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Receiving Line Etiquette

Receiving Line Etiquette
To Receive or Not to Receive?
Receiving line etiquette is something all brides and grooms need to think about.  Having a receiving line is almost always the right choice and it’s almost mandatory if you have over 50 people attending your wedding. If you take the time to stand in the receiving line, you ensure that you have at least some contact with each of your wedding guests. It’s a wonderful opportunity to receive congratulations and say thank you.
Who’s In It?
The answer to this question depends on who is in the wedding party and who is hosting. Who’s in a receiving line will also differ depending on the formality level of the wedding. The most formal of receiving lines will include, in order:
Parents of the Bride
Groom and Bride
Parents of the Groom
The Maid of Honor and Best Man
Don’t over talk during your receiving line, as guests will feel obligated to speak a few words with everyone therein. More conversation taking place means a longer wait time for everyone involved, from guests to the bride and groom. Everyone will have a chance to mingle during the reception, so keep your receiving line abbreviated.
When Do We Receive?
The receiving line participants will usually line upjust after the completion of the ceremony so that they can greet guests as they exit the ceremony venue or ceremony space. Less popular but just as proper is the receiving line that takes place just prior to the start of the reception. When planning your receiving line, consider space constraints and time constraints. If your ceremony venue is tiny, it may be better to line up and greet people as they enter your ceremony venue. Common receiving line sites include lobbies,staircases that lead outside, a front porch, the cocktail lounge, and the reception space itself.
As the bride (or groom) it is your responsibility to introduce guests unknown to your parents and spouse, and the receiving line is a great place to do this. You don’t have to give anyone’s life story— names and their relationship to you and your sweetie will suffice. Guests have a responsibility in the receiving line, as well.
Your wedding guests should introduce themselves by name to anyone in the receiving line who they do not
already know. Again, introductions should be brief all around since they’ll be plenty of time to get to know one another in more detail later.
Do I Still Need to Visit Every Table?
No, though brides and grooms should certainly make every attempt to mingle with their wedding guests. The reception is a great place to have a more intimate conversation or catch up with family and friends who came from out of town.