Don’t have an unintended receiving line

One wedding tradition that is losing popularity is the receiving line. Historic tidbit: this custom dates back to more superstitious times when it was believed that anyone who touched the bride and groom would be blessed with good luck. It then became a practice for large weddings as a way of insuring that each guests was greeted.

photo by Rob Letteri (

However today, because most couples make a point to visit each and every guest at their tables during the reception, people are questioning the usefulness of a receiving line.

In contemporary weddings the receiving line tends to slow everyone down and create a big crush. After sitting through the ceremony (which I hope was lovely and meaningful) guests would like to get up and move around, and perhaps have a snack or beverage, or sometimes get out of the heat or cold. The line can sometimes take a half hour, and frankly, sometimes the greetings can be awkward.

A recent survey ranked the receiving line as one of the least favorite things at a wedding. So if you are foregoing the receiving line, you are right ‘in line’ with the latest tends.

However, don’t have an unintended receiving line. By this I mean that after recessing, the bridal party find themselves standing at the back of the ceremony area… guests begin departing, and, viola – an unintended receiving line begins! So plan where you’re headed after that recessional to avoid the pile up!

If you are planning an outdoors receiving line – make sure you are in the shade and consider having beverages or music or add some element to make it more enjoyable for those waiting in line. Or leave out the bridesmaids and groomsmen to make the line go faster.

Whatever you decide, remember, you always have choices – it’s your wedding!


thanks to photographer Rob Lettieri for the photo!

This entry was posted in Ceremonies and Celebrations, Pocono Weddings, Tips on Weddings, Wedding Ceremonies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

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