Weddings are occasions steeped in ceremony and tradition. Although they can take many different forms you may like to incorporate some of the following traditions into your day.
Special duties entrusted to key people
Many of these roles are less defined in modern weddings than they were previously, with the Bride and Groom now assuming a lot more responsibility between them. However, these are the traditional people who undertake the tasks.
The Bride –
Chooses the style of service
Selects her own and the bridesmaids’ dresses
Creates a wedding present list (with some help from the Groom!)
The Groom –
Buys the rings
Pays the church fees
Chooses his best man and ushers
Arranges (and pays for!) transportation for himself and the best man to the ceremony and for himself and the Bride subsequently
Purchases presents for the bridesmaids, best man and ushers
Buys certain flowers – specifically those for the Bride, the bridesmaids, his mother and the Bride’s mother
Buys buttonholes for himself, the best man and the ushers
The Chief Bridesmaid
Helps the bride to prepare for the wedding day
Aids with the Bride’s dressing on the day
Holds the Bride’s bouquet during the ceremony
The Best Man
Looks after the rings until they are needed during the ceremony
Checks transport arrangements for the guests attending the reception
Reads congratulatory messages at the reception from absent friends and family
Takes responsibility for getting the Groom to the wedding on time!
Gives the Bride away during the marriage ceremony
Receives guests at the reception
Traditionally carries most of the costs – including outfits for the Bride and bridesmaids, photographer and invitations (amongst other things)
Is generally involved with most aspects of the wedding
Helps the Bride and Groom compile a guest list
Selects a venue for the reception
Manages catering arrangements (including the wedding cake)
Takes part in the receiving line at the reception alongside other key people
Top Table Layout
Modern families can come in various configurations but there is always a table plan to suit your own circumstances and involve all the people who are most important to you. The conventional layout is described here.
From left to right along the top table –
Chief Bridesmaid, Groom’s Father, Bride’s Mother, Bridegroom, Bride, Bride’s Father, Groom’s Mother, Best Man
The Receiving Line
Should you wish to have a traditional receiving line the standard order is as follows. This can, of course, be tailored to your needs.
Mother of the Bride
Father of the Bride
Mother of the Groom
Father of the Groom
Speeches and Toasts
Wedding etiquette dictates the speeches and toasts should take place as follows. As with everything else in a modern wedding you are able to break with tradition and invite whichever guests you desire to take the floor! Remember it’s your day.
The Bride’s Father traditionally opens with a toast to the Bride and Groom
The Groom then makes a speech responding to his new Father-in-law. In this he thanks his new in-laws and the guests and performs a toast to the bridesmaids.
The Best Man makes the final speech, replying on behalf on the bridesmaids and reading the messages from those not present.