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How to organise a receiving line at your wedding

How to organise a receiving line at your wedding

As one of the formal features that is still adhered to at many weddings, a well-organised receiving line ensures that everyone invited to the wedding has the opportunity to express their good wishes to the happy couple and their thanks to their hosts at the same time.

Organising and overseeing the receiving line is one of the duties undertaken by a master of ceremonies, if one is engaged for the wedding.

He generally assists with the smooth running of the reception, while bringing an air of grandeur to the occasion in his bearing, his experience and his splendid attire, notably his red coat.

Some wedding venues have a master of ceremonies on hand whose services can be called upon if so desired.

Other couples and their families are pleased to be able to pass much of the ‘running’ of the reception to a professional, so that they can enjoy the occasion to the full without having to worry about its detailed timing and dealing with any hiccups that may arise.

Hiring a master of ceremonies is an additional expense, but for many it is one well worth paying.

Whether or not a master of ceremonies is conducting the proceedings, a formal receiving line usually places the principal participants in an order like this:

If a master of ceremonies is on hand, he will announce each guest in turn.

If there is no master of ceremonies, having a senior member of each family at the head of the line means that guests should be known to one or other, who can then make appropriate introductions.

While guests are waiting to be received, it is customary (and greatly appreciated by them) 
to serve drinks and possibly light finger foods.

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