Skip the receiving line and do photos together instead

Updated Oct 12 2015
Dressed to impress
Photo by Sean Logan

Ah, the receiving line. That thing that many couples sorta dread, where you stand there awkwardly smiling and hugging people and maybe feeling uncomfortable (…or worse). We loved Mary & Craig's solution…

Instead of a receiving line, we made a photo booth backdrop based on "Oh, the Places You'll Go," and had our guests line up to take their picture with us before going into the reception.

This awesome idea means that not only is your receiving line a bit more focused and fun, but you make sure you have pictures with all your guests! (Bonus idea: the pictures could then be the base of thank you cards.)

  1. This is an awesome idea! We incorporated our receiving line into a handfasting ceremony. After we were pronounced married and kissed, we asked everyone to remain seated and come up one at a time (or as couples or families) to tie a ribbon around our hands. This gave everyone a chance to speak with us one-on-one, gave our wedding party (who went first) time to set up the buffet, and the guests still waiting in their seats time to chat with the others around them or do the word games I'd put in the program. It was a little bit time consuming, but we only had about 40 guests and everyone was patient. We have it all on video, but I wish I'd thought about having someone take pictures too!

  2. We didn't want to do a reciving line either (too much hugging, ugh). But we still wanted a chance to say hello and greet everyone individually, so we served the cupcakes. The table prevented people from getting too touchy feely, but I got one on one time with all 100 guests.

  3. Awesome idea!

    I've also seen an OBB post where a couple had an ice cream bar as their dessert during the reception, and they were the ones who scooped everyone's ice cream. That way they could see every guest!

    I definitely don't want a receiving line, but I think I may steal this photo idea OR at the very least we will escort every table to the buffet and say hi to guests that way. We won't have many — 100 tops! — so I think we will be fine.

  4. One idea that I read that I'm really excited about is writing a personalized note to each guest to read before the ceremony. I think this helps alleviate some of the stress to meet everyone in the receiving line, and just focus on engaging with everyone at the party.

  5. This is awesome to see that someone else had the same idea as I did. We aren't doing the back drop but with a lake behind us we don't need one. We only have 57 people including us at our wedding so we won't have to much to worry about and with everyone mingling outside with us waiting on picture time we don't need to worry about cocktail hour or people complaining about what is taking us so long cause they will all be with us. Except for our one on one photo time.

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