Did you do a receiving line?

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
1247 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

At the last two weddings I’ve been to the DJ announced the couple would come to each table to greet and thank guests after dinner.

Post # 4
1140 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - Ontario, Canada

We did but we only had 50 people so didn’t really take long. 

Post # 5
851 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013


We did not do a receiving line….. here is why

  • not all guests will attend the ceremony so you will either have to keep count of who does not show to the ceremony and then stalk them out at the reception to thank them for coming
  • can take a very long time and keeps guests waiting

I opted for going around table to table at the reception to thank people for coming and to introduce my DH to family members……


Post # 6
402 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@MsPiggy:  We aren’t married yet, but we originally were planning on doing a receiving line to free up our time during the reception, but at this point it is making more sense to make rounds at the reception and skip the receiving line.

I don’t think it’s a necessity anymore, but it is traditional and I think a lot of older folks expect it.  As far as I’m concerned, as long as you make a point to see and thank your guests, it shouldn’t matter if it’s directly after the ceremony or at the reception itself.

Post # 7
345 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

After the ceremony we went back into the church and excused everyone pew by pew.  It worked out great!  You can say hi to everyone and it didn’t take forever!

Post # 9
11634 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

We didn’t have one, but we did end up going to each table to thank each person anyway

Post # 10
414 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@MsPiggy: We did one with just my husband and I. It went by in about 20 minutes and we had 150 people. In my experience, receiving lines with a ton of family members takes forever, and you’ll inevitably get stuck in front of someone you’ve never met, and be forced to make awkward small talk.

Post # 11
355 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

We did have a receiving line, and even with 125 guests it didn’t take too long. We chose to because we were concerned that going table to table would take too long, as we’ve had friends do that at their weddings instead and barely got to dance because it took so long (people wanting to take photos, chat, look at rings/dress details, etc). However, we randomly ended up going table to table anyway just to check in with everyone. Neither took all that long. Do what you prefer, so long as you get a chance to at least say hi to all guests.

Post # 12
6985 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

We did one. Took about 20 minutes for 90ish guests. FIL really likes to talk though. 😡

I did enjoy actually getting to sit down for dinner and relaxing a bit.

Post # 13
1721 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

My sister had a receiving line at her small (first) wedding about 8 years ago.  It was nice, but I haven’t been to a wedding since that had a receiving line.  FI and I both agreed not to do one, but we do plan on walking table to table to say hi to everyone. 🙂 One bee posted a cute thing that her and her hubby would be walking table to table handing out cupcakes to everyone.  I thought that was super cute 🙂

Post # 14
885 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

We didn’t do one and I really regret it!  I thought we would be able to get to everyone during our cocktail hour, but that didn’t happen.  As a result, my DH and I ended up rushing around to all the tables (solo, I might add) between courses to see everyone.  There were still a couple people we missed until later, and I still feel terrible about it.  

I wish we had just done one with just the two of us (no parents or bridal party involved) while guests made their way from the ceremony area to the reception area.  It probably would have taken no more than 20 minutes and would have ensured that we talked to everyone. 

Post # 15
9526 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Did I do a receiving line? Yes!

Do you have to do a receiving line? No!

We chose to do a modified receiving line. At the end of the ceremony, we walked out with the bridal party, but all the guests remained seated. Then we came back in and dismissed each row, starting in the front and working our way to the back. I like this approach because it was just teh two of us greeting people, it went quicker than a traditional receiving line, and guests can sit while they wait to be dismissed. But most importantly, it took the pressure off us to greet everyone at the reception. I’ve been to weddings where the couple intended to visit each table during dinner and they always seem so rushed. And sometimes they don’t make it to all the tables. And I wanted to eat. So this was a great way to be sure we thanked every single person for coming to celebrate with us. We had about 150 guests and it took about 20 minutes.

So this worked really well for us and I’m glad this was the decision that we made. But you definitely don’t need to do a receiving line. Plenty of people don’t. Then you just have to be sure to greet all your guests in some other way, like by visitng tables. 

Post # 16
1035 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

We had a language and slight culture barrier in our family (SO’s Mum is French) and his parents are divorced so the 2 of us stood in the entrance to the reception and just said hi to everyone.

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