Post # 1
Did you or are you planning to do receiving line following the ceremony?
My fiance and I aren’t really fans because we always feel like it takes way to long for people to be "released" from the ceremony and it can be awkward. There are people waiting behind you and some people really want to have a nice little chat with the couple and really hold up the line; I’ve seen some people get really anxious while they are waiting and it’s a bit awkward. Also, when the rest of the wedding party is standing there and we don’t know them we aren’t sure what to do/say. Don’t get me wrong, I want to personally meet with everyone that was there, but we plan to do so at the reception.
Maybe it’s just us that finds this less than appealing, but I can’t think of a better place to get some other opinions and hear what you did or what you are planning!
Post # 3
I’m pretty sure the only wedding reception I’ve been to with a receiving line was an LDS wedding, and while I knew the bride and her mother quite well, it was otherwise exceedingly awkward. My fiance who was accompanying me did not know any of them and had no idea what to say as we waited for the people in front of us to move along. I had only met her new husband for all of about a minute when I dropped off her bridal portraits a month or so before, and I certainly didn’t know his folks. Eep. I know the awkwardness was made worse by my general awkwardness at LDS functions, being the swearing, drinking, premarital sex-ing heathen that I am. I don’t ever feel nearly wholesome enough to attend their dances, parties, wedding receptions, etc.
Post # 4
I think receiving lines can be awkward, especially if you don’t know the bridesmaids/groomsmen or their families! However, I went to another wedding where it was just the bride and groom who asked that you wait in the pews for them to "release you" and they came and personally greeted each guest before they went on to the reception. We were in the back, so we did have to wait awhile, but I really liked that idea! Plus they piped in music so it wasn’t totally boring.
Post # 5
Most of the weddings I’ve been to have had receiving lines at the reception. Many of them (mine included) just have the parents, brides and groom, and honor attendants. We didn’t have the entire bridal party. It cuts down on the amount of awkwardness and length of time to go through the line.
I don’t think they are necessary. But I am glad we had one. By the time we tried to get around to all of the table to thank the guests, we only got through four before we had to cut the cake. So at least we can say we saw everyone in the receiving line. It was during the cocktail hour.
You just want to be sure you’ll get to acknowledge each guest personally, somehow.
Post # 6
- Wedding: August 2009 - St. Thomas of Villanova Church & the F.U.E.L. House
I think it’s become pretty popular now for couples to see one another before the ceremony. (Many photographers prefer this "first look" anyway, as they can capture a greater variety of images over a longer span of time.)
We’re going this route — AND our church won’t allow receiving lines — so Mr. MagPie and I are going to watch the time and schedule on our wedding day, and be sure to attend most (if not all) of our cocktail hour, which should be a great way to make the rounds and greet each of our guests.
Post # 7
- Wedding: June 2008 - St. Catherine of Genoa, Jin Asian Cuisine Restaurant
We kind of inadvertantly had a receiving line after the ceremony! We actually didn’t want to have one, for the same reasons you listed. However, at the end of the ceremony, all of the wedding party just ended up standing outside on the steps, and ended up forming some kind of line. We just went with it! It ended up not being so bad though, because we did some quick family portraits inside after, and all of our family members stayed inside.
Post # 8
I have never been a big fan of the receiving line myself, but I did feel that I needed to take an opportunity to greet each guest. We are going to be asking everyone to remain seated then we will be coming down and greeting each guest as they exit their seat. I think this will also help keep the time spent greeting everyone to a minimum and there isn’t any awkwardness with the bridal party because they are not involved.
Post # 9
i really didn’t want a receiving line either, for exactly your reasons.
so we went and hid in the bridal room (the entire wedding party did), and we sent someone out to remind people to just go to the reception cocktail hour.
Post # 10
I hate receiving lines!!! We won’t have one. Instead, we are going to greet guests as they come to the ceremony (after we do all of our formal pictures) and we’ll also make the rounds during cocktail hour. I LOVE cocktail hour and will be attending all of ours 😉 I’m sure people will find it strange, but I think this way there will be a lot less gawking at me as I walk down the aisle. I want to feel like it’s a special day that we’re sharing with those we care most about, and not like we’re putting on a show.
Post # 11
Pretty much every wedding I’ve been to had receiving lines and first of all I didn’t really want one and secondly I didn’t really know where we would have one at our ceremony location. Sooo, we opted to release the guests ourselves. Rather than have an usher go down the row releasing guests we did it. It turned out really well since people kind of mingled a bit until we got to them, plus, we decided to start from the back and work our way to the front so then those people could move their cars first (we had cars blocking other cars and since those in the back were most likely the last to show up their cars were most int he way). This way we also didn’t have to have our parents and bridal party standing and greeting people they don’t really know.
Post # 12
I am probably in the minority, but I kind of like receiving lines, even as a guest. On several occasions, I had never met the parents of close friends. The receiving line gave me the opportunity to do so. I am not sure I would have had an opportunity to meet them without the receiving line.
Post # 13
Thanks everyone for the input! I like the idea of releasing the guests ourselves, but I think it would take way too long for our larger gathering. I also want to have the chance to chat with everyone without feeling pressured to keep things moving. I have a feeling my fiance will want to stick with our original plan to greet them at the reception, but I’m storing this idea away just in case!
Post # 14
We will have a recieving line but it will be hopefully quick. I am doing this so that if we can’t make the full rounds at dinner/after dinner then I won’t feel so bad. And at least I know we got to see each person individually. This way I can enjoy my reception more without thinking "gee I forgot to go say hi to this person… let me go say hi so I’m not rude." Then it turns into a 15 minute conversation versus a quick hello at the recieving line. It just makes more sense to me!
Post # 15
I think we are going to not have a recieving line – instead greeting guests during the dinner hour. Though I’ve been in weddings where a receiving line wasn’t planned and people just formed into one as they were coming out of the church. As a bridesmaid – it was a little strange to be hugged by a bunch of people I didn’t know. I think if we did have one, we will stick to the parents and the two of us.
Post # 16
I’m planning on a receiving line. I think whether it makes sense depends a lot on the size of the wedding. My sister’s one big piece of advice to me, since I’ll have a similar sized wedding, is to have one. She said that if she had tried to go table to table and chat with everyone she’d never have had a chance to eat during her reception. Her receiving line only had her, my BIL, and both sets of parents.
I’ve been a Bridesmaid or Best Man (and the only non-family Bridal Party member) in a receiving line and it sucked, so I’m not going to make my Bridal Party do it either. Actually, that wedding was interesting. The reception was huge, and I strongly tried to encourage my friend beforehand to do one…she didn’t really care either way, but her SIL talked her out of it. But somehow (and I really don’t know how b/c we’d precessed back into the reception hall) a receiving line got formed anyway. But the wedding was on water and the ceremony had been on a "dock" at the end of a long, narrow pier. Since the receiving line was unplanned, the guests ended up stuck on the pier for like half an hour! Do not let this happen to your guests. The most aggravating thing about it all was that the SIL who was so against it was the one who took the longest chatting with and hugging each guest as they came in…even the bride’s sister was exhausted and trying to move things along. She kept making very good natured jokes about the SIL having her own separate receiving line, but she apparently didn’t get it. Anyway, my point is that if you have a lot of guests it might make practical sense, but make sure you’ve accounted for it. since we’re having pre-reception cocktails in a garden outside, I plan to receive guests as they enter the main hall…I figure they’ll come in at their own convenience (within a reasonable time frame) and hang back sipping drinks/eating if there are too many people waiting. This has worked at other weddings I’ve been to, and I think it’s a nice way to make sure you thank people like your Dad’s colleague you hardly know without too much stress.