A Highland Fairy Tale: We Receive Hugs in a Line

I love that just recently Mrs. Bracelet posted about having a receiving line and how much she enjoyed it!  I have to echo her thoughts and say I’m so glad we went for it even though at first I was all like, Receiving lines are lame, no one wants to stand in waiting to hug you when there’s food and drink to be consumed!  FALSE.  Receiving lines rule.  Look at the proof!



Surprisingly enough, our receiving line went SUPER fast, in my mind anyway, and because we ended our ceremony about 15 minutes before cocktail hour started, most people didn’t miss a thing!  Plus, you might find gems like these from your photographer!  I’m the queen of crazy faces.


I feel like receiving lines are falling in popularity but speaking from someone who’s been to weddings where the bride and groom frantically try to make it to each and every table during dinner (we also tried this and failed by three tables), I highly recommend this route if you have a wedding guest list of 150 people or lower.  With a receiving line, you are guaranteed one hug and some real eye contact with each and every person!


Mrs. Sword’s Tips For a Kick-ass, Modern Receiving Line

1. Keep your receiving line limited to only the most important peeps.  Whatever that means to you, for us it was bride, groom, bride’s parents, and groom’s parents, for a grand total of 6.  For Mrs. Bracelet, it was her MOH as well.  Gone are the days where you include the entire bridal party, it’s just not necessary!


2. Send the bridal party packing!  By that I mean, don’t make those closely involved with the wedding and ceremony stand in line for a hug when they most likely have been with you all day and probably have helped you pee once as well.  Have your bridal party immediately go to the next event to get things started!  This goes for ushers, flower girls, ring bearers, honor attendants, and others as well!

3. Include buffer time between ceremony and cocktail hour or reception (depending on your wedding) so that the line doesn’t feel rushed. You don’t want people thinking they are missing out on something so leave time in between events specifically for the receiving line if possible.

4. Designate who is standing where ahead of time.  The last thing you want to do after your ceremony is think about the order of your receiving line.  Luckily, WeddingWire had this as one of my checklist items so I made up the order ahead of time and emailed it to our parents.  When the day came, we were prepared! Ours ended up being boy-girl and looked like this, starting with closest to the guests:

Bride’s Mother
Bride’s Father
Groom’s Mother
Groom’s Father


5. Choose a path that flows well.  We chose to line up behind the atrium gates meaning guests had to walk out of the atrium and past the fountain on their way to the reception room.


We didn’t want anyone sneaking out the back way by the kitchen and this enforced a path.  If you are doing a receiving line into a new location, do it in the hallway or lobby so as not to interfere with flow once guests are in the room.


6. Don’t ask your guests questions or chat them up!  This one is counter-intuitive because if you’re like me when someone is attending your event you want to ask how they are doing and catch up on them instead of just focusing on you.  Ignore this feeling.  Simply thank them for coming, for traveling, or for just being awesome, and give them a firm hug.  Smile.  But don’t make chit-chat, that will slow the line down too much!  (It’s a good idea to share this tip with other members of the receiving line as well.)



All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

Anything I’ve missed?  Did you or will you do a receiving line as well or will you be attempting the table tango?

Sword Wedding footer FINAL.jpg

Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look!
Cold couple portraits!
The Swords with swords!
The men pose!
The women pose!
Altogether now!
Elevator madness!
Big reveal!
Family photos!
Posing with our flower girl!
True Scotsman indeed!

People processing!
Bridal cry/laugh walk!
Ceremony readings!
Vows and handfasting!


One thought on “A Highland Fairy Tale: We Receive Hugs in a Line

  1. Pingback: Tuesday Tips–Receiving Lines . . . Yay or Nay? | Perfect Day Wedding Planners

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