The bride and groom are like the stars walking the red carpet at the Oscars. They smile and wave for photos trying to greet as many people as possible. It’s exhausting. I can honestly say at my wedding one thing I change would be spending most of my night thanking guests. Of course, you want to acknowledge loved ones that attended, but going overboard is both easy to do and tiring. Instead of having a ball on the dance floor with my husband, I was socializing making sure each guest felt our love. There are luckily few ways to ensure socialization overkill won’t happen to you and guests still feel the love.
Keep the Receiving Line Brief
The bride and groom stand at the front of a receiving line like the stars of the show signing autographs. Some couples don’t like this tactic because can take about an hour to get through everyone, but some love it because they get in their pictures and chit chat with guests before everyone splits to eat or dance.
The trick to the receiving line is not to talk to each guest for too long. Give your hug, kiss on the cheek, snap a photo, and move on. At one wedding I attended, they had the genius idea to stand at the front of the line greeting guests as they waiting in the buffet line. No one wants to chit chat for too long when food is waiting a few feet ahead!
Keep Guests Busy with Cocktail Time
Many people are starting to plan a cocktail hour to take up time while the wedding party is away for photos. Guests sip on champagne and eat cheese squares waiting for the bride and groom to arrive. If you don’t have too many guests, this is actually the perfect time for them to make small talk.
Even if you are taking photos during the first part of cocktail time, it’s perfectly fine to greet guests after. Guests will be standing around talking so it’ll be easy to jump in for a mix and mingle among each of the guests. Try not to get hung up on taking photos or listening to your great aunt’s stories about the past. Talk to each guest for a few minutes and move on. If you need help keeping your feet moving, tell your Maid of Honor or Best Man to push you along when you’re hung up.
The first rule of “table talk” is eat your meal first, then greet guests. At a wedding it can almost be impossible to get in a bite of food, but make sure you sit down and have something to eat before you go into host-mode. This way, you aren’t starving and have more energy to make your appearances.This is the perfect time to walk around because guests are in the middle of eating so they won’t want to talk too long and you get to greet an entire table at one a time. But, make sure they get the spinach out of their teeth before snapping photos! You can spend about 45 minutes roaming to each table, taking pictures, and having small talk. Guests feel loved and you aren’t exhausted after an entire night of trying to say hello to everyone.
Give a Toast
Your wedding may be so large that it’s pretty much impossible to talk to each guest. If that’s the case, one great thing to do is give a toast acknowledging guests and giving them your love. Give special mention to those that have traveled from faraway locations. You can even explain that you would love to talk to every person, but it’s hard and you want to enjoy this time with your new spouse. People will understand that you don’t want to spend one of the best nights of your life focusing on everyone else.
Give Gifts of Love
You can make guests feel loved and thanked without having a long conversation. Connect with them in personal ways. One thing some couples do is write a little thank you note to each guest and place it at their seat. You can make these notes as long or as short as you want. It’s a special little hello to each person that doesn’t tire you out day-of. These thank you notes can double as the wedding favor.
Another thing couples do is give welcome bags to the guest. You can include little gifts or personal items and place these their hotel rooms or at their tables.
You just might not have time to talk to all the guests, so just let go and have fun. Dance for a little bit, have a drink with a group of guests, snack on some crackers with some other guests, and then go find your husband for a quick kiss. If you don’t stress about visiting with each person, you’ll have more fun and just enjoy the night. It’s supposed to be one of the best nights of your life so be a little selfish and live in the moment.