Do a circle dance instead of a receiving line

Updated Oct 12 2015
PHOTO05
Photo by Milestone Images

If you're looking to avoid the never-ending linear hugs of ye olde receiving line, you could borrow a page from Melanie and John, who did a Sufi Dance. Why do a receiving line, when you can do a circle dance with your guests?

This might be one of those "gotta know someone who knows how to do this" ideas, but it's worth considering!

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  1. Us too! We're getting married in 2 weeks and the whole ceremony is a contra dance, beginning with a circle mixer. We wanted everyone to "greet" everyone else with a smile, and we have an old-time band and caller, who will begin by teaching the moves, then call them all throughout the ceremony. The "right & left grand" is the big hello, and at then end we promenade as a couple through a raised arm tunnel, like "London Bridges."

  2. As a Jew, and having attended mostly Jewish weddings, I don't think I've ever seen a receiving line. Instead, the traditional start to the reception (after the first dance) is a hora — another circle dance that's very fast, very high-energy, and very easy. And the bride and groom get lifted up on chairs! How awesome is that!

    • Yeah it's funny: as an agnostic west coast weirdo, I've never seen a receiving line either… it's one of those waspy traditions that are somewhat regional, methinks.

      • So fun to see my photo used above! Thanks! I find a lot of couples skip the receiving line in favor of using that post-ceremony time for pictures, but as a vendor, the one thing I do love about receiving lines is that it gives me a chance to create a candid photo of the newlyweds with every guest… an excited hug, a genuine smile… by the time we're done, my camera smells like burning plastic and my right hand is cramped into what I affectionately call "the Claw."

  3. There are dances from every tradition christian, pagan, jewish, muslim, goddess, hindu, buddhist, zoroastrian, native american, you name it. Sufi Dancing is hugely fun! I highly recommend it, I mean really humans have been doing circle dances until about a hundred years ago, not sure why it faded, lets bring it back!

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