Wedding Receiving Line: Etiquettes for the Newly Weds


Weddings are meant to be shared. More than just a simple ceremony that requires your sweet ‘I do’s’, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you to share fancy memories with the people you love—the people who matter to you and your soon-to-be other half. But while you may want to mingle and spend time with every guest, it can be quite hard to divide your time. Before you even notice, your wedding day will be over.

Indeed, one day may not be enough to let your guests feel how much you appreciate their presence. The great news is, you can always set up a receiving line as it offers you the opportunity to express your sincerest gratitude to all of your guests.

Is a Receiving Line Necessary?

A wedding receiving line may be a thing of the past for some couples, but it is definitely more than worth the extra time and effort. Just consider this: Your guests saved their day just to share this precious moment with you, and organizing a receiving line is great way for you to be able to pay back their efforts. Plus, it will save you time later in the evening since you won’t have to circle around the tables just to greet your beloved guests one at a time.

When and Where Should I Set Up the Receiving Line?


A receiving line is organized right after the wedding ceremony or before the start of the reception, and this is basically the most ideal time since it goes naturally with the flow of events in your wedding day. There’s literally no sense in scheduling a receiving line at the middle of the reception program, right? Right!


One of your main goals when making space for a receiving line is the spot where it should be set-up. Since you are going to greet a lot of guests in between, it’s crucial that you take note of proper ventilation. If you opt to arrange it after the ceremony, you could use your gorgeously-designed aisle, the site’s front porch or entryways. You can also take advantage of the space of your reception site.

If, on the other hand, you prefer to highlight your wedding receiving line in the reception area, you can use the lobby, the main room, the dance floor or the cocktail lounge. There are a lot of options you can choose from, and all you have to do is to pick the best spot.

Who Is in the Line?

Traditionally, the people who stand inside the line other than the newly-weds include the wedding hosts, the parents, and if there is enough space, the other members of the bridal entourage. Chronologically, the wedding host steps in first, followed by the parents, the newly-weds, the maid of honor and the other bridesmaids and best man.

However, if your parents are already divorced, sequentially, the bride and groom’s mothers and step-fathers are followed by the newly-weds’ fathers and step-mothers. In the like manner, you can also stand with your partner inside the line on your own the same way that you can add your grandparents and other friends in your list.

There are actually no fast rules on who goes in line first because basically, it is still your choice as a couple especially if you are under special situations. After all, it is your big day so the decision on who goes inside the wedding receiving line and who doesn’t is always yours to make.

Things to Consider

While setting up a receiving line may only be one small detail in your wedding, there are still some factors that you should consider to make this moment shine. For instance, are you the kind of person who doesn’t mind getting touched or hugged? If not, then do you think you can tolerate handshakes at the least?

Always look for a shaded location. So you and your guests won’t have to wait in line under the blazing heat of the sun. This is especially true if you live in a tropical country. No one really likes small talks under the sun, right? Remember, your make-up artist wouldn’t be happy about that deeply smeared make-up. And yes, your photographers will disagree either!

Don’t forget that you only have a limited time. If you love engaging into long conversations with your family and friends, now is not the right time especially since there are still so many guests in your list. If any of your guests is trying to draw you into long conversations, politely say that you will love to hear more about them later in the evening.

A wedding receiving line plays a great role in helping you reach out to your guests. With the right frame of mind and the simple details that work together to make your day picture-perfect, you can always make your dream wedding come to life.