(Closed) Spin off: What's so bad about receiving lines?

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
628 posts
Busy bee

That’s an interesting question. There has been a receiving line at every wedding I’ve attended and I didn’t realize it was controversial. I was intending to have one, but not if people find it somehow offensive. 

Interested in the responses!

Post # 4
2481 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

The only time I’ve found a receiving line unfortunate was at my former SIL’s wedding. This took place on a cold and wet winter’s day. When the guests arrived at the reception venue we were kept outside to wait until the receiving line was ready to receive us. Had we been asked to hang around outside in a polite manner this would have been slightly more acceptable. But to have the doors locked by a grumpy MC who shouted “Stay out there until you are called for” was not a good start to proceedings.

Post # 5
8679 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I don’t mind them unless there are like 300 guests and the giant 20 person wedding party stands in the line to meet everyone. Ugh. We just did us and our parents and it went pretty quick.

Post # 6
4439 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

@CurlyCue:  It’s awkward, quick, forced interaction.  I prefer table visits.  The last wedding I went to that had a receiving line the line formed after their outdoor ceremony before the indoor reception, the line waitied outside and entered the reception after greeting the bride, groom, and parents of each.  It was so hot outside, it was miserable.  They really should have said ‘screw it’ to the receiving line and let people in the Air Conditioning.

Post # 7
5475 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

We decided against a receiving line for our wedding simply because we had nearly 200 guests.  It would have taken HOURS to greet each and every one of them individually.  For smaller weddings I think they’re nice.

We did table visits so we were still able to personally thank every person for being there.  We could do a quick chat with 8 people at once and only spent 1-2 minutes per table.  We were done in 45min-1hr.

Post # 8
3725 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@CurlyCue:  I have found receiving lines, in general, awkward at times. Being in bridal parties where I had to stand in line and greet guests, it was weird for me. I didn’t really care to be there. As a guest, I have found they can take a while.

This all being said, my FH and I will have a B&G receiving line only to bridge from ceremony to cocktail hour. Our attendants and parents will not be a part of the line so I’m hoping it speeds right a long.

Post # 10
966 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Ironically, I don’t like them and did not want one for my wedding.  Our goal was to go table to table once we got to our reception and greet our guest… Welll it didnt work out that way, because we were whisked away so that our guest could go out the side door and walk around the reception area (our wedding and reception was at the same venue) our guest ended up walking right past me and my hubby and we ended up with a receiving line…. go figure..

Having said that, it turned out fine, but I will say….. the one thing I did like is that it was just me and hubby greeting the guest, NOT the entire party…to me that is total overkill, I have been in weddings where I was in a receiving line, I didn tknow most of the people I was greeting.  I think if you are going to do one.. it should be the bride and groom and maybe their parents if they want to participate…

Post # 11
521 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I find them annoying because they delay my getting to the bar for a drink!  I also hate standing in a long line in my heels.  And, it just seems awkward to me.  Like, big smile, hug, congratulations, you look beautiful, NEXT…rinse and repeat.

Post # 12
14658 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Awkward and forced

Post # 13
406 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I think I’ve only been to a wedding witha receiving line once, and here were my issues with it as a guest: there was a lot of standing and waiting. Now as I plan my own wedding, I totally get why a bride and groom would do it, so that you’re sure you’ve greeted everyone.  But as a guest, it was weird to stand in line, but that wasn’t the worst part. After the line, we had to wait around in the lobby of the church to do a big send-off for the couple, and there was NOWHERE to sit down!  My high-heeled feet were killing me, and we hadn’t even gotten to the dancing yet! But I was more worried about elderly people forced to stand around and wait on a hot summer’s day.

Anyway I don’t think we’ll have one… my church actually doesn’t allow them, and I don’t think we’d want to have one at the reception. Though I definitely feel anxious about having to make the rounds during dinner… I will be one hangry bride if I don’t get to eat!

Post # 14
2715 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

They are great for small weddings, maybe with <50 people.  But if you have a larger wedding, they just take forever.  I’ve definitely waited around for at least 20 minutes to leave the ceremony space and there were still a good number of people behind me.    It just gets really boring.

Post # 15
7276 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

The only time I don’t like a receiving line is when the entire bridal party is in it. I also find it a bit awkward if the parent’s are involved. Otherwise I think they are great! I have only been to one wedding that didn’t have one because they planned on greeting each table. They only made it to about half the tables so this experience made me an even bigger fan of receiving lines.

Post # 16
2188 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2024

I’m with @pinkshoes Awkward and forced.

After sitting through a ceremony the last thing I want to do it stand in line and greet the bride, groom, their parents and wedding party who I don’t know. It’s just weird.

I think it’s better for the bride and groom to greet their guests at their tables during dinner instead of hearding the guests in line like cattle.

The one time I had to do this as a Bridesmaid or Best Man it was AWFUL, took forever for about 100 people and it was hot and people didn’t know how to greet me because they didn’t know me it was just so weird, I couldn’t wait for it to be over. It also pushed pictures back and by the time I FINALLY got into the venue I was hot, sweaty and starving and ALL the hors d’oeuvres were gone at that point.

If I’m at a wedding and that happens again…I’ll be skipping the receiving line.

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