Ways to Make Time for Every Single Wedding Guest (and the Pros and Cons of Each)

It’s vital to make sure every single one of your wedding guests feels the love.
by Sophie Ross

It goes without saying that it’s of the utmost importance to make time for every single person who attends your nuptials. Some of them will have traveled near and far (and that includes spending top dollar on flights and hotels), so the last thing you want is for any of your loved ones to leave the reception feeling jilted or underappreciated. And while it’s hard to give everyone the time of day on your day, we have some tips to making it possible. Below, find our favorite ways (and the pros and cons of each) to make time for all of your guests.

1. Have a receiving line.

Pros: If you organize a receiving line for your guests as they file out of the ceremony venue, you’ll have ample opportunity to personally say thank you to every single person who made the time to attend. You’ll also get it out of the way prior to the reception, so you can have fun instead of focusing on making the rounds.

Cons: It can definitely be time-consuming. Make a game plan by sticking to, say, 10 to 15 seconds per guest so you can stay on track. That way, you won’t have to carve out too much time out of your night, and you’re still guaranteed to touch base with every single person.

2. Plan to attend your cocktail hour.

Pros: The cocktail hour between your ceremony and reception is an additional way to squeeze in mingling time with your guests. You can attend to everyone prior to your reception, and walk hand in hand with your partner so you both have the chance to greet everyone.

Cons: You’ll definitely have to plan on getting all of your photos done prior to the cocktail hour and do a first look if this is the case, since many people use this time to take photos instead.

3. Do table visits.

Pros: Tackling visits by table will guarantee you’ll get face time with every guest, rather than attempting to track people down individually. If you plan on spending a few minutes at each table, you should be able to knock them all out in no time. Strategically plan your seating arrangements so you can keep track of who you’ve talked to and who you’ve missed.

Cons: Since this should take place at your reception, you’ll have to catch your guests while they’re definitely seated. Usually that means doing it during dinner, but be careful you don’t miss any rogue bar-goers or dance floor patrons by going over at an inopportune time.

4. Host a welcome party.

Pros: If you’re having a rehearsal dinner the night before your nuptials, carve in welcome drinks and/or dessert into your itinerary if your budget allows. Ideally taking place after dinner, a welcome party is the perfect way to drink and mingle with your guests—especially the out-of-town ones—in an intimate setting.

Cons: Unlike the rehearsal dinner, all of your guests should be invited to the welcome party. Since it’s a fairly new tradition—and takes place on a separate day as your ceremony—you might have trouble ensuring every single person attends the party in the first place. Remedy this by either sending an email, putting the information on your wedding website or even including the details in your invitation suite so all guests (even the local ones) know they’re welcome.

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