January 10

The Divas Dish on Receiving Lines

Receiving lines are a time-honored wedding tradition, but does that mean it’s an absolute must? Here’s what one reader wrote in:

Dear Divas,

Do I have to have a receiving line at my wedding? My mother says it’s required but I’ve been to plenty of weddings without them. Please help!



Dear M.C.,

Your mother is right that proper etiquette requires a receiving line for a wedding of 50 guests or more, but beyond just the rules of proper wedding planning we think they are a good idea.

Almost any bride will tell you that your wedding day will fly by—and that it’s incredibly difficult to get face time with each of your guests, eat something and still manage to see your new spouse for more than just a dance or two. The receiving line takes a lot of the drama out of it, giving you a minute or two to see each and every person in attendance.

This is one wedding tradition that has stood the test of time. We recommend that you have one to make your life a whole lot easier on the big day!

Would you give the same advice? Leave a comment and let us know.

Do you have a question for our wedding experts? Send your etiquette, wedding planning or style dilemma to blog@weddingpaperdivas.com and we’ll post an answer for you!


4 Comments   |   Posted in: Diva Dish
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About Katie

Katie M. is a Writer at Wedding Paper Divas. She has the privilege of viewing nearly every piece of stationery before it goes up on the website, giving her the ultimate inside scoop on upcoming trends in the stationery world. She loves classic designs with a surprising twist, and enjoys finding new ways to express her ever-evolving personal style—a blend of traditional glamour and bohemian whimsy that makes Wedding Paper Divas a perfect fit! In addition to her love for writing, Katie is obsessed with health and fitness, skincare, UC Santa Barbara, all things adorable, the beach, dancing, cooking, getting real mail, fresh flowers, discount shopping, and shoes (who isn’t?). Katie is a contributing editor to Diva Dialogue. Be sure to check out her recurring feature, “Rant or Rave.”

4 thoughts on “The Divas Dish on Receiving Lines

  1. Joanne

    Instead of having to worry about catching up with each and every person at our wedding, we planned a picnic lunch for Sunday after the wedding. We asked anyone who wanted to come to join us in a local park and to bring their own lunch. We provided leftover wine from the reception. It turned out to be absolutely brilliant, and we got a lot more face time with family we hadn’t seen in years

  2. Brittney

    We’ll be having a receiving line at the church, directly after the ceremony, for the exact reasons given above. That way when we get to the reception, we’ve already said hi to everyone, and can relax! We won’t be scrambling to talk to every single person at the party. However, we are giving the option for guests to skip the receiving line. Anybody who wants to exit another door and head to the reception can do that, our pastor is making the announcement after the recessional. I agree that it’s a worthwhile tradition 🙂

  3. Sondra P.

    I have a severe health problem that makes a receiving line impossible. I will be fortunate to get through the wedding without a trup to the ER. So there are centainly exceptions. I have always found them to be awkward and tedius and I plan to visit with everyone there to some degree whether at the rehearsal dinner or luncheon with out of town guests. A post honeymoon party will also be held when I am in better health so anyone I missed at the wedding will be there. There is no one size fits all for weddings anymore.

  4. Dawn B.

    I was very happy I decided to have a receiving line at my wedding. Even though it took about 20 minutes and cut into our photo time, it gave me face time and allowed me to greet every single guest. At the reception, I was able to have fun and dance and not worry about making it around to every guest to say hello. One thing I do wish I had done was to touch-up my make-up a bit more after my receiving line. I just didn’t think about how much I was sweating off and how much lipstick was coming off with each kiss hello! In the photos taken after, I could tell.


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