How to Greet Guests at a Wedding


Whether you're the bride, the mother of the groom or a member of the wedding party, your responsibilities at the wedding include greeting the guests. The fact that you won't know every wedding guest makes your hosting duties a little more complicated. Some basic kindness and a few key phrases can get you through the day.

  • Smile. You're ready to kill the caterer and one of the attendants stepped on your dress, but the guests don't need to see your stress. Put a smile on your face and welcome each guest as though this day wouldn't be possible without him.

  • Be assertive. Wedding guests often feel awkward because they don't know other people at the wedding or aren't sure what's expected of them. You needn't wait for guests to approach you. Greet guests as they arrive, welcome them in and point them toward the bar. Invite them to dance, offer them a piece of cake, or whatever is appropriate at that point in the wedding.

  • Introduce yourself. Unless you're wearing a big white dress, don't assume that people know who you are. Even if you are the bride, several guests at the wedding may not know you. Introduce yourself to the guests as you greet them. Ask their names and where they've traveled from or what they do for a living.

  • Move the receiving line. When standing in the receiving line, your only duty is to say hello. Be sure you greet everyone who goes by, but don't hold conversation. Let them introduce themselves or their dates to you, then thank them for coming. That will keep the line moving. Later, you can approach guests you met on the receiving line and initiate a conversation.

  • Change the focus. Wedding guests are, of course, focused on the details of the wedding. They usually comment on the ceremony, the bride's dress or the size of the cake. When greeting guests, turn your attention toward them. Commenting on their attire or your delight at seeing or meeting them can make the guests feel special.

  • Consider the schedule. Remember that wedding guests spend a lot of time standing around while the wedding party has pictures taken and attends to other traditional tasks. Offer food and drink to the guests when you greet them. Some have traveled a long way to witness the celebration.

Tips & Warnings

  • Schedule something for the guests to do while the wedding party is having pictures taken.
  • Greet out-of-town guests with food and lodging whenever they arrive in town.
  • If possible, review the guest list with the wedding party before the wedding, so everyone has an idea of who will be there.
  • Do what you can to make guests feel welcome, since guests are invited to weddings to share in the celebration.

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