The Scoop on a Receiving Line

Authored by: Rinette Emerson
October 28, 2010

The receiving line gives the bridal couple and their parents the opportunity to great each guest individually and thank them for coming to your wedding and gives the guests the opportunity to hug and congratulate you on your new Facebook status.

If the ceremony and reception take place at the same location, consider having the receiving line shortly after the ceremony. However, if the ceremony and the reception are at different venues, have the receiving line at the reception. The church is the ideal location to hold your receiving line – time permitting – especially if all guests are not invited to the reception.

The parents of the bride and groom and the bride and groom are the essential members of the receiving line. The maid of honour and the bridesmaids are usually part of the receiving line but not essential members. It is not mandatory for the best man and groomsmen to be in the line as it may be more beneficial to have them usher your guests to their seats. It’s also acceptable not to include the Fathers, and instead have them circulate amongst your guests. If parents are remarried, Step-parents can be included if you wish. As a general rule of thumb, only include the essential members – so that your guests do not face a long and tedious wait to greet the honoured couple.

Speak to your photographer/videographer about taking impromptu photos of your guests during the receiving line to help pass time and to record this part of your special day. You also may consider serving refreshments and appetizers to your guests while they wait.

Some couples decide to eliminate the receiving line altogether, choosing instead to “make the rounds” greeting their guests during the reception. If you choose to eliminate the receiving line, you have the responsibility of greeting each guest over the course of the evening. If you’re uncomfortable with greeting your guests individually, remember that they have come to your wedding to honour you, and saying hello to each of them is the least you can do.

Follow along at our blog.  We post lots of content that will help you create your perfect, hopefully stress-free, wedding day.

Go, check out our Tips and Suggestions and we’ll catch up with you next time!

About the Author: Rinette Emerson

Prior to Enduring Promises, Rinette worked with clients on strategic communications, online development programs, corporate branding and helping clients “get found” online. After officiating her first wedding, many years ago, Rinette was hooked – and now she is a sought after wedding Officiant. A little-known fact about Rinette…she is an amazing artist! You can follow her on LinkedIn.


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My Divorced Parents Together…Awkward!

Authored by: Jim Emerson
October 14, 2010

He finally proposed, but as you begin to plan, you have concerns about how your divorced parents will behave towards each other on your special day. Here are a few suggestions that may help make your wedding day as special as you have dreamed without any family dramas or confrontations.

As soon as you announce your wedding plans, meet with both parents (together, if possible) and communicate your concerns about possible clashes between them. Remind them that this day is very special to you and your fiancé and they just have to get along for one day. At the very least, explain that you expect them to be civil to one another and maintain a “respectful front” with your wedding guests.

Talk with them, in detail, about your expectations for your wedding day and how you would like them to participate in it. To ensure a smooth running of your day and to avoid confusion or misunderstanding let them know this information as far in advance as possible. Although it is your day, be sensitive to your parents’ apprehensions and try to come up with compromises which address both of their concerns.

During the wedding ceremony, if your parents are civil to each other, seat them together in the front row. There are no rules, however, that state that divorced parents must sit together. So if you think this might be awkward and that they would be more comfortable sitting apart, either seat them in the front row with other relatives in between, or ask your Mom to sit in the front row and your Dad in the row behind.

Another person you should speak with, before the wedding day about your family situation is your photographer. Let s/he know that your parents are divorced. This will greatly assist the photographer in arranging the family photos and photo groupings. And don’t forget to speak with both parents about the group photos so that you have advance warning if a family or group photo is unacceptable or uncomfortable to both or either of them. To avoid an awkward situation on the day of your wedding, it is important that decisions regarding family photos be given to your photographer well in advance.

The wedding of a child is a very emotional event for most parents. An open and honest dialogue with your divorced parents will greatly ease the tension, remove the uncertainty and outline the expectations so that all parties can celebrate your special day.

Follow along at our blog.  We post lots of content that will help you create your perfect, hopefully stress-free, wedding day.

Go, check out our Tips and Suggestions and we’ll catch up with you next time!

About the Author: Jim Emerson

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Niusha and Mihai

Dear Paul H,

We were so surrounded by guests following the ceremony that we didn’t get an opportunity to thank you for all that you did to make our wedding day so special. So although late, here we go! 

You helped to make our wedding ceremony totally unique and personal – just the way we wanted it. You took the time to get to know us and your advice and guidance helped to calm our nerves.

The Enduring Promises website was so easy to use and really help us to plan our entire ceremony.

Thanks for Officiating our ceremony and for being part of our special day! We wish you all the best – and again thank you.

Niusha and Mihai

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