Top Tips for Hosting a Receiving Line at Your Wedding
The ceremony was over! The pressure was off! WE WERE MARRIED!!!
GIF via Giphy!
There was no rest for the Dreamcatchers, however, because we went straight into a receiving line. They aren’t for everyone, but it’s kind of expected in our area. I was skeptical at first because I didn’t want it to turn into an hour-long affair, but ultimately we enjoyed it. Here is the Dreamcatcher strategy for a short but still meaningful receiving line in three easy steps:
Smiles all around!
1. Keep it to as few participants as possible. In our case, it was just Mr. D and me. This way all our families, friends, and even guests were spared small talk with people they didn’t know, and the line moved fast. Win-win!
2. Station yourselves somewhere that it’s possible to skip the line if a guest pleases. We stood off to the side of the entrance to cocktail hour. This way if guests wanted to stop and greet us they could do so easily on their way in, but if they wanted to get straight inside that was also an option. There was delicious, free food and booze after all (AND COOKIES)—who could blame them?
3. Keep greetings simple. I’m naturally a talker, so this came really easily, but focus on one thing you can relate to the person, thank them for coming/complimenting you, then offer a comment about how excited you are to continue sharing the day with them. “Hiiiii, you look incredible, thank you so much for coming. That dress is stunning.” *gets compliment back* “You are too kind. I can’t wait to dance with you later!” *moves on to next person* “It is SO good to see you! I hope your travels went well?” *listens to story* “Thank goodness there was no traffic. Let’s hope you aren’t too tired from the drive to show me some moves later!” *next* Obviously, don’t be rude and rush people through!
With about 140 in attendance, our receiving line died down in about 25 minutes. It felt really special greeting everyone, especially those who traveled just to be with us. Which is probably why I’m making this face to a friend who drove over eight hours to be there.
When making your decision to receive a line or not, you may want to take into consideration the fact that Mr. D and I unfortunately didn’t get to enjoy a single morsel of food during cocktail hour. Our schedule was tight because we had to do all our family photos, a few more with the wedding party, plus a chunk more with just us.
Who needs to eat when you’re getting photos like these? Thanks LMP!
Thankfully, everyone else involved with pictures got to enjoy at least half of cocktail hour. It was held inside the mansion, which everyone loved exploring. It also had a really pretty patio with a view!
An hour quickly passed and everyone started making their way down to the reception room. It was time to get this party started!!!
The mansion’s “sun room,” where the bar was!
Dreamcatcher tip #16: There are tons of options for scheduling around cocktail hour, so weigh the options and do what’s best for you. We didn’t mind missing cocktails and would much rather have had more time for pictures. But if being present there is a priority for you, make it happen!
- My dress almost doesn’t happen.
- I get by with a little help from my friends.
- We stumble through a rehearsal.
- We give some awesome gifts.
- Flow it, show it, hair, hair, hair, hair.
- Stuff gets sprayed on my face and makes me pretty.
- It takes one mom and six bridesmaids to dress me.
- A Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Dressed
- A look of the first variety.
- I forget I planned a gift exchange.
- Our wedding party cheeses something fierce.
- Our photographer somehow makes us look good.
- I manage to not trip.
- We have a beautiful ceremony, even if I don’t know a left from a right hand.
- We make a bunch of our guests cry.