Wedding Planning Logo

Wedding Planning Articles

How to organize a wedding receiving line

A receiving line might be appropriate depending upon the style and the level of formality of your wedding.  Although a receiving line is not necessarily required, since it is unlikely that the bride and groom will have time to meet and mingle with every guest during the wedding reception, this tradition gives the bride and groom and the wedding party the opportunity to meet and greet all of the wedding guests.  By meeting and greeting everyone in the receiving line, in advance of the wedding reception, it takes some (a lot) of the pressure off of everyone during the reception allowing everyone to relax and enjoy the wedding celebration. 

Although the receiving line is usually organized to take place either immediately after the wedding ceremony or just before the wedding reception, the exact timing of when the receiving line is to be formed is up to you based on the specific events and circumstances of the wedding day.  Be sure to consider the weather when considering the location for the receiving line and always have an alternative plan in mind should the weather change.

Since people do not usually enjoy standing in line for a long period of time, if you have a large wedding and anticipate a significant wait in line for the guests, consideration should be given to the comfort of your wedding guests.  Offering a beverage like champagne, sparkling water, water or punch to the guests can greatly lessen the discomfort of waiting in the receiving line to meet the bride and groom.  Having friends, relatives and other wedding party members mingle with the wedding guests who are in line will also create distraction and lessen the discomfort.

Once the guests reach the receiving line, do everyone a favor by having the wedding party keep the verbal exchanges brief to keep the receiving line moving smoothly - greet the wedding guests warmly, let them know how happy you are that they could join you on your wedding day and then introduce the guest(s) to the next person in line. If anyone feels the need to carry on a lengthy conversation with a guest, there will be plenty of time...after the receiving line.

Traditionally the receiving line begins with the bride's mother, who is the official hostess.  Depending upon the formality of the wedding and your individual wishes (and the length of time you want to be standing) you may have any or all of the wedding party members in the receiving line. Keep in mind however that more wedding party members in the receiving line means a much slower line.

Following is the customary traditional order of the wedding party in the receiving line;

Mother of the Bride
Father of the Bride (optional)
Mother of the Groom
Father of the Groom (optional)
Matron of honor (optional)
Maid of Honor (optional)
Bridesmaids (optional)

Other wedding party members are an optional addition to the receiving line and traditionally not part of the receiving line.

Back To The
Wedding Planning Information

Las Vegas Weddings

Hawaii Weddings

Destination Weddings

Honeymoon Destinations

Wedding Toasts

Wedding Theme

Wedding Favors

Wedding Decorations

Wedding Planning Home | Privacy | About Us | Contact Us | Advertise
Copyright © 1998...  Hospitality Networks -  All Rights Reserved