To line up or not to line up…that is the question!

Many couples like to have receiving lines becsause they are worried they will not have an opportunity to say hello to all of their guests during the reception.  However, have they become a thing of the past?

There are a few major factors to consider when contemplating a receiving line.

1. Space.  Is there enough space to comfortably line up those “receiving” the guests and for the guests to walk through easily and swiftly. A receiving line inevitably always causes a traffic jam getting out of the ceremony site. Rarely do guests just give a quick hello and handshake.  Many times they want to stop, talk, hug and reminisce.

2. Number of Guests. How many people will actually pass throught the line? If you have less than 100 guests, it will probably be less of a problem than if you have 200 or 300 guests.

3. Time.  This is also directly related ot the number of guests.  The more guests you have the longer it will take.  It is also important to remember that the members of the bridal party greeting the guests must stand on their feet the entire time to do so.  Receiving lines can also delay the time alloted for picture taking.  Without a doubt, it could add 30-45 minutes to the exodus depending on the number of guests.

My suggestion is to skip the receiving line at the church or ceremony site and make every effort to greet the guests at their tables during the reception.  A well planned reception should allow for the bride and groom to work the room and get a chance to say hello to everyone over that 4 hour period.  If you absoultely must have a receiving line, consider all of the factors above and plan accordingly.


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