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To Have or Not to Have the Receiving Line

 What Exactly is a Receiving Line, and Do You Need One?

        As weddings adapt to the new requirements of social distancing and health concerns, many traditions are being re-evaluated in order to keep brides, grooms, and guests safe while still getting to celebrate the big day together. One tradition that’s come under scrutiny as of late is the receiving line. If you’re wondering if a receiving line is even still possible during VIDOC times, our expert wedding planners have you covered.

What is the Receiving Line at a wedding?


Receiving lines” are the traditional way for brides and grooms to greet each guest on their way out of the ceremony and the reception. Guests might thank the hosts for inviting them or comment on the ceremony, but the conversations should be kept short to keep the line moving.


Couples also take this time to make introductions as necessary, whether that means introducing your new spouse to your great aunt or your grandmother to your new in-laws.


While this is a sweet and sentimental moment for many, the close contact of the line means that it is not the safest idea during the virus, so you may want to get creative in order to still preserve this lovely tradition. Here are five creative ideas if you do decide to go ahead with the receiving line. 


5 Creative Ways to Have A Receiving Line While Social Distancing

  1. Mask It Up

    Photo source: Etsy: ForYourParty | MadebyJeff

Requiring your guests to wear masks is a great way to mitigate health and safety concerns while still getting to welcome and greet loved ones. You can provide Team Groom or Team Bride masks as favors, or encourage your guests to wear coordinating or funky colored masks as an additional accessory to their wedding outfit.


  1. Usher Your Guests Out

Many weddings rely on the services of the ushers and family members to usher out guests after the bride and groom have walked back down the aisle together. However, this is also easily something the bride and groom can do together in order to spend extra time with each and every loved one without asking everyone to stand in a long and close line to greet you as they exit! Make your grand reentrance as a newlywed couple and then you and your new spouse can personally greet, thank, and say hi to each group of guests before they leave the ceremony while still maintaining space from other guests and preventing a long and time-consuming wait.



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  1. Mark Your Territory

You can also try pre-marking spaces along the floor to ensure social distancing and then move from guest to guest without issue. Use washi tape or colored duct tape (tip: make it your wedding colors) to mark x’s along the floor and turn it into a sort of game for younger guests to move from x to x (when it’s their turn, of course)

  1. Behind (Plexi)Glass

    K’Mich Weddings-wedding ideas-scandinavian-spaces-bob-19-plexiglass-divider

Photo source: Scandinavian Space - Club + Business Resort

Pretend you and your new partner are on display by creating a decorative yet protective plexiglass barrier to stand behind when you greet guests. This way you can prevent cross-contamination from guest to guest and still say hello to all the loved ones who are celebrating with you. Be creative!!!


  1. Hold a Pre-Wedding Party

This is a great way to reduce wedding-day jitters and stress in a more controlled and distanced environment. Host a pre-wedding party and invite your wedding guests, whether it’s simply a backyard barbecue or a slightly fancier gala. Greet all your guests separately and spend a little more time with them than you might after the ceremony.

Related: Pros & Cons - Receiving Line

To Have or Not to Have the Receiving Line
Final thought

Weddings are a time to celebrate love in the company of your loved ones, so you should be able to spend time with your guests on your terms. Don’t let social distancing hold you back from celebrating with your friends and family by implementing these creative and distanced solutions to reduce stress and focus on your day of love.


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