A. – The purpose of a receiving line is to guarantee face-to-face time with each of your guests (“Thank you for coming! We’re so glad you could come and celebrate with us. We’ll see you over at the reception.”) And for you and your new husband to introduce each other to guests they may not know.
Are they necessary? Depends on how many guests you have. With a medium to large sized guest list, you’ll be hard pressed to be able to mingle with everyone and still get a chance to truly enjoy your own reception.
Remember to schedule adequate time for a receiving line. Even with a group of 100 guests, it will take nearly 1/2 hour (and that’s estimating only a mere 15 seconds per guest!).
The line up of a traditional receiving line is: Mother of the Bride, Mother of the Groom, Bride, Groom, Maid of Honor, and Bridesmaids. Other than the groom, the other men aren’t typically part of the receiving line. It is acceptable to omit your MoH & ‘maids (shortens the time it will take and avoids some of the awkward chit-chat as people feel they must converse with everyone in the line), and in some cases the moms (as, in this day and age, fewer weddings are hosted by parents, and fewer guests are colleagues & contemporaries of the parents).
If you do choose to omit the moms, make sure to tell them before the wedding day. You don’t want any confusion or hurt feelings on your wedding day in case this was something that they were expecting or looking forward to.