Most often during weddings I’ve attended, I’ve seen one of two things happen; either there is a receiving line directly following the ceremony or the bride and groom go around to each table during dinner (after they’ve eaten) and thank their guests. There have been times where neither was done, and I have to say, I find that a bit disrespectful. Your guests are there for you and for that they should be thanked, personally, by your and your groom! Many have traveled many miles to be there, paid for gifts, hotel rooms, babysitters, etc, and that shouldn’t go unrecognized.
I find receiving lines a bit awkward, coming from a guest point of view. Many times, they either know only the bride/groom or one set of parents. So during the line, guests are to go up to people they don’t know and introduce themselves and explain how they know the happy couple. This can often take time and therefore holds up the line and cocktail hour (if there is one). Now, I understand the point behind lining up the families and thanking them, since they are typically throwing the party and should be thanked, so it makes sense to do a receiving line.
For me, it seems more comfortable for everyone if the couple goes around during dinner and thanks each table personally. Usually everyone will be seated which means you won’t miss anyone, and you also aren’t making your guests stand in a long line waiting on you!
Credit: Savoring the Sweet Life
I also find it appropriate and very nice when the bride and groom make a short, sweet speech during dinner to say thank you!
Whichever your choice, you should ALWAYS make it a point to thank each and every guest for attending your wedding! One because of all the reasons I mentioned before, and two, because you’re happy to see them!!
Credit: Julie Cummins