be the most controversial, but it must be said.

"WHAT OTHER "TRADITIONAL ELEMENTS" AM I KEEPING AS PART OF THE RECEPTION? WILL MY GUESTS GET BORED OR OVERLOADED WITH THE FORMALITIES?"

As I've reiterated time and time again, THERE ARE NO "RULES" ABOUT WHAT TO DO-- AND WHAT NOT TO DO-- AT YOUR WEDDING.

Think wedding speeches are dumb or overblown? Skip them (or cut down the number of speakers). Shudder at the idea of the grand entrance (where you and your fiance enter the reception to music)? Enter in a more subtle manner.

The bottom line is trying to keep your guests in mind (the common thread among all of my posts), and none of these traditions is hard and fast to having a "good" wedding.

Therefore, in thinking about the receiving line, keep in mind what other traditions you're retaining---i.e., the number of speeches/toasts, the cake cutting, the grand entrance, the slide show of baby pictures of you and your husband, etc., etc., etc.

I'll be blunt. Guests (myself and those I've spoken with, included) don't particularly like being on a schedule at weddings. The more traditions you keep, the more prone they are to get bored (listening to six speeches, unless the best man is hanging from a chandelier, gets BORING!). I've been to dozens of weddings, and the best (i.e., the most fun) are those that provide flexibility (the ability to roam around, dance with my date, talk to my friends). The not-so-great are those where I'm constantly having to sit down and listen. or watch. or shake hands.

I'm certainly not saying that having a few of these elements is hindrance to a fun wedding. But it is important to think about each element in connection with the other--and how they all add up.

Therefore, if you have a receiving line (certainly a traditional element), think about what else you're doing at the wedding besides dinner and dancing. It may really help you figure out what I like to call "cutting the fat."

Hopefully, these three questions will give ya'll some food for thought.

Stay tuned!

2 comments:

Dataceptionist said...

Haven't commented for a while, but wanted to chuck my own two cents in for this one.
In Australia, we don't do much with the Recieving line, I've never been to a wedding with one actually. A few I have been to (that were structured and everything) the bride and groom made specific effort between courses to move together from table to table.
{{Doing splitting up I've heard is less good, as a suggestion that was made to me was, Do Everything together and you'll share the same memories of your day.}}
Back on track, the reception venue suggested a farewell circle, and we are recommending it to anyone we speak to now that's planning. It was great becuase while you make effort to see people throughout the night, we didn't get around as we also didn't want to feel like we were simply flat out the whole time.
But at the end of the night, everyone made a huge circle (and we did split up then actually...) and he went one way, I went the other and we individually thanked everyone for coming and got to give them a hug and they could congratulate us also.
I wouldn't trade that for the world now.

mrbunsrocks said...

Phew....after a very lengthy time reading your highly amusing blog, I'm finally caught up. :)

I'm enjoying your musings and ponderings on weddings (particularly since I'm coming up to my first anniversary now in February). I have to say....while in theory so many of your ideas are great and logical, in practice, the biggest issue that a lot of brides face during their planning is familial pressure.

I didn't try to have an underwater wedding at solstice or anything really at all out of the ordinary, but even though my hubby and I were paying for a lot of our wedding, anytime I even mentioned a single idea to my mother, she would either be pouty, cry or just tell me it wouldn't work.

Seeing as I'm mid/late twenties (much like you), independent and was living with my hubby at the time, I just did what I want, but it sure did cause a lot of unnecessary stress.

Don't underestimate the power of those around you to stress you out and make you completely miserable. While there isn't really anything intrinsically stressful about planning and event/throwing a party, sometimes people's emotions are so caught up that it turns them into illogical maniacs that you want to whack with your overpriced bouquet. ;)

I'd like to think I wasn't a bridezilla, but I certainly could have done without some of the family annoyance....