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New Ways to Receive Wedding Guests and Then Get on With the Party

Your reception line your way. It’s an old-fashioned tradition that still makes sense – everyone wants to talk to the happy couple!

Are you getting married in the Berkshires? Wherever you spend your special day, you’ll need to think about ALL the details, including whether or not to do a receiving line. The receiving line: a wedding tradition that hasn’t changed much since your parents were married. Guests stand in a long line to greet the bridal party before the reception gets underway. It’s a tradition that can seem like an unnecessary throwback. And it takes time away from the “fun” part of the celebration. 

Hold up! This tradition is important. The receiving line is still the best way to personally greet and speak with each of your guests and thank them for coming to your wedding. Especially when you have 100 guests or less. Plus it allows guests the opportunity to be introduced to a parent or spouse they haven’t had the opportunity to meet.

And one thing every guest will cherish is a little one-on-one love from you and your new spouse. Connecting, even briefly, with the joy of the occasion personally makes a lasting impact on the people who share your important day. 

Here are a few ways to make the receiving line less of a chore and a more of a joy!

  • The receiving line is traditionally after the ceremony and before the photos (and reception). Here at Saint James Place, the happy couple can say “I do,” walk down the aisle and out the front door, and walk around and enter by the East Wing door and walk down to the end of the that aisle and stand in front of the Great Room. Guests can then walk down that aisle on their way to cocktails in the Great Room. It’s called good flow, people! Here’s a map of our building so you can get the idea.
  • Keep it short—only include the married couple and their parents. You can include the maid of honor & best man, but it’s a choice.
  • Practice what you’ll say and keep it brief. “Thank you for coming!” “It’s so great to see you!” And then turn to the next guest in line. This also prevents any chatters from holding up the line.
  • Have servers offer guests hors d’oeuvres and drinks to help with the wait. Just make sure there is a table at the beginning of the line, so guests can set down their drinks before going through the line and shaking hands. 
  • If you truly can’t abide a receiving line, you can opt out, but take the time during the reception to speak with each guest and thank them for coming.  

Please let us know if you’d like to learn more about having your perfect wedding at Saint James Place in beautiful Great Barrington, MA. Call Laura Gratz at (413) 528-1996; text (413) 429-1141; email:laura@saintjamesplace.net.