Quick Tip: Receiving Line

The vast majority of my clients don’t do a receiving line but occasionally a bride and groom either want to have a traditional receiving line at the church or their parents insist on it.

Truth be told, I try to talk people out of receiving lines or releasing rows for the simple reason that they are a huge time monopolizer and tend to be impersonal. Most of my brides and grooms realize they will have more meaningful interactions with their guests if they circulate at the cocktail hour or go from table to table after dinner to greet their guests. The conversations are not as rushed, your guests don’t feel like cattle and you can say more than “thanks for coming” which is all that a receiving line allows because there are 180 or more other guests staring you down, standing in uncomfy heels and too tight suit coats to shake your hand!

Obviously, my advice is to skip the receiving line but if you really want one or a parent is insisting, make sure you allocate enough time for it in the timeline! My rule of thumb is assume it will take on average 10 seconds per person for each guest to move through the line. 250 guests? That receiving line is going to take just under 45 minutes. See why I recommend greeting guests at other times?

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