(Closed) Logistically can't have a receiving line for a small wedding

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
989 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Personally, I wouldn’t have an official ‘receiving’ line.

I think mingling with your guests would be much more natural with the size/type of wedding you are having 🙂

Post # 3
398 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014 - Norton Country Club

Sounds like a really neat space! We are facing the ceremony-to-reception-changeover too, but with 150 guests. We are still wrestling with the subject of ensuring one-on-one time, but I know we will table-mingle anyway. One other option that we’ll be using is having two chairs placed across from us at the head table during the reception with a sign inviting folks to come “visit” us too. I’m not sure if that would work or if you’ll be sitting much, but I love the option and thought it was worth a mention! 

Post # 4
9549 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

If you think you can keep track of all 50 guests and make sure you speak to each one and thank them for coming then I you don’t need a receiving line. That’s much more manageable with 50 than 200, so I think you could probably pull it off. However, if you would prefer to not have to keep track of whom you’ve spoken with, you certainly can do a receiving line! They aren’t limited to large weddings.

We had 150 guests and we (my husband and myself) did a modified receiving line where we came back into the ceremony space immediately after the recesional and dismissed each row and hugged and thanked each person as they left their row. It made the rest of the evening stress free, because while we tried to get around to most guests to visit with everyone – I knew we had at least thanked and hugged everyone.

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by  JenGirl.
Post # 5
10453 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

Just mingle! It’s the same thing anyway (talking to your guests), but less formal and stuffy. and you’re not trapped at the door without food and drink. 

Post # 6
1598 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I had a pretty big wedding and did NOT do a formal receiving line after the ceremony. We got married at a theater in the city, so the sidewalk space was super teeny tiny and narrow as was the street. And the lobby wasn’t very big either. A receiving line was almost physically impossible for our venue.

Plus I really wanted to maximize the time we had at a park to take the formal portraits, so we skipped the receiving line.

We mingled casually with our guests at the reception, and we also did the bridal dance, which gave us a lot of time to chit chat with everyone.

I don’t think it’s a big deal if you don’t do one, especially if you have a small wedding. You will probably have plenty of time to mingle with everyone at the reception.

Post # 7
8604 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I personally would have the receiving line immediately after the ceremony. We thought we would have time to come back and mingle during cocktail hour, but photos ended up taking longer than we expected. I was glad we had already made a point of greeting everyone personally so I could actually eat during dinner.

Post # 8
42 posts

I don’t know for sure if this will work for you, but we didn’t do a receiving line either.  We had a plated dinner, and they served the head table first, so after we were done eating, we went around to all the tables and greeted everyone as a couple, and it took about 45 minutes for 200 guests.  That way we made sure to talk to everyone and we didn’t have to take up more time between the cocktail hour and the reception.

Post # 9
10292 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

The rule of thumb is that you need to get around to speak individually  to each one of your guests  to thank them for coming.  With a larger wedding, a receiving line is one way to ensure that you don’t miss anyone.   Since you have a very manageable number of people attending, the choice of whether or not to do a receiving line is yours. 

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