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Do You Know the Proper Etiquette for Your Wedding Receiving Line?

Most traditional weddings involve a receiving line, but do you know what the line is for and what you should do when you greet everyone? Here are some tips for basic receiving line etiquette.

Are you having a wedding receiving line? Do you know the proper etiquette that accompanies one? Most weddings do involve a receiving line, especially if you are having a large wedding or one that is formal in style. There are already plenty of wedding etiquette rules to be aware of for your big day, but those that apply to the receiving line are especially important because they involve interacting with your guests. Extending basic courtesy and thanking your guests for coming is a must, and the receiving line gives you an opportunity to do this.

What is a Receiving Line, Anyway?

A receiving line is usually assembled at the beginning of your wedding reception, or directly after the ceremony. Your guests line up so that you and your spouse can greet them individually before you sit down to eat and continue the reception. It allows your guests to meet with you face-to-face to congratulate and greet you.

Tips for Proper Etiquette

If you are having 50 or more guests, it is considered proper etiquette to assemble a receiving line. Be sure to allow everyone enough space. Ideally, you should place the line on the walkway, front steps, or congregational area outside of the reception hall or ceremony location.

The bride’s parents are typically stationed at the head of the line and greet everyone first, but if your parents are divorced, they shouldn’t be placed next to one another in the line. Instead, consider placing one on each side, while you stand next to one member and your spouse stands next to the other.

As you move down the line and begin greeting everyone, be sure to introduce your spouse to anyone they have not yet met. There is no need to have longwinded conversations. Simply greet and hug each guest, thank them for coming, and then move on. There will be more time to chat during the reception. These are some basic proper etiquette practices for your wedding receiving line.

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