With all the talk about marriage equality this week, it brought to mind some memories of my wedding and some of the weddings I've attended. We made the decision not to do a receiving line. Typically, couples stand outside the church and thank everyone as they exit for coming, or they do this at the reception.
Ostensibly we didn't do it because we wanted to maximize the time for everyone to get from the church to the reception hall. You just never know how Saturday afternoon/evening traffic will turn out. We also wanted to have the most time for our pictures. We thought we would have time at our reception to go around to every table and say thank you, but we didn't. We still got to talk to our guests, we just had to divide and conquer to cover the whole group. At first Nightingale was upset about that but in time she came to realize that all weddings have their little hidden snafus and in the grand scheme things it didn't make a difference.
Two prior weddings that also helped influence the decision were Na's and B's which were less than a year apart. At Na's wedding in 2009, the first one I brought Nightingale to and sort of officially introduced her to the running crowd, there was an awkward moment in the receiving line outside the church. The chick in front of us was obviously a close friend of Na's or at least had a lot to say because they started chit-chatting. Na's husband was left trying to talk to us until Na was done gabbing. He had met me once perhaps twice and we didn't have much to say to each other beyond congrats and thanks for coming. In reality it was really just a minute or two but it felt like a week or more. Note to brides: your job here is to keep the line moving.
The next year was B's wedding. She did the receiving line at the reception, although the ceremony was there too so it was one-stop shopping. I wasn't even going to bother going through the receiving line but we decided at the last minute to do so. As such, we were the last couple in line. At the moment we got to B she said "sorry gotta kick you out of here, we need to get into the dining hall." Her wedding gift dropped 25% in value that moment and I was certain she wouldn't be invited to ours.
I was very pissed because, again Nightingale was just starting to meet and interact with all my running friends and I doubt B would have done that to SHB or anyone else in the group. Treat me how you want but be respectful to my future fiancé. Over time I've come to realize that is how B is hardwired. She values practicality over politeness and function over common fucking sense.
Fast forward a few years and the relationships between Na and I, and B and I are much better thanks to their liking of Nightingale. B and Na of course aren't speaking to each other and Na has relocated for a job.