Based on our research and in speaking with brides to be, some say this is an old tradition they don’t plan to use and others believe they will have a receiving line. The purpose behind the tradition of the receiving line is to allow the hostess – usually the Mother of the Bride, regardless of who is paying for the wedding – to personally welcome the guests into the reception. Traditionally, the bride’s parents – as hosts – head the receiving line and are first to greet guests, followed by the bride and groom and then the groom’s parents. Many lines we’ve seen also include the entire bridal party (if there’s room), and sometimes even grandparents. The couple may wish to stand alone.
Let’s start by setting the record straight: A receiving line isn’t required. However, the bride and groom like to greet and thank every one of their guests for coming to their wedding and the receiving line ensures the bride and groom and family thank personally each attendee of the wedding.
Is a receiving line really the best way to be sure they don’t miss anyone? We think if the wedding is large (more than 75 people) a receiving line is a great (and efficient) way to be sure all the guests have a chance to meet the couple’s parents and attendants. Now if you are having a small wedding, it’s fine and possible for the bride and groom to visit with each table – usually during the meal – to greet, thank, and chat with their guests. Large guest lists and big bridal parties can make for very long and time consuming receiving lines. The receiving line is still used by some where the guest list is very small – some say, no more than 25.
The receiving line is held either at the ceremony site as people exit the service, followed by formal picture-taking, or as soon as the couple reaches the reception area, after the formal pictures. Ideally, the location permits guests to have refreshments while they wait for their turn, possibly and extension of the cocktail hour which might allow the line to flow into the reception area.
So what do you think, are you going to have a receiving line ? If you are looking for outdoor weddings in and around the Albany and Saratoga NY Capital Region, we cultivate memories on your wedding day at Liberty Ridge Farm.