There are several different ways to spend time with your guests and there are so many different ways throughout the course of a wedding day to do it. Don’t stress about when you’ll make time to see them!

Let me share some of my favorite ways to greet guests on your wedding day including a receiving line at weddings:

Traditional receiving line

The most traditional option that is still popular today is the receiving line. I am seeing a shift away from a traditional receiving line when a couple has a short amount of time in between the ceremony and reception because a traditional receiving line can take between 30-45 minutes. This is the receiving line where a couple is pronounced and walks to the very back of the church, with the wedding party and guests greeting them by the door. It can be a great photo opportunity (have your loved ones turn and face us and I’ll snap a photo of you both together!), but unless there is a large gap in between the ceremony and reception or a first look prior to, I feel there are much better options.

Greet guests row by row after your ceremony

There is a second receiving line option available if you’re still wanting the greetings and hugs to happen in between the ceremony and reception and it goes much quicker! You’ll be pronounced and you’ll greet guests row by row instead of walking to the back of the church and greeting them. This still creates some beautiful memories, but without a ton of time. Your guests will feel obligated to keep the line moving since they are still in their pews and there are people behind them. But you still get a chance to say hi to everyone.

stranahan wedding reception photo

Greet guests during cocktail hour

Do a first look, wedding portraits of the two of you, your wedding party photos, and all of your family photos before your ceremony. Greet your guests in a casual environment during cocktail hour. My couples LOVE this as it is the least stressful way to say hi – you have the entire reception to say hi if you forgot some people.

Greet guests as they enter the reception

Have a gap in between your ceremony and reception and as guests enter the reception venue, be there to say hi! Then you can go back out for photos on the grounds while they enjoy some appetizers and light bites.

Go table to table after dinner

Sometimes it’s just easier to eat dinner and walk from table to table after you are finished and say hi to everyone. Some people are against this option as your guests will possibly have a mouthful of food, but it is a great way to say hi and also allows you to say hi before the party really begins!

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