One of the most important parts of every reception is the opportunity to meet and greet your wedding guests. This can be done by either going from table to table or by having a receiving line. While a receiving line is considered optional, it is often the best option, especially if you have a large wedding. If you choose to have a receiving line, don’t worry, it will go smoothly and effortlessly if you follow some easy tips.
1) Decide when to have the receiving line. You may opt for the receiving line at the church (after the ceremony), at cocktail hour, or at the start of your reception.
2) Most brides prefer to have the receiving line at the beginning of the reception. If so, allow enough time between the ceremony and reception.
3) Determine the location of the receiving line. You’ll need to have enough space to allow for a comfortable line of your guests to line up.
4) If you like, have a waiter bring guests appetizers and small cocktails while they wait in line – it makes for a much more fun time for everyone.
5) The receiving line should be lined up as follows: mother of the bride (or host of the wedding), father of the bride, mother of the groom, father of the groom, bride, groom, maid of honour, and bridesmaids.
6) It is optional (your choice) to have the fathers be part of the receiving line. If they are not included, they should be greeting guests by circulating through the venue.
7) Bridesmaids are optional in the receiving line. Unless the wedding is rather formal it is perfectly acceptable to leave them out.
8) If the parents are remarried (as is often the case) the respective spouses are not typically included in the reception line.
9) Inform the receiving line participants of their duties and where they should stand.
10) Keep greetings short and sweet. This is especially important if your wedding is a large one. You don’t want to keep guests from getting into the reception. A kiss or handshake and a simple thank you are all that is needed.
11) Allocate enough time for the receiving line – keep in mind the number of guests and allow plenty of time for the entire group to get through the greetings.