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What nobody tells you about the receiving line.

Receiving lines are a traditional wedding event to release your guests after the wedding ceremony.

It gives you an opportunity to talk to all of your guests and to thank them for coming to your wedding. However, there are some things that you should know about this tradition. While planning your wedding schedule, you need to allot at least thirty to forty-five minutes for this. Receiving lines take a long time to get through. Even if you don’t have that many guests, everyone wants to give you a hug and comment on your dress, your hair and the wedding ceremony.

Sometimes you don’t know everyone who is invited to your wedding. Maybe your aunt brought her new boyfriend and you’ve never met him.

Stephanie Perry, Wedding Photographer photographs Casey at her wedding ceremony

Casey hugs her bridesmaid at her wedding ceremony

Here’s how this conversation would go:

You: “Hey Aunt Becky! It’s so great to see you. Thank you so much for coming!”

Becky: “You know I wouldn’t miss this! You look absolutely gorgeous! The ceremony was so beautiful. Oh, by the way, this is my boyfriend, Steve.”

You: “Hi Steve! Nice to meet you! This is my husband, Jeff.”

Steve: “Nice to meet you both.”

Jeff: “You too! Thanks for coming! See you at the reception!”

*Hugs all around*

Here’s another scenario:

You: “Hey Sally! Thanks so much for coming! This is my new husband, Jeff.” “Jeff, this is Sally from the office.”

Sally: “Congratulations! The ceremony was so beautiful!”

Jeff: “Thanks! Nice to meet you! I’ve heard so much about you. It’s nice to put a face to the name.”

*Hand shakes and hugs all around*

These are the short versions of conversations that could happen…now multiply this by two hundred. You have no idea how fast these little conversations add up and eat away time on your wedding day. And don’t forget, most receiving lines include your parents and bridal party, so people will be talking to them, as well. It’s a hug-fest and you don’t want to keep your guests waiting around forever to get over to the reception and the food.

Enjoyed this blog post? View my last wedding tips blog post here! How much time do I need for my photos at my wedding?

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