The purpose of the receiving line is for the parents, bride, and groom to greet the guests and receive their good wishes. The parents and wedding couple may choose to circulate through the reception hall instead of holding a receiving line, however, the receiving line is usually a more efficient way to greet everyone. Traditionally, the mother is the first to greet guests followed in order by the groom's mother, the bride, the groom, the maid or matron of honor, and the bridesmaids. If the fathers wish to join the line, each stands to the left of his wife. Many times, fathers prefer to circulate the room to get the party started. In the interest of time, the receiving line may be limited to the parents, the bride, groom, and honor attendant. If the parents are divorced, the mother usually stands in the receiving line alone or with the stepfather, while the father circulates among the guests. To avoid problems, it may be best not to include any fathers in the receiving line. If the parents are divorced and they both choose to join the reception line, they can stand where they feel most comfortable. For more information, contact a wedding specialist.