Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wedding Receiving Lines

The ceremony is done, you've just been kissed, and the wedding reception - the fun part - looms on the horizon. There is just one more formality that you really should do - the wedding receiving line. There are a couple of choices for this: having one at the ceremony site or at the wedding reception site.

While some couples neglect this ritual - I was at a wedding two weeks ago and the wedding couple didn't have one at all - this is still your chance to welcome all the people you've invited to your wedding and thank them for sharing your day with you.

In some cases, wedding couples hold their wedding receiving line at the ceremony site right after the wedding is over. They greet their guests as they are leaving the site and do not worry about any sort of receiving line at the wedding reception.

Others opt to hold a wedding receiving line at the wedding reception venue. Once the wedding ceremony is concluded, they leave that venue, have pictures taken, and then proceed to form a wedding receiving line once they reach the wedding reception. This necessitates that the wedding couple reach the wedding reception venue ahead of the guests so that they can greet them properly.

No matter where you decide to hold your receiving line, there are a few things to review so that you are able to greet your guests with the respect and appreciation they deserve for attending your wedding.

A day or two before the wedding, go over the guest list with your parents, spouse-to-be and wedding attendants. Determine who has responded and who will be attending the wedding. Put all your place cards in order so that the names are all fresh in your minds. (Here is a site that discusses the etiquette of the receiving line.)

Remind wedding attendants in the receiving line to keep comments short and sweet!

Position the receiving line at the end of the ceremony venue, so that when the guests exit the venue, they are greeted and received by your wedding party. (This site offers a couple of interesting line-ups for the actual receiving line.)

At the wedding reception, have the receiving line positioned at a convenient spot near the entrance of the wedding reception site. This way the guests can move down it easily, and go directly to the refreshment area where cocktails and appetizers are being served.

Provide some sort of musical background for the receiving line. A photo book or posters of you as a couple can be placed strategically for guests to look at while they are waiting in line. Have a guest book, perhaps a photo to sign and other amenities in the cocktail area while guests mingle as you finish with the receiving line. This is a great location for the table assignment place cards to be situated.

Remove gloves before shaking hands. (I know it's the best way to spread cold germs, so be careful you don't touch your face until you get your hands cleaned and sanitized, once all the guests have gone through the line).

If you've announced your wedding reception will begin at 5:30, expect your receiving line to take half an hour. Anyone who arrives later than that will just have to come and find you!

No comments: