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Weddings & Honeymoons - Magazines Since 1992

Wedding Etiquette Brides and Grooms Guidelines

Knowing Wedding etiquette helps when you are planning your wedding.

Wedding Etiquette Brides and Grooms Guidelines, photo Wedding in Houston by Tomas Ramos

Wedding Etiquette guidelines for couples planning their wedding.
Wedding in Houston photo by Tomas Ramos.

Traditionally an announcement is made after both sets of parents have been told about the engagement. And it is customary for the Groom’s parents to call the Bride’s parents. This gesture is to welcome the new daughter into their family.

If circumstances are different in your family remember to use wedding etiquette and be sensitive to other people’s feelings. Remember it is your marriage. Try to stay realistic about other people’s emotions.

You are making a big change in your life. And in the lives of everyone who loves you.

Time usually takes care of feelings.

If you are undertaking a traditional wedding you should have enough time to smooth out all the rough edges.

Depending on the size of your wedding party each person has assigned duties.

Wedding Etiquette guidelines for the Bride.

Following the selection of her dress and accessories. The Bride decides upon the style of her wedding. And her color theme. Then the rest of the wedding party then select their garments. Mothers. Maid of Honor. Attendants and Flower Girl or Boy.

The Maid or Matron of Honor is usually a family member of the Bride. Or one of her very best friends.

She has several duties. Beginning with the wedding invitations. And keeping a record of all the gifts given to the Bride.

The Main or Honor usually plans one of the showers for the Bride.

And she works closely with the Bride at the rehearsal. Her duties include keeping a list of things to do and adjusts it as required.

On the wedding day she distributes all the corsages and boutonnières. And she helps dress the Bride and bridesmaids.

During the ceremony she holds the Bride’s bouquet. And she makes sure the Bride’s gown and train are arranged properly.

She also makes sure that the bridesmaids, flower girl and ring bearer are always in their right places.

And she is the holder of the Groom’s ring.

The Maid of Honor is an official witness to the vows along with the Best Man.

If the Bride is leaving from the reception for her honeymoon she helps her change into her going-away outfit. She makes sure the bridal gown and accessories are put away safely.

Wedding Etiquette guidelines for the Groom.

Following the selection of his attire he gives information to his Best Man, Groomsmen, Ushers and Ring Bearer.

The Groom should choose his Best Man carefully. He is the person who sees that everything runs smoothly.

His Best Man makes sure the Groomsmen (ushers) appear on time for fittings. Also that the sizes are right.

He takes part in selecting wedding presents especially for the Groom. He is with the Groom at pre-wedding parties.

The Best Man makes sure everyone in the wedding party arrives on time for the rehearsal and ceremony.

He assists the Groom in making travel arrangements for their honeymoon.

Before the ceremony he has made a check list of things he needs at the ceremony, reception and honeymoon.

At the ceremony he escorts the Bride’s parents down the aisle. Seating them in the front row, left. And the Groom’s parents to the front row on the right.

He is in charge of the ushers. An official witness to the vows. Carries the rings and marriage license. Pays the clergy’s fee.

At the reception the Best Man proposes a toast at the bridal table.

If there is going to be a wedding parade of cars from the ceremony site to the reception venue he coordinates the vehicles.

For the honeymoon he makes sure the Groom has his money, charge cards, passport, driver’s license, luggage, phone numbers for emergency. Theoretically the groom is too overcome with bliss to look after such details. Obviously you need a dependable best man.

After the wedding he returns all the rented tuxes worn by members of the wedding party.

Wedding Etiquette for the Bride’s Family.

The Bride’s mother traditionally selects her dress first. She then lets the Groom’s mother know what she is wearing and its color.

The Bride and/or her mother hosts the Bridal Luncheon. The Bride’s gifts are on display at her family home. The Bride’s Mother hosts or makes arrangements for their out-of-town guests.

Wedding Etiquette for the Groom’s Family.

If the Groom’s family are going to help with expenses for the wedding or honeymoon they should make the offer  of the amount to assist the couple in their planning and budgeting.

When the size of the wedding is decided their guest list should be given to the Bride’s family as soon as possible.

The Groom’s mother waits until the Bride’s Mother selects her dress. The style and colors should not conflict.

Wedding Etiquette and duties for the Groomsmen and Ushers.

Groomsmen make sure the bridesmaids and special guests have transportation to the ceremony site.

At the ceremony site the groomsmen greet the guests.

If there aren’t any ushers in the wedding party the groomsmen seat the guests as well.

Traditionally the Bride’s guests are seated on her left side and the groom’s are on his right side.

Before the ceremony two of the groomsmen seat the Groom’s mother and then the Bride’s mother. After the ceremony they escort them up the aisle.

They assist the Bride’s mother with last-minute details and introduce guests to each other.

If there are reserved pews other than the first two for the close family invited guests hand a pew card to the usher.

Two ushers lay down the floor runner.

Wedding Etiquette guidelines and duties for Bridesmaids.

The Bride calls upon bridesmaids before the wedding to do several things for her. Such as helping with the invitations. Making anything that is going to be used for the wedding. Running errands especially during the last two weeks.

The bridesmaids usually assist in all the showers that are being held for the Bride.

At the ceremony they do not have any official duties. They usually assist the groomsmen in introducing guests to each other. Also ensure that all the guests are having a good time at the reception.

Wedding Etiquette guidelines for your In-Laws.

Just as there are no two weddings that are alike. There also are no parents who are alike.

Having said that there are several scenarios which can develop. Ideally each of the families welcome the new addition (Bride or Groom) to their family.

Problems arise because you are the first in the family to get married and they are having a hard time coping with it.

Or you’re not marrying the fellow or girl they feel you should be.

If they feel you are too young to be married. And would prefer you to finish school? And be married when you are older. Or have a more secure job.

Wedding Etiquette guidelines if your parents are divorced.

Your in-laws could be divorced. Or one of you could of been raised by a step parent. These conditions could set up another chain of elements you have to deal with throughout your planning.

During your engagement your future in-laws may be meeting your family and friends for the first time.

There are several ways to break the ice. Intimate dinners in homes. Fun barbeques in back yards. Picnics or a formal get-together at a club. If your attitude and thinking starts out right when you begin to include in-laws in your planning. They’ll probably be fine at your wedding reception.

If you anticipate any problems with your parents over your upcoming wedding then be prepared for the worst.

Time has a way of settling everything but perhaps not before your wedding day.

You don’t want any hard feelings to come between you and your betrothed.

Therefore if parents from either side are not happy with your upcoming wedding try to set that problem aside. Go on with your plans and deal with practical problems rather than spend time worrying about what you imagine.

TIP: It is proper to call your fiancé’s parents Mr. and Mrs. until they ask you to call them something else. Such as Mom and Dad or by their first names.

Weddings Etiquette for postponing or cancelling your wedding.
If you postpone your wedding before your invitations go out it is easy and proper to call your family and close friends to let them know.

If the invitations are printed and you’ve set a new date it is acceptable to change the date by hand. You might also want to insert a note on why you’ve changed the date.

Call your family and friends if you have cancelled your wedding plans and the invitations have gone out. And be prepared for some long conversations. Usually sympathetic.

For those who are out of town write them a note or email. Either way make sure they know especially if they were planning to attend.

Photo: Wedding in Houston, Texas by Tomas

W&H | Wedding Etiquette Brides and Grooms Guidelines.

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