What Is A Receiving Line At A Wedding

The answer to what is a receiving line at a wedding is at the name itself. It refers to when the bride and groom receive or greet the guests. 

We will also talk about who stands in the wedding receiving line and if you must have one. And if you’re curious about other wedding customs, consider browsing our blog for more guides. 

what is a receiving line at a wedding

For example, do you know what is cocktail hour at a wedding? Consider navigating this page to familiarize yourself with more terms.  


What Is A Receiving Line At A Wedding And Who’s In It?


What is a wedding receiving line?

The receiving line at a wedding refers to when the bride and groom line up to greet or receive all the wedding guests. It is a practice expected, especially in big weddings, to ensure that you can say hello to the guests. 


Who stands in the receiving line? 

Who stands in the receiving line? Traditionally, the bride and groom will be in the receiving line, but their parents or hosts will also be included. 

Therefore, the receiving line is composed of the bride’s mother, father, the couple, then the groom’s mother and father. In some weddings, the fathers can choose not to stand in the line and mingle with the guests instead. 

Another way to create a receiving line is to include the wedding party, especially when the couple’s parents are unavailable. You can have your maid of honor and bridesmaids in the receiving line, for example. 


When to have a receiving line?

You can have a receiving line after the main wedding ceremony. After the bride and groom share their kiss and walk down the aisle, they can stand by the venue’s exit to greet their guests. 

This way, you can ensure that all the guests are in one place. Another timing to have the receiving line is before the cocktail hour. 

Greeting the guests before the cocktail hour would be ideal since everyone is on their way to loosen up. However, this timing is only suitable if you have few guests to avoid consuming too much time. 


Is A Receiving Line Necessary At A Wedding?

As future newlyweds, you can decide if you want to include a receiving line at the wedding. Nowadays, it’s common for couples to break some wedding customs here and there. 

You might also plan the day with a tight schedule that having a receiving line wouldn’t be ideal. However, it’s would be great to take some time to acknowledge your guests for coming.  

An alternative to the receiving line is to visit each table of your guests during the reception. The cocktail hour is also a fantastic time to meet and greet your close friends and family. 

Remember that weddings sometimes also serve as a reunion with faraway friends and family. So it would make your guests feel more appreciated, even if it’s only a quick catch-up. 


What Is The Purpose Of Receiving Line?

The purpose of the receiving line is to show the hosts’ and couples’ appreciation to their guests individually. Some of them might’ve taken a day off to attend the wedding, or others have traveled to show their support for the newlyweds. 

Of course, some weddings have too many guests, and greeting each person won’t be impractical. For instance, you can take advantage of the cocktail hour or wedding reception and greet everyone when you speak on the stage. 


How Long Does A Wedding Receiving Line Take?

You can allocate anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour for the receiving line at your wedding. The time will depend on the number of guests and the program for the day itself. 

The couple usually spends around 20 seconds per guest, but it can be longer or shorter. If you have a hundred guests, consider your time to ensure that everyone can be greeted. 


What Do You Say In A Wedding Receiving Line?

There is no mandatory script that the newlyweds or hosts must say in the receiving line. Feel free just to be yourself when expressing your appreciation to your guests. 

It can be a small talk or a quick catching up with some friends and family. Don’t forget to be thankful and recognize your guests’ efforts to be on your wedding day. 

You can even shake hands or hug your guests. But since you can expect that the day will follow a program, be mindful of your time spent with each guest so that you can greet everyone within the allotted timeframe. 


What do wedding guests say in a receiving line?

As a wedding guest, do not be pressured with what to say in the receiving line. It will go by quickly anyway, so you’re most likely just congratulating the couple and giving them a handshake or hug. 

Do not forget to compliment them and the occasion itself. And if needed, a quick small talk and how you’ve been can also be appreciated. 



And that’s it! In this article, we just found out what is a receiving line at a wedding, which is when the hosts and couple greet their guests. 

It can be after the ceremony or before the cocktail hour to show your appreciation to the people who attended. However, the choice is yours if you want to have a receiving line at your wedding. 

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