A receiving line is a great way to ensure you spend time with each of your guests and is an alternative to going table to table later in the reception.
However, receiving lines take time away from other aspects of the reception, especially if you have a large guest count.
So should you do one or not?
Receiving lines typically occur at one of two times, according to Brides.com: Immediately following the ceremony as you exit the venue and on the way into cocktail hour. They typically include the bride and groom, parents and bridal party.
“As the newlyweds, this is when you begin your duties as hosts for the evening,” according to Brides.com. “It is your responsibility to make introductions as necessary, whether that means introducing your new spouse to your great aunt or your grandmother to your new in-laws.”
However, MarthaStewart.com presents the case against a receiving line.
“The biggest complaint from couples is that a receiving line takes up a big chunk of time, especially if you have a large guest list,” the website says. “Most couples feel like they’d rather spend that time mingling in a more natural way, or enjoying their cocktail hour instead. Additionally, complicated family dynamics can make a receiving line feel awkward if there are people who don’t get along with one another.”
We think BridalGuide.com sums it up.
“Although a receiving line is not necessary, taking time on your wedding day to greet all of your guests is,” according to the website. “If you choose to forgo a line altogether, then be sure to take some time during the reception to visit each table and thank your guests for helping you to celebrate your marriage. They’ll want to congratulate you, and they will greatly appreciate your consideration.”
Bottom line: You don’t need to have a receiving line, but you do need to greet and thank your guests.
To learn more about how brides are “bucking tradition,” read our blogs on bridal party dances, flowers, first dances, rings, wedding cakes, the bouquet toss, the garter toss and whether white is always right.