Bride and groom taking a selfie with wedding guests during a receiving line

What is a Receiving Line?

A receiving line is a chance for guests to greet the happy couple once they are married. It is the first opportunity for a quick hug and thank you for their invite (especially if they’ve made the full-day invite – result!). You, as a couple, should also thank your wedding party for attending and celebrating with you, even if it has cost you an arm and a leg.

Originally, it would have taken place after the church service and before the wedding reception. In more recent years they have become less necessary – quite often, when your wedding is all in one venue. There are often more opportunities to mingle with your guests and more importantly – more time too. Throughout the wedding breakfast, there will be pockets of time between courses where you can stretch your legs, say your hello’s and accept your buckets of compliments on your expensive outfits.

Receiving Line & Wedding Videography

Having said that, we LOVE filming a receiving line. For us videographers, it’s the perfect chance for all of your guests to be captured on film (including those shy aunties who frequently hide from the camera).  We use a twin camera setup to film receiving line, one camera is on a tripod for a steady shot whilst the second is mobile on a Glidecam. This setup allows us to nip in and out to capture that close-up footage. Our tight lenses allow us to achieve  this at a distance preventive us from encroaching  your personal space. It makes for lovely footage, adding snippets of your nearest and dearest that you can revisit in months, years to come.

The Key to a Successful Receiving Line

The key to a successful receiving line, is speed! You don’t need every member of your family in the line – if you want parents that’s fine – although the more people next to you greeting guests, the longer it will take. For 100 guests, it will take approximately 30 – 45 minutes to greet and receive ALL your guests. This is why it’s essential to plan a receiving line before the big day to allow the catering, speeches etc. to all run accordingly. A quick hug, kiss on the cheek and onto the next will keep the rhythm going and save your poor feet. Honestly, by the time it comes to your 3rd cousin at the end – you’ll be over it and starving hungry.

If the time-frame allows it, you feel it’s appropriate and you’ve planned it with your wedding venue prior, then go for it!