Traditional Financial Responsibilities
THE PARENTS OF THE BRIDE
- The Bride’s and Bridesmaid’s dresses
- Cars, other than for the Groom and the Best Man
- Flowers for the church and the reception
- The photographer
- The reception, the cake and the Toastmaster
- The wedding Stationery
- The Groom’s wedding ring and present.
- The Bride’s engagement ring and wedding ring.
- Buttonholes for himself, Best Man, Ushers and Guests.
- Car for Groom and Best Man to the ceremony.
- Car for Bride and Groom to the reception.
- Church fees, choir etc.
- Flowers for the Bride and Bridesmaids.
- Flowers for the mothers of the Bride and Groom.
- Gifts for the Bride, Bridesmaids, Best Man and Ushers.
- The Honeymoon.
Who is responsible for what?
- Chooses the Bridesmaids
- Chooses her dress
- Organises dress styles and colour schemes for the Bridesmaids
- Sends thank you letters for the wedding presents
- Arrange for Best Man and Ushers
- Make a speech at the reception in reply to the Bride’s father. The speech is on behalf of the Bride and himself to thank the Bride’s parents for the wedding, thank the guests for the presents and finally to toast the Bridesmaids.
- Make arrangements for the honeymoon
THE BRIDE AND THE BRIDE’S MOTHER
- Arrange the reception
- Send out the invitations
- Book the cars
- Book the photographer
- Arrange the flowers for the church and the reception
THE BRIDE’S FATHER
- Escorts the Bride to the church. When the Bride arrives she is greeted by the vicar at the church door and some photographs will be taken.
- During the ceremony the Bride’s father gives the Bride away.
- Subsequently he makes the first speech at the reception and toasts the Bride and Groom.
THE BEST MAN
- Arranges the stag night
- Arranges and organises the Ushers
- Arranges to pay all of the fees on behalf of the Groom before the wedding takes place
- Gets the Groom to the church on time. He should arrive with the Groom twenty minutes early to allow the photographer to take some photographs. When they go into the church they should sit in the front right hand pew.
- Takes care of the rings and passes them to the vicar or minister during the ceremony.
- Makes sure that all guests have transport to the reception
- Unless there is a Toastmaster the Best Man makes the announcements at the reception
- Makes a speech in reply to the Groom’s speech. Replies to the Groom on behalf of the Bridesmaids, relates stories about the Groom and reads out any messages from absent friends
- Announces the departure of the Bride and Groom as they leave for their honeymoon
- Ensures that any hired outfits are returned after the wedding
- Greet the guests as they arrive at the church and show them to their seats. The ushers should arrive at the church half an hour before the ceremony as some guests will inevitably arrive early. The Bride’s family and friends sit on the left hand side looking towards the altar and the Groom’s sit on the right. After the ceremony the Bride and Groom leave the church first followed by the Bridesmaids and then the Best Man.Then the Groom’s father with the Bride’s mother, followed by the Bride’s father with the Groom’s mother. The family and guests in the front pews should leave first followed by those seated from the front to the back of the church. All of the guests will gather outside the church for the photographs to be taken. It is of great help if the ushers are familiar with this part of the wedding so that everyone feels involved when the photographs are being taken.
THE USHERS ASSISTANTS
- Hand service sheets and buttonholes to the guests as they arrive at the church.
THE CHIEF BRIDESMAID
- Arranges the hen night
- Helps the bride to dress and organises the other Bridesmaids
- Organises the Bridesmaids at the church and makes sure they are all in their right places
- Makes sure that the very young Bridesmaids and Pages are looked after before and during the ceremony
- Holds the Bride’s bouquet during the service
- The Bridesmaids arrive ten minutes before the ceremony with the Bride’s mother and wait at the church door for the Bride to arrive. During this time the photographer will take some photographs
- Helps the Bride change into her going away outfit and then takes care of the Wedding Dress
These are of course are only the “Traditional” responsibilities, these days arrangements are much more liberal.
Counting the days Twelve Months Before
Decide the date of the wedding and contact the church and hotel for availability.
Book the photographer, entertainment and cars.
Decide on the number of guests and make a list.
Order your wedding cake.
Choose your bridesmaids and best man.
Start looking at wedding dresses.
Compile a list of wedding presents.
Three Months Before
Confirm wedding ceremony arrangements.
Co-ordinate colours of wedding dresses, flowers, cake, linen, etc.
Buy the wedding outfit and accessories (e.g. shoes, head-dress veil.)
Decide on bridesmaid’s dresses.
Order flowers for display and bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids.
Choose the wedding ring(s).
Decide on hymns and music.
Eight Weeks Before
Send out invitations.
Check passport validity and change name on your passport if you wish.
Do you need injections or visas for the countries you are visiting on your honeymoon?
Have a meeting with your religious official and ensure that he approves of your choice of hymns and music.
Ask him what fees are payable to the church, choir, bellringers.
Print the service sheet.
Four Weeks Before
Go to the hotel and review the final details with the manager, confirming the anticipated number of guests.
Make an appointment for hairdressing and other beauty treatments.
Check arrangements with florist and give final figure for buttonholes and sprays.
Do a final check with the photographer, Car-hire Company and cake maker to ensure bookings are in order.
Bridegroom, best man, fathers and ushers should make arrangements for the hire of their clothes.
One Week Before
Try on the Wedding dress and accessories to ensure alterations are required.
Decide on hair and make up.
Finalise arrangements with the best man and give him any fees required.
Telephone the hotel Manager with final number of guests.
Two Days Before
Take the wedding cake to the hotel or check delivery arrangements.
Wedding rehearsal at the church.
Take going away clothes to the hotel and make arrangements with the best man to pick up your honeymoon luggage.
At The Reception
Top Table seating plan
Best Man – Chief Bridesmaid – Groom’s Father – Bride’s Mother – Groom – Bride – Bride’s Father – Groom’s Mother – Bridesmaid – Bridesmaid
However, there might be complications with step parents or even bridesmaids and a best man who are married or would prefer to sit with their partners. Guests like to be able to see the bride and groom but you might be able to seat more guests on top table or do away with the idea altogether. Where divorced parents are unwilling to sit with each other they may wish to each have their own table, leaving the bride and groom free to sit with the best man, ushers and bridesmaids. Do not choose tradition if it is going to make anyone unhappy.
The Perfect Reception
At the reception the usual line up waiting to greet the guests is as follows:
the bride’s parents, followed by the bridegroom’s parents, then the bride and groom and lastly the best man. This line up ensures that both families have an opportunity to speak to all guests, but conversation should be kept to a polite minimum as the queue can become unwieldy.
Toasts and Speeches
These would normally take place at the end of the meal and would accompany the distribution of the wedding cake.
The following is the usual order of proceedings:
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 the response to the first toast.
The best man would then respond to the bridegroom’s speech on behalf of the bridesmaids.
He also reads the telegrams to the guests.
The Perfect Picture
Your wedding photographs will preserve the emotions of the day for years to come, so you’ll want them to be perfect. Here are a few tips:
Sit down with your photographer and map out your expectations and your desires.
Look over his/her portfolio and carefully point out pictures that you like.
Prepare a checklist of people and events that you would like photographs taken of.
Ask the photographer to arrive an hour before the ceremony so that he can take pictures of the wedding party before the guests arrive.
Designate the usher to help the photographer identify other family members.