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Wedding Etiquette

The Bride


The bride selects the type of service.

She decides on her dress and the bridesmaid’s attire.


The Bridegroom


The bridegroom selects the best man and ushers (if any).

He buys the ring and pays the church fees.

He should also buy presents for the bridesmaids, best man and ushers as a gesture of gratitude for their help.

He buys flowers for his bride, bride’s mother, his mother, bridesmaids, and buttonholes for himself and the best man. He arranges and pays for transport for himself and the best man and for the bride and himself after the wedding.


Best Man


The best man is the bridegroom’s right hand man.

He keeps the ring and ensures the bridegroom gets to the church on time.

He pays the church fees on behalf of the bridegroom.

He checks and ensures transport for all guests to the reception and the travel arrangements for the honeymoon are in order. At the reception it is the best man’s honour to read any congratulatory telegrams.


Chief Bridesmaid


She assists the bride to dress, holds the bouquet during the ceremony and organises other bridesmaids.


Bride’s Father


The father gives the bride away.

He receives guests at the reception.

He pays for the wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, cars (except bridegroom’s), photographs, church and reception flowers, invitation and press announcements (if any).


Bride’s Mother


The bride’s mother is traditionally in charge of all the proceedings.

She decides on the guest list together with the bridegroom’s mother and the venue for the reception.

She handles any catering arrangements and ensures the wedding cake is ready.

After the wedding ceremony, the bride’s mother and father, together with the bride and bridegroom and his parents, greet the guests at the reception.


Toast and Speeches


These would normally take place at the end of the meal and would accompany the cutting and distribution of the cake.


The following is the usual order of proceedings.


The bride and bridegroom cut the cake


Toast to “The Bride and Bridegroom”. This is normally proposed by the bride’s father or a close relative or                    friend  of the family.


Toast to “The Bridesmaids”. This is always proposed by the bridegroom following his response to the first      toast.


The best man would then respond to the bridegroom’s speech on behalf of the bridesmaids. He would also read the telegrams to the guests


At the reception the usual line up waiting to greet the guests is as follows:-


The Bride’s parents, followed by the Bridegrooms’s parents, the Bride and Bridegroom and lastly the Bridesmaids and the Best man.


This line up ensures that both families have the opportunity to speak to all the guests. But, conversation should be kept to a polite minimum as the queue can become unwieldy.


Most receptions begin with an aperitif before the meal and include non-alcoholic alternatives for children and those who are driving.

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