Wedding Receiving Line

by Cindy
(Newnan, GA)

My daughter is getting married in a garden center. The ceremony will take place in a natural amphitheater and the reception under large tents several feet away.

Any suggestions on timing and placement of the receiving line? We want it to go as quickly as possible.

Our Thoughts

Over many years of event planning I have come to understand and know that receiving lines are a huge time monster.

Needless to say I am not a big fan of them when it comes to timing. A 150 guest wedding can take upwards of 45 minutes to an hour to get through a receiving line!

It is an old tradition to have a line to allow guests to congratulate the newly married couple and their parents. However, with more and more couples joining in on their cocktail hours and so few time slots to get the “good” photos, couples are choosing to skip this tradition and simply go from table to table throughout the wedding reception instead.

My vote as a wedding planner is to skip the receiving line. If this is something you absolutely want to partake in, my suggestion would be to do it directly after the ceremony as guests are going into cocktail hour.
Another way to save some time is to move against the line – meaning as the guests are coming forward, the bride and groom begin to slowly walk towards the guests.

By moving forward and not standing in one place you speed up the progress a little bit, thus saving time. I would also suggest having just the couple in line and not the entire party, and also try to make sure you keep things short and courteous.

You will have a lot of time to chat and congratulate over libations and dancing. Time is short on the day of a wedding and it goes by all too quickly so do not get held up in a line.


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