Do We Have to Have a Receiving Line?


With guests coming from far and wide to celebrate with you, making the time during your wedding to say "Hi" and thank them for coming is a nice touch, albeit one that can seem hard to manage with so many people vying for your attention so they can congratulate you. The tried-and-true receiving line is an efficient way to greet everyone, but it is also a little dated and may not fit into the wedding you're hoping to create. Is a receiving line even necessary? Here's what our experts have to say.

While the actual receiving line isn't necessary, taking the time to speak with every one of your guests is a good goal to have. After all, these people made the guest list because they play a special role in your lives, so a hello and a hug are a simple way to acknowledge that. There are, however, a few alternatives.

The first is a modified receiving line, which will speed up the sometimes snail-paced process. Instead of having both of your parents and your entire wedding party standing in the receiving line, just the two of you could greet guests on their way out of the ceremony or into cocktail hour, which should minimize any hold-ups. Your parents can mingle and chat with people less formally during cocktail hour.

If you have a smaller guest list, you could also take some time to go from table to table during the reception. Just make sure you grab a bite to eat first, as this can sometimes lead to the newlyweds missing dinner altogether.

Planning on having a first look and taking family photos before the ceremony? Use cocktail hour as your time to greet as many guests as you can, then do a quick round at dinner or on the dance floor to catch anyone you missed. With a drink in hand and passed appetizers, making the rounds won't mean missing the fun!

See more: The Ultimate Wedding-Day Survival Guide for Shy Brides

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