Wedding Etiquette for every Bride
So, you’ve agreed to get married, now what do you do?! With so much thought and time effort into planning the proposal, and after the initial high of brazenly posting the ring selfies to all your social media accounts and finally calling up all your close friends and family has worn off. It’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed and deflated, not knowing how to act now that you’re a fiancée and suppose to be planning a wedding. Click here for more wedding etiquettes for all the fiancé’s.
Thankfully this is a process that has been done before for centuries, and you can learn the basic etiquette that has been passed down. Hey, you can even customize it to fit your personality as well. Remember everyone has their own opinions on this subject matter, however, we believe that everyone can at least agree on the following:
1) Wear white: wearing white does not assume you’re a virgin. Correct etiquette dictates that you should wear a white gown if you haven’t been married before.
2) Pay for the wedding: you guys are getting married, so unless either of you is a billionaire, take the traditional route and ask your parents to split it down the middle. Bride’s parents take on the bridal gown, photography, bridesmaids dresses and the entire reception. While the groom can take on the fees for the church, honeymoon, tuxedos for him self and the groom’s men and flowers.
3) Speeches: try to keep speeches to a minimum, pick two (max three) people from each side of the family to speak, which can include yourself.
4) Ceremony Seating: bride’s family to the left, the groom’s family to the right. However, usually the modern trend is to have an open seating plan, with guests choosing a seat, not a side. This goes with a sentiment of two families becoming one.
5) Walking down the aisle: the bride’s father usually walks her down the aisle. If he’s not able, then a close family friend, brother or uncle is considered appropriate.
6) Reception seating: Correct etiquette dictates a long top table, with the bride and groom in the centre, the bride’s parents on each side of the couple, and the groom’s parents next to them. The most important guests – which should include the oldest family members – are seated closest to the top table.
7) Bar etiquette: OPEN BAR. That is all.
8) Gift list: You can safely assume that most of your guests will want to buy you a gift to mark the occasion and it is correct etiquette for guests to contact the bride’s mother to further enquire where the gift list is registered.
9) Choosing your brides maids and maid of honour: your bridal party are like your support staff, they’re the ones who support and help you make your wedding fun and stress free as possible. They help create your DIY wedding décor, and help you pick out your wedding dress and keep you calm in the final minutes.
10) Dressing yourself and your ladies: it’s quite popular for the bride to dictate a colour palette for her bridesmaids’ dresses, but to allow them to wear mismatched dresses they already own or purchase dress they select themselves which they really are likely to wear again. If you let your bridesmaid choose their own dresses, you are not obligated to pay for them though you may certainly still offer to contribute to the cost of the dresses up to a certain point.
11) Guest List: just like it’s the man’s responsibility to compile a guest list for his side of the family, it’s the bride’s responsibility to compile a guest list for her side, as well as a list including any friends who are not mutual friends, and any coworkers or colleagues you would like at the wedding. You should also create an excel spread sheet to keep all the guests contact information. You could even use a mailing system to send out your save the dates. For invitation card ideas check some out here.
12) Picking out your man’s ring: You may have to discuss with your soon to be hubby about what kind of wedding ring that might suit his lifestyle. For instance, if he works with his hands (i.e. construction worker) he may prefer a wedding band that can be cut off in case of an emergency. You never know, he may not have considered wearing a wedding band at all, and if it’s not important to you either, you can forgo a ring completely after the initial symbolic exchange, which can be done with a borrowed or less expensive wedding band. Whatever you decide, it is your responsibility to pay for the bad and your future groom is fitted for his band.
At the end of the day, wedding etiquette and traditional rules dictate the roles and responsible of the bride and groom. It’s often becoming more relaxed and less rehearsed. Ultimately, it’s up to you two on how you want to get married and how you want to split up responsible when it comes to wedding planning. At the end of the day this is just a guide; to be followed or deviate from as it suits the individual couple.
Now you have a basic idea of the standard etiquette for the bride and groom, but what about the other members of the bridal party? Find out more of what the “best man’s responsibilities” are and find out the “things that bridesmaids do that really annoy the bride”.