Post # 1
just looking for opinions on receiving lines. Our wedding is in the country – about 35 minutes from the nearest town and 40 in the other directions to the city- so we are hoping to keep the cocktail hour short and sweet. We are providing entertainment so that we can have at least an hour to take wedding photos in between. Becuase of the time constraint I really don’t want to do the receiving line (because it takes so long to say hello to 150 guests). Some of my friends are saying this is bad etiquette and others say it is an outdated custom. From the guests point of view what do you think? Thanks in advance!
Post # 2
What is required is that you individually greet and thank your guests. Whether you accomplish that with a receiving line or you choose to walk around during dinner and do table visits and just make sure you are keeping track that you got to every one is up to you.
Post # 3
We also had around 150 guests and did a receiving line, largely due to pressure from my family who is super traditional. NGL, it was a pain in the ass to do it, but it actually ended up being for the best. It ensured we greeted each guest individually and that way didn’t have to worry about getting around to each table during the reception.
Post # 4
We had planned to do a receiving line right after the ceremony at the church but it just didn’t end up happening lol. We greeted most people informall though still, and we went around to all the tables at the reception after dinner. As a wedding guest I prefer when the bride and groom go around to the tables, it feels a bit less rushed.
Post # 5
We did one as people left the church so we wouldn’t have to go around individually to tables at the reception, but ended up having to go around to tables anyway since some people skipped it. (Most notably: my mom’s friend who always complains when the bride and groom don’t say hello to her at weddings and the whole reason we HAD the receiving line. We went to her table for a good amount of conversation at the reception. Then she complained that my mom hadn’t introduced her to all of her relatives. Sometimes you really can’t win.)
I would say outdated since I haven’t seen a traditional formal as-you-enter-the-reception receiving line since my cousin’s wedding in 2007. Which I wasn’t a fan of since it created a backlog of people trying to get to the reception room. It might be different in your area though.
Post # 6
Not required at all, but as PP’s pointed out make sure to individually speak to each guest at some point.
Post # 7
What is your alternate plan for greeting everyone?
Post # 8
Neither poll option is correct, but I went with “important” since you need to welcome your guests one way or another.
That said, receiving lines are not outdated. I see them not infrequently, especially at larger, formal weddings where it is logistically the best way to ensure greeting every guest. Otherwise, you are obliged to make table visits and or get around to people individually.
Post # 9
You do need to greet all our guests, but up to you how. I had a small wedding and did a receiving line and loved it . We got amazing pictures from it and actually got to EAT during dinner lol. But as long as you thank all your guests you’re fine without!
Post # 10
We didn’t have a receiving line. We made sure to go to all the tables at dinner and greet all our guests, but with over 100 people, even spending 30 seconds with each person would mean almost an hour of a receiving line, and that was a waste of time in my book.
Post # 11
We did a receiving line for 95 people as we were leaving the church. Worked perfectly
Post # 12
We are having a garden wedding and have planned for at least 15 to 20 minutes to mingle and thank everyone before the formal photos start. That way we can say hello to most people but we are having a small wedding.
Post # 13
What kind of weddings are y’all going to where the bride and groom are individually greeting everybody??? I have never in my life been to a wedding with a receiving line, or even a couple greeting you at tables. If you wanted to talk to the bride and groom, you approached them during dinner, dancing, whatever. That just sounds horribly awkward.
Post # 14
The kind where people act like good and gracious hosts when they invite people to a party they host, not act like they are unapproachable royalty. A reception is receiving your guests. If you invite people to your house to dinner or a birthday or anniversary or graduation party, do you not greet them and interact with them or do you just act rude and dull and expect them to come to you? It is pretty much Gracious Party Hosting 101: Greet and welcome the people who traveled to see you at your request.
Post # 15
Due to the configuration of our venue, our coordinator there discouraged us from having one. In hindsight, I so wish we would have had one.
Unfortunately, due to our ceremony taking more than an hour, my changing all the way out of and back into my dress three times to use the restroom during the evening, and our having to take family photographs after dinner, we never had a chance to dance with or go around to greet our guests together. I spent the next nine months after our wedding completely obsessed with and utterly miserable over the fact that all of the people who are most special in the world to us were in one room for two hours with us (including dinner), and I didn’t get to talk to or interact with the vast majority of them. I was pretty much inconsolable because of it. I drove my poor DH crazy with my sadness about it. There were family there I hadn’t seen in decades, and it actually took me nine years after our wedding to finally meet the husband of one of my friends (due to our living in different states.)
Whatever you do, make sure you find a way to talk to everyone.