Each guest greets the first (lowest precedence) person in the line and, if necessary, introduces himself. The first person then introduces the guest to the next person in the line, and turns to the next guest.
As each guest properly speaks little more than his name (if necessary) and conventional greetings or congratulations to each person in turn, the line progresses steadily without unnecessary delays.
Because of this, receptions are popular for large events, such as holiday events at the White House.
After formally receiving each guest in this fashion, the hosts can mingle with guests, eat, and enjoy more extended conversations.
Although the term wedding reception is commonly applied to any celebration held after a wedding, a reception does not technically encompass full, seated dinner parties or a wedding ball.
Refreshments at a reception may be as minimal as coffee or lemonade, or as elaborate as desired.