Wedding Etiquette – Chapter 3 – The Bride
Let us make this quite clear from the outset, a wedding day is all about the bride.
Etiquette dictates that everybody defers to her and her wishes. To give you an example, whenever a Toastmaster makes an announcement his preamble goes “Bride, Bridegroom, Parents of the Bride and Bridegroom, Ladies and Gentlemen”. She comes first in everything. Additionally, if gentlemen are allowed to remove their jackets at the wedding breakfast, it is the bride who gives permission for them to do so. Likewise with ladies fascinators.
Before the wedding etiquette dictates her role as follows.
- She is instrumental in the organisation
- She is involved with virtually every decision about the day.
Including all the following
- The Cake
- The Flowers
- The invitations
- The timings on the day
- The theme of the day (if there is one)
- The wedding dress and shoes
- The headdress – tiara, flowers veil etc
- The accompanying jewellery
- The Bridesmaids dresses and shoes
- She will suggest to the bridegroom as to how his ushers should be attired
- She will also choose how guests are to be attired.
- She will also choose and purchase the Bridegrooms wedding ring if he is to wear one
- She will choose and buy a gift for the Bridegroom as well.
On the day itself she may be fashionably late arriving at the ceremony. (2 to 5 mins is acceptable – anymore is considered bad form.)
She will also receive her Guests with her Husband and their Parents before all head into the wedding breakfast.
Once at the wedding breakfast she will sit with her husband sitting to her left. (On her right as the guests looking at her.)
OK, that was what used to happen. In reality 90% of this is still the case. However, things have become more collaborative between the Bride and Bridegroom than it ever used to be. In my experience it is still the Brides who are the organised ones in each couple, with spreadsheets being under their control! Most Bridegrooms I speak to, have no idea what is actually going on, but they are very happy to agree to the ride.
As for the receiving line. Many don’t bother with this ritual. I recommend that they are done wherever the schedule permits, because although no conversations are allowed, everybody gets to feel included. If they are not done, then I suggest that the Bride and Bridegroom visit tables during the wedding breakfast whenever possible.
In the next chapter, chapter four, we learn all about her other half! The Bridegroom
James Hasler is a professional event/conference host, moderator and facilitator. He is also a Master of Ceremonies, Charity Auctioneer and Voice of God and is well-known as The Man behind “The Man in the Red Coat”, a Professional Toastmaster. Additionally as this article explains he is a City of London Livery Beadle. He has facilitated events all over the UK, as well as throughout Europe and the United States and is the 2019 Toastmaster of the Year.
He also coaches public speaking and works with those who wish to gain greater confidence in front of an audience or camera.