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The Reception Line
Reception Line
Zhimin (in red tie) and Junhui receive their guests at Promontory Point - Chicago, Il.

Their First Words To You

It never ceases to amaze me how many couples routinely dismiss their privilege of having a reception line. I want to convince you that having a reception line is the right choice, and I'll base this on the following reasons..

You will be spending thousands on this, and some of you, tens of thousands. How could you not want to get every penny out of the considerable sum you're spending? Then there are those wonderful and expensive photographers and videographers whom you've paid to... take photos of you and your guests. Reception lines are made to order for your press crew because great shots and video op's are happening every six seconds or so. Do you really want to throw that away, not to mention the huge hole in your photo album?

Truth be told, I tend to think that couples who fear a reception line do so because they don't know, or think they don't know, how to make conversation will all those guests. Trust me on this, they couldn't be more wrong! This moment is guaranteed to take care of itself. People are going to come up to you, press their cheek to yours and with tears in their eyes say "Congratulations,.. I'm so happy for you!"

Now, is that so hard to take?

Think about your guests. Some of these people have come across town, others may have come across the Atlantic. And all of them, right now, want to tell you how happy they are for you when that ceremony ends. Just let them.

The time for a reception line is immediately after your recessional walk down the aisle. Form up either with or without your bridal party in a photogenic setting where sunlight or electric light is illuminating you. Do not turn your back on the light source! The ushers and myself will begin gently directing your guests into your line. From the moment of the first handshake, the entire event will take care of itself. Don't be fooled by impatient and unprofessional photographers who want to chase your guests away to hors d'oeuvres so that they can take your wedding photos immediately after the wedding (which is when you should be in your reception line).

You certainly can form a reception line after the photographer is done taking pictures, back at the venue. But you'll get a third of your guests to participate if you're lucky. And their mood will be far more reserved than it was in the minutes following your ceremony when their blood was up.

See that photo at left of Zhimin and Junhui? I took it. I often wonder how anyone would want to throw away a moment like that? (or a photo of it?)

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