Linked with Love: Recessional & Receiving Line

When we started planning our wedding, I assumed that we would do a receiving line because to me they were part of traditional weddings. Throughout our planning process I learned about alternatives such as visiting each table during the reception, but decided to go with our original plan.

I think a receiving line is great because it is not just about the couple, but also the families that are coming together at this event. Parents are a very important element of weddings (they raised us and might also be paying for the event) and they are just as interested in greeting the guests as the couple—there aren’t many events in life when you can gather all your family and friends at the same time.

Once we said our vows, we walked back down the aisle…


I couldn’t help smiling!


BM K with Best Man N


BM P with GM D (my brother)


{guest photo}

…and lined up for our receiving line. We stood in line with both our parents and my maid of honor. The cocktail hour was held inside of the Lodge, just at the end of the walkway from the receiving line. Once guests had finished greeting us it was only a few steps to their next destination. This helped us create an easy flow for our guests to follow.


BM P was among the first to congratulate us.


My dad


Mr. Bracelet’s dad


{guest photo}


Bowing to my Japanese host-mother


Greeting Mr. Bracelet’s uncle


{guest photo}

My Maid of Honor R remarked after the wedding that she was very glad to have been a part of the receiving line, because our guests enjoyed meeting her and having the opportunity to exchange a few personal words with one of my German friends. So if anyone is wondering whether to include your MOH (or complete bridal party), do so! Your guests will probably enjoy meeting her.

All in all, the receiving line took us 10–15 minutes for about 60 guests. It was great to be able to talk to each guest one on one for a bit, especially as one family wasn’t able to stay for the reception. Also, beware that a veil might be a bit inconvenient when people hug you, but it’ll be OK.

Are you planning on having a receiving line? Why or why not?

All photos by Legacy Photo + Design unless otherwise noted.


Missed a Bracelet recap? No worries…links are below!


Mrs. Bracelet

Frankfurt, Germany/Rapid City, SD
Wedding Date:
September 2012
Nearly Newlywed: Top 10 Wedding Dresses
Our Wedding Takes a Drastic Turn and We Explore a Bajillion Venues
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  1. mswaterfall Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:39 pm

    We skipped the receiving line in favour of the table visits, and I think it worked well, except that so many people came to see us at our table that we barely ate :(

  2. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 4:59 pm

    We also chose to see people during dinner instead of a receiving line, I was worried it would be too hot to make people stand outside and wait on us…I’ve been to weddings where the receiving line takes an hour!

  3. Member
    scottsdalebride 109 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:01 pm

    I LOVE this post! I am very old-school and considered doing a receiving line. After reading this, it is definite. I want time to personally talk to each and every one of my guests. Plus the bridal party! Love these pics. What a beautiful way to honor your guests. :)

  4. camel Member
    camel 703 posts, Busy bee @ 6:34 pm

    I had never even heard of a receiving line until recently! I don’t know what rock I’ve been living under. Needless to say we did not have one, but it would have been a quick and easy way to say hello and thank you to all of our guests at once!

  5. Member
    graciej 197 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:18 pm

    I was so excited to read your post. Receiving lines aren’t really done where I live. I’ve never been to a wedding that did one. But I’ve always wanted to have a receiving line as guests enter our reception and this is so helpful in thinking about the logistics of how to plan it. Thank you!

  6. bracelet Member
    Mrs. Bracelet 279 posts, Helper bee @ 10:22 pm

    @Mrs. Waterfall: Aww man, and I’m sure you were looking forward to your dinner!
    @Mrs. Pony: An hour is definitely very long. I guess it depends on the number of guests and how long you spend with each guest (quick greet vs. actual conversation).
    @ScottsdaleBride & @graciej: I’m glad that my post helped you plan your weddings! Yay!

  7. Member
    lamina 58 posts, Worker bee @ 2:49 am

    I LOVE this post!

  8. Member
    jacofblues 1468 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:54 am

    Oh my veil got tugged down a gazillion times when I was hugging people! It was so annoying! We did a spur of the moment receiving line at the end of our wedding which was lovely! Lots of hugs!

  9. jetsetter Member
    jetsetter 535 posts, Busy bee @ 4:27 am

    These photos are great! Everyone looks super happy to be there! :)

  10. sword Member
    sword 1029 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:02 am

    Yay, a fellow receiving line bride!! :) Receiving lines are definitely pretty common in the Midwest but I think they are hardly done anymore. Both my sister and I did one and it was such a gift to be able to hug every person at our wedding. We each had around 125 people. That’s so cute that everyone wanted to meet your MOH!

  11. mspalmtree Member
    Mrs. Palm Tree 1122 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:14 am

    Cutting the receiving line was an easy decision for us, but prior to ours I’d only been to one other wedding where they didn’t have one. It made sense for our logistics (ceremony and reception literally in the same room) but I do love them. They’re very old school and traditional and I think it’s a great way to greet guests.

    Btw – your colors look GREAT in these photos!

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