Wedding Traditions: Receiving Line
Is the receiving line really necessary in this day and age?
Sometimes brides will nix a wedding ritual because it seems “old-fashioned.” Before eliminating a traditional part of your wedding day, take a look at the purpose behind the custom. You just might find that the rationale is a good one!
Dear Wedding Guru: “It seems so passé to have a receiving line. Do I really need one?”
(Our answer on next page)
The Wedding Guru says: As is the case with most wedding customs, a receiving line is not written in stone — and is not absolutely necessary. What is necessary is that you and your new spouse take the time to meet and greet every guest. A receiving line is a great way for the bride and groom to introduce guests to one another. In my opinion, that’s the minimum amount of time you should spend with each guest and a great way to make sure that you don’t miss anyone as you cruise through the room.
Some couples are concerned about the amount of time that a receiving line “takes away” from the affair, so here are several things you can do in order to minimize that problem:
Consider having a smaller receiving line after the ceremony. Traditionally this includes the bridal couple, their parents, and all the attendants. With a smaller receiving line, you can cut back to just the two of you and your parents.
After the ceremony and before the bridal party recessional begins, you can exit down past the rows of seats, followed by your attendants. Sse that opportunity to say “hi” and give the guests an opportunity to congratulate you.
Set up your receiving line at the spot where guests exit the cocktail hour. You and your beloved can greet them as they file from the cocktail hour venue into the reception room.
In advance of your wedding, you can practice what you will say. Be brief, but pleasant. A predetermined greeting can save you time.
If you decide to forgo all these alternatives, it bears repeating that — at some time during your reception — you must take the time to stop at each table and thank your guests for coming and allow them to congratulate you!