What is a Receiving Line?
Traditionally, a receiving line is when the Bride and Groom greet their guests after the ceremony. Giving them an opportunity to say Thank You and allow their guests to Congratulate the them. This is the most secure way to be sure that each and every guests will be able talk to the bride and groom face to face.
Do I have to do a Receiving Line, How long will it take?
Many Brides are opting out of doing a receiving line, mainly because of the time that it takes. Most guests will take between 15-30 seconds each, but you may have a relative or good friend that will want to chat a little longer. This can add a lot of time to your Itinerary. If the average is 30 seconds per guest, multiply that by the number of guests you will have, and this will be a close estimate on how long it will take. Even at 15 seconds per guest, 100 guests would take 25 minutes. This can be a long time for the guest in the back of the line.
What are my Alternatives?
The best way to greet your guests without doing a receiving line is during dinner. The Bride and Groom will generally eat first, in fact, should eat first. As they are finishing up, many of the guests will be mid-way or getting started. This is one of the best times for the newlyweds to do a Table to Table greet. The guests will be entertaining each other at the dinner table so there will be no "waiting" feeling to congratulate the Bride & Groom. Also, the newlyweds will be able to greet 5-8 people at a time, so they can spend a little more time at each table. It can be more relaxing and comfortable as well.
Receiving Lines are a wonderful tradition, but for the modern Bride, a great use of alternatives can save time and help with a better flow for the Reception Itinerary.