Q: My finance and I are paying for the wedding ourselves. We are debating having a receiving line. If we do, who should be part of it? Should our parents be included?
A: The receiving line is two fold. The first purpose is for those hosting the wedding to welcome the guests to the reception. The second is for the families of the bride and groom to be able to meet and greet guests. Even though the bride and groom are hosting the wedding in this case, it would be lovely and gracious to have your parents also in the receiving line.
The typical order of the receiving line is:
- Bride’s Mother, Groom’s Mother, Bride, Groom
- Sometimes the fathers also stand in line. When this is the case, the fathers follow the Groom: Bride’s Father and Groom’s Father
- Occasionally, attendants will be included after the fathers: Maid/Matron of honor, and Bridesmaids. Rarely do ushers stand in a receiving line.
But do not feel obligated to “stand” on ceremony. You may arrange a receiving line which suits you and your wedding.
Jodi R. R. Smith is a nationally known etiquette expert and author. She is the president of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting. You are invited to email her your etiquette emergencies at Salem@Mannersmith.com