What is the reception line for weddings?

Friends and family will shower you with congratulations and hugs as soon as the ceremony is over. The tradition of the receiving line, in which the couple or a specific member of their family greets guests, is long-standing. It is a simple way for guests to feel welcome and accepted at the reception.

Here’s a quick overview of the tradition of the receiving line.


What time and where?

The reception line is usually formed either immediately after the ceremony or during the reception. The most popular areas for receiving lines that are formed at the ceremony location include the hallway or vestibule at head of the aisle, outside entry doors, along the front steps and on the porch. If the line forms at the reception site the most popular areas are the cocktail lounge, lobby, outside the doors leading to the main room or the reception room. Whatever the situation, it is important that you choose the area where you are most comfortable for the duration of your reception line.


Who is in the receiving line?


Wedding hosts are the wedding’s first greeters. The tradition dictates that the wedding hosts are the bride’s parents. If so, the receiving line starts with them. Next, the groom’s parents, then the bride’s parents. The couple can also include all of the bridal party if space allows.


What should you say?


The receiving line allows you to thank your guests, to express your excitement to see them, as well as to introduce your groom and other members of your wedding party to them. Keep it brief and sweet. It’s important not to make the line too long. There will be time for longer conversations at the reception table visits.

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