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5 Creative Receiving Line Alternatives for Weddings

The wedding day can be overwhelming for some couples because of the expectation to visit each of your guests within a short period of time. What can you do when everyone tells you to enjoy your day but you spend most of it greeting guests? Of course, it is proper etiquette to greet and thank your guests for attending your big day with a wedding line up, but how can this be accomplished? We have creative receiving line alternatives to help you decide!

Creative Receiving Line Alternatives for Your Wedding Day | Hill City Bride Weddings Blog

photo by Jonathan Borba

Receiving lines at weddings can help with saying “hello” to everyone, but how to keep a receiving line moving when there are a lot of guests? If you are wondering “are receiving lines at weddings passe” the answer is that it’s up to you, but as times have changed, there are more creative receiving lines.

5 Creative Receiving Line Alternatives

Do a first look.

While this may not seem related to wedding receiving lines, if you do a first look for your photography, you will be able to greet guests during your cocktail hour. For those who might want a glass of champagne before a lot of social interaction, this is one of the great receiving line alternatives in a less formal manner.

If you end up forgetting someone or a guest is unable to attend before the reception, you will be able to see them throughout the night without stress. Another great benefit is that you get to enjoy all of the food!

Creative Receiving Line Alternatives for Your Wedding Day | Hill City Bride Weddings Blog

photo by Engin Akyurt

Make your receiving line shorter.

One way to get through a wedding timeline quickly is for just the couple to greet guests at the end of the ceremony. Traditional wedding receiving lines would have the couple, their parents, and the wedding party, but this alternative receiving line will be a breeze and take up less time. This option can be a great compromise for couples with traditional families who are expecting a receiving line.

Go table by table.

At the start of the reception, more couples are choosing to greet their guests table-by-table. While this becomes a more popular alternative to a traditional receiving line, it is a bit time-consuming. Some couples don’t feel that they get a fair amount of time to eat their meals, but it accomplishes the goal to visit with guests.

Host a pre-wedding party.

A creative receiving lines option for fun-loving couples is to host a pre-wedding party. The welcome party is a favorite of destination weddings because the couple has more opportunities to see everyone who is attending before the wedding. Now, couples are having welcome parties even if they are not traveling with their guests so they can get an opportunity to visit with guests in a casual setting.

The welcome party usually includes everyone from the rehearsal dinner and additional friends and family who can attend. This will free up the time that a couple needs to spend visiting with guests during the wedding day.

Creative Receiving Line Alternatives for Your Wedding Day | Hill City Bride Weddings Blog

photo by Trung Nguyen

Cull the guest list.

I know, I know. No one wants to hear this, but instead of perusing creative receiving line alternatives, consider just inviting the people that are closest to you so that you can spend your time with the people that truly matter instead of muddling through a long wedding receiving line. You could possibly ask your rehearsal dinner guests to skip the receiving line since they will be with you the night before to make more time for the guests that will only be a part of the wedding day.

What will you choose?

So, how about you? Do you know how to greet guests at a wedding reception? Timeline issues need to be considered no matter which of these receiving line alternatives you choose. There are so many pros and cons of receiving line time estimates. No matter your decision, just be sure to say “hello” to each of your guests and thank them for being a part of your day with one of our creative receiving lines.

Alli Dillenbeck is a wedding coordinator and marketing manager in Upstate NY. When she is not planning events, she is often tending to her large collection of plants.

  • Nailil - These are some great tips. I know planning a wedding call ones attention to SO many details.

  • Kileen - These are awesome tips babe! Love the idea of a pre-wedding party! Definitely makes it that much more manageable.

  • Carolyn - I like these alternatives! We culled our list and had a small wedding. It was nice to just have the people we knew best!

  • denni - gosh where were you ten years go 🙂 hated to plan my wedding and i had zero experience in it, you are a pro, love how you thought about the smallest details

  • Taylor Mobley - We didn’t do a receiving line! We just went up to everyone during the reception.

  • Jennifer - Such a smart idea, Taylor! Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

  • Taylor Aube - These are wonderful wedding planning tips! Greeting and thanking guests is so important, I love that small personalized detail

  • Riah - These are some awesome tips! I don’t think any of the weddings I’ve been to have had a traditional receiving line. I’m bookmarking this for the next time one of my friends gets married.

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