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Do you have to have a receiving line at your wedding?

Aug 6, 2021

You’ve heard it time and time again … your wedding day flies by, and it often feels like you don’t even remember who’s all there because you’re running around so much! So how can you guarantee a meaningful moment with every one of your guests before the celebration ends? One option is to have a receiving line following your ceremony!

Receiving lines are a great way to greet your guests following your ceremony. Some couples do a receiving line and others don’t; there is no wrong way to do it! Whether or not you have one really depends on the timeline of your wedding day, which we determine with each of our couples!

If you do choose to have a more formal receiving line, here are a couple of different ways to do it:

  1. Traditional receiving line: 

After the ceremony, the bride and groom (and sometimes their parents) wait at the entrance of the ceremony venue and all of the guests wait in line to give a hug and say hello. This typically takes the longest because people tend to want to visit! If you have 100-150 guests, it takes about 30 minutes for everyone to get through; 200 guests takes about 45 minutes, and 300+ can take up to an hour or longer.

2. Ushering guests out of their seats: 

After being pronounced husband and wife, the bride and groom walk out of the ceremony venue and then re-enter after a minute or two to hug and say hello to their guests as they let them out of their rows. This goes much faster than the traditional receiving line and is a great option if your timeline is tight or you’re having a winter wedding since the light is gone earlier in the day.

3. Greeting guests after you eat dinner

If you don’t want to have a receiving line after your ceremony but still want to greet your guests, you can always go table to table after you finish dinner. This is a great way to see and thank everyone for coming!

Although a receiving line is not necessary, taking time on your wedding day to greet all of your guests is! They’ll want to congratulate you, and they will greatly appreciate you taking the time to say hello and thank them for attending your big day. 🙂 

Hope this helps you explore your options for saying hello to each of your guests on your wedding day!

Brittney & Caleb



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