Wedding Etiquette

Wedding Etiquette

We have been enjoying, taking part in, and attending weddings for centuries, however they have evolved over time into what we recognize today as the perfect wedding. Then again, what is the perfect wedding? A desert island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean or Westminster Abbey?

Then we have to consider the dreaded guest list and the Plus 1’s, and let’s not forget the children and animals you wish to invite.

I have created my top ten list of things to remember when it comes to weddings, and if you follow my advice you will be able to recreate your very own Royal Wedding.

Now, before we go any further, an important fact. A wedding is a ceremony where two people are united in marriage. Wedding traditions do indeed vary from country to country. The majority of wedding services involve the exchange of vows to each other, and above all, the important wedding ring. This all has to be conducted by an authorized figure and in a licensed venue so let’s not ask the local plumber. Special wedding garments might be worn, and the ceremony is usually followed by a wedding reception, dinner and dancing.

  1. Invitations and save the date — Please give the guests as much notice as possible the minimum of 12 weeks. The invitation should be sent out 6 weeks prior to the wedding. Some people may also have an engagement party once the announcement has been released with perhaps an official photograph or an announcement in the national or local paper.
  2. The Guest List — This can make and break friendships. The so called Plus 1’s are only accepted if they are known to the bride and groom, and of course only if numbers permit as this also affects the venue, food and drink. In other words the all important budget. Don’t be offended if children aren’t invited, as this could be due to space etc.
  3. Wedding Ceremony Seating — Ushers have the very important duty of showing guests to their places. The groom’s family and friends should be seated on the right, and bride’s on the left, and let’s not forget the hierarchy as this again can make or break families. The senior members of the family are seated on the front rows, and don’t forget to leave room for the bridesmaids and flower girls, as they will walk up the aisle behind the bride.
  4. Money Money Money — Traditionally the Bride’s wonderful and very generous parents paid the overall cost of the wedding in order to marry their daughter to a gentleman. The groom’s parents these days may pay for the drinks or going away car. This is open for discussion in the 21st century, which will please a lot of bride’s parents.
  5. The Reception/Wedding Breakfast — bride and groom meet and greet the guests at they arrive. A traditional sit down meal have the top table with the bride and groom, both sets of parents, best man and chief bridesmaid. During a drinks reception photos can be taken.
  6. Gifts — The bride and groom buy the presents for the bridesmaids, flower girls, best man, page boys and of course the usher. Don’t forget they also buy a gift or flowers for the mothers, which would be presented at the speeches. Presents to the happy couple are opened in advance so thank you letters can be written on honeymoon.
  7. Speeches — These are made at either the drinks reception or during a meal when guests sit down, and some people may even give speeches during the coffee. For the speeches we have the best man who thanks the bridesmaids and flower girl and reads out messages, followed by the bride’s father, and finally the speeches are ended with the groom, who will thank the parents of the bride and his parents.
  8. The Cake — The all important wedding cake is normally cut at the end of the speeches. This is a very important photo opportunity but lets keep this dignified as it is not a photo-shoot for the next Marks and Spencer’s campaign. If you choose a chocolate cake always have a top tier made as fruitcake to send family or close friends if they could not attend. Top tiers are also for keeping for the christening the first child.
  9. Honeymoon — The bride and groom pay the actual honeymoon; never assume the parents will pay for this! Around 23.00pm the Bride and groom will change into their “Going Away Clothes” and will then depart for their romantic break to either a desert island or wherever your dreams take you.
  10. Fireworks — Upon departing you might arrange a little fireworks display but if we are looking at 30 seconds of cheap fireworks and not a 5min extravaganza then let’s pass on this idea. The couple would then usually depart at midnight.
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