Are receiving lines a thing of the past? I find that many of the weddings I am invited to anymore, they aren’t doing them. Most of my couples don’t even think about them until I bring it up.
Here is my take on this issue. It irritates me as a guest when I spend time and money on someone’s wedding and not even getting a chance to talk to them. Maybe that is just me being pouty, but I don’t think I am alone in this.
Your guests have spent money on a gift, hotel, travel, gasoline, and maybe babysitting costs and taken time out of their schedule to attend the ceremony and or reception. The least couples can do is acknowledge them. The best way to do that is a traditional receiving line. Some couples are opting to do it after at the reception, which is fine, but you do often get busy/distracted and not make it to all the tables, or you do it so late that some of the guests have left the venue.
If all guests are invited to both ceremony and reception, I encourage my couples to have a receiving line at the ceremony. Now this can be done with or without parents. Side note if the couple is young and a lot of the guests are friends of the parents, then it is super helpful to have the parents in the line. Otherwise it’s up to the couple. Let’s face it, people want an audience with the couple, even if it is just a few minutes. And just because it makes the one or both of the couple uncomfortable isn’t a reason NOT to do it. You invited your guests so step up and do it.
If it is a small ceremony and large reception, then it makes sense to do it at the reception. But it must be done early into the reception. Hopefully still while people are eating, this way you are not missing anyone.
Your guests will appreciate that you took that extra step to acknowledge them and thank them for attending.