Wedding Receiving Line Etiquette—Greeting Your Guests with Style
Author: Jean Bachcroft
Article source: http://www.favorideas.com/. Used with author's permission.
Even though it's a great tradition with a long history, some couples
choose not to greet their guests in a receiving line fearing that this might take too long. Frank Gregoli, a top New York party planner says
realistically, one should allow 30 minutes for every 100 people in the
If this time allotment fits within your plans and you'd like to be certain that
you personally welcome and thank each of your guests, read on.
Know the Basics
Being familiar with the basics of what a receiving line is all about will
immediately help you to feel comfortable with this elegant formality.
Exactly when and where the receiving line is formed is really based
upon your particular situation. In general, people like to form their line
either in the vestibule right after the ceremony or at the entrance to the
With the exception of the groom, this is really a lady's affair. Here's the
lineup: first in line is the bride's mother, followed by the bride, the groom
and, next to him, his mother.
Dads, groomsmen, bridesmaids, and children in the wedding party
generally are not a part of the receiving line. If for some reason you
choose to include any of these people, keep in mind that every person
you add will cause the line to proceed slower.
Short and Sweet
Once everyone is in position, the rule should be to keep greetings brief
yet warm and sincere. This will avoid a bottleneck. If there is time before
your wedding day, review your list of guests with the groom and
A little homework never hurts.
Since your mother and you are the first in line, it's expected that relatives
and friends of his side of the family will introduce themselves to each of
you. As your relatives and friends proceed, you should introduce them to
the groom and his mother.
Include the Pleasantries
Consider adding a few pleasantries if your receiving line will not be in a
house of worship. This will liven up everyone's mood, get conversations
going, and make waiting in line easier for your guests. For instance, you
Include music—Have the band or your dj positioned close enough so
that there is music in the background. Plan ahead though. You don't
want to have to take time to make these arrangements at the last
Pass the tray—Ask your caterer to set hors d'oeuvres and champagne
on a table nearby or have a waiter offer these on a tray.
Receiving Guests Like a Pro
There are always instances where, for one reason or another, a
person's name is not ready to roll off your tongue. You can handle these
moments as if you've been in receiving lines all your life by saying
something like: "I'm so glad you came. (Groom's name) and I hope you'll
have a wonderful time." Or you could say, "It's great to see you again.
Please say hello to my husband, (Groom's name)." Or "Thank you so
much for coming. (Groom's name) and I feel lucky to be with so many
good friends." About the Author
Jean Bachcroft is a former public relations director, founder of Bachcroft
and Aloha Labels, and the publisher and editor-in-chief of Town and
Country Shopping Bargains Magazine. For designer wedding, holiday,
and year-round mailing and return address labels, visit Bachcroft Mailing and Return Address
Labels and Aloha
Return Address Labels.
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