Wedding Etiquette

Wedding Etiquette: before you launch into announcing your forthcoming nuptials to the world, perhaps it may be prudent to start off with a few basics. Most of these basics are what I would call common sense. They should not be taxing in any way and can be relied upon to help you avoid putting your foot in the ……, in fact these basics start immediately for the groom to be:

Asking For Your Bride’s Hand In Marriage:

You may already have ascertained that your partner is amenable to becoming your wife, but traditionally the Groom should make an appointment with the Bride’s father, or guardian, to ask permission for their daughter’s hand in marriage. I see no reason why such etiquette should not be applied to same sex marriages.


Announcing Your Forthcoming Nuptials:

Having said “Yes” the order of informing your family and friends is as follows. First by word of mouth (i) close family, (ii) extended family, (iii) close friends. Secondly, by putting a formal announcement in the paper. 

Wedding Etiquette For Introducing the Two Families:

The Groom’s mother should initiate the introductions between the two families. This may vary from an informal luncheon to formal dinner party. If the geographical location of the families prevents this, an introductory letter welcoming the daughter-in-law to be into the family by the Groom’s mother should be sent. In some instances a formal engagement party is arranged. Wedding photos rule

For further information click on the following link meeting the in-laws.

Who pays for what?

– the groom purchases the engagement ring 
– the bride and groom buy a wedding ring for each other 
– the bachelor party is hosted and paid for by the best man 
– the bride and groom purchase their own wedding outfits and accessories 
– the groom’s family host and pay for the wedding dress rehearsal dinner 
– the groom is responsible for purchasing the bride’s bouquet, mothers corsages, and buttonholes for himself, his groomsmen and ushers 
– the bride’s family purchases the bridesmaids bouquets, grandmothers corsages, flowers for the ceremony, reception and any additional flowers wanted, e.g. pew ends, arch for the entrance of the church. 
– the printing and stationery is the bride’s family’s responsibility 
– the marriage license is paid for by the groom, as are the clergy/officient’s fees 
– the church fee, choir’s fee and any soloist’s fee is paid for by the bride’s family 
– the wedding breakfast (reception), catering, entertainment, cake, favours, photography, etc. is hosted and paid for by the bride’s family 
– attendants in the bridal party pay for their own outfits. However, if a one-off specific colour and style of dress is to be made the bride’s family may pay. 
– junior attendants outfits are paid for by their families 
– the groom is responsible for paying for the gloves, ties, ascots for his attendants 
– the groom also picks up the wedding transport and honeymoon expenses

Wedding Etiquette and the Bride’s Mother:

The bride’s mother takes on the role of wedding planner and wedding planning. Click on the following links for further information – role of the bride’s mother  and  wedding planner. 

It is important that the bride’s mother liaises with the groom’s mother. The groom’s mother should assist, for example, producing their complete list of guests in a timely manner. 

Wedding Ceremony and Head Table Seating Arrangements:

Please click on the following links: 

–  wedding ceremony seating 
–  head table seating 
–  wedding banquet etiquette 

Responsibilities of the Bridal Party:

Please click on the following links for a complete list of duties and responsibilities: 

–  bride’s father 
–  groom’s mother 
–  best man 
–  bridesmaid 
–  chief bridesmaid/matron of honor 
–  pregnant brides

The Steps for Canceling Your Wedding:

Click on the following link for all the steps you need to take and associated documentation – cancelling your wedding 

Other Wedding Etiquette Tips:

– only publish your wedding gift list by word of mouth, never put it on the wedding invitation 
– wedding gifts received prior to the wedding should not be used until after the wedding 
– traditionally only wedding guests should be invited to a bridal shower. However, work colleagues not invited to your wedding may wish to have a few drinks to toast you on your way. 
– brides should never host their own bridal shower 
– the same guest should not be invited twice to different bridal shower functions 
– destination wedding etiquette, click on the following link:  destination weddings. 
– for alternatives when considering those who suffer from allergies click on the following link:  wedding allergies. 
– do not forget to write your thank you letters

Wedding etiquette is about treating others as you would wish to be treated. In order not to make a faux pas treading sensitively, considerately and compassionately may be a good idea. After all, you will be starting the new era of compromise!


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