The Do’s and Don'ts of your ‘I Do’s’
How do you decide what's ‘expected’ when planning your wedding. Some things can seem outdated, some are still tradition, but not all traditions are still used. Looking as some of these expectations or ways of having them more relaxed may help you plan your day with ease, starting right from the beginning.
Popping the question! It was always tradition to ask for permission before proposing, which is still very much expected from families, however not so much having the same meaning as the woman being ‘property’.
Use your initiative as to what the families (and your future brides) values and beliefs are. Some may still see it as respectful. Today it is more common to ask both parents rather than just the fathers permission as it shows respect to both parents, or even wider family depending on who your bride is closest to.
If you have proposed and want to spread to happy news to all your friends and family, social media is a fast and modern way to spread the word quickly, however, be careful! Make sure you have personally told your closest friends and family before posting. You don't want to offend or upset anyone.
Also, as family or friend…. Be careful not to post congratulations before the newly engaged couple has, they may not want it on or may not have got round to it yet, be patient, when they are ready they will, then you can go for it!
Who pays for what and whats the ‘expected’ thing to do! Traditionally The bride's family are to pay for the wedding reception and the Grooms family are to pay for the marriage fees and grooms attire. These are the traditions and are not always followed in today's world. Some families are still very traditional and some not so much. Today there is no right or wrong towards this.
The best way to find out from both families if they would like to contribute is to have an open and honest conversation with them. Ask them if they would like to help/contribute. Give them the option (they don't have to) but it's nice to ask politely rather than just assume.
Sorting your guest list is always a difficult one and can be very stressful if you let it. Sometimes using basic etiquette/tradition can be the easiest way to plan this and take away some of the stress.
After family, start by looking at who was invited to your stag party and hen party, it would be rude not to invite them to the wedding if they attended your stag/hen.
Single guests were expected to be given a plus one traditionally, however this isnt always the case, if you don't want to have that extra head on top of costs, you don't have to! If you have a budget to keep to then that is okay!
Ceremony & Seating Plans
Organising your seating plan/table plan for your wedding breakfast can be difficult. Making sure people who know each other and sat together, but also mixing it up to make sure people mix and mingle making sure there's noone left out or singled out. Also keeping the peace in case there is any family politics.
The top table is the most important! It can be very tricky nowadays with modern families. There are traditions, on a long top table the bride and groom would be seated in the centre, the brides mother sat next to the groom and the bride's father sat next to his daughter! The grooms father then sat next to the brides mother and the grooms mother sat next to the bride's father - confusing right!
If you have a Maid of Honour and a Best Man, they traditionally would be sat up there with you too at each end.
However, this is not always used today. Many have step parents which they would like to include on the table, which isn't always a long straight table anymore, some decide to stick to round tables which match the rest of their guests and place family around the table where they prefer.
Some couples prefer not to even have the hassle of figuring out who to put where and have a private top table with just the two of them and place the rest of their bridal party with friends and family.
Traditionally at the ceremony, the bride's family would sit to the left hand side and grooms to the right. However, it is now very popular to have an open seating plan for the ceremony with the idea of two families becoming one. (Pick a seat, not a side).
It is tradition for the bride's father to walk his daughter down the aisle, bride on the left hand side so she would be walking down beside her family. This tradition is still a very respected one. If the bride's father cannot for any reason be there to walk his daughter down the aisle a close family friend, brother or uncle is considered acceptable.
Some may not have these members of family and choose to have their mother or another family member walk them down the aisle.
The correct etiquette for speeches at the wedding is to have the father of the bride, groom and best man to have the responsibility of giving speeches at the wedding reception. That is the correct order of speeches to be carried out. Today, some brides like to have a few words to thank all of their friends and family for attending and sometimes even the maid of honour would like a few words to speak about their best friend/sister.
Asking for gifts can be a touchy subject, you don't want to look demanding or expecting, so having some etiquette in this one is very helpful. For your wedding guest etiquette is to bring a gift with them for the couple, so it's safe to say your guest will be expecting a gift request of some kind. This being said, it is not as common now to have a gift registry for people to buy from. Some couples make more of a direct approach and include information about what gifts they would like on their invitations, or even if they would just like money for their honeymoon instead. Some like to create a small rhyme or please & thank you at the end of the invitations to keep it light hearted and polite.
Thank You Cards
DO NOT FORGET your thank you cards. This is the last part of your big day!Thank you cards/notes should be sent out within three months of your wedding day. This is good etiquette and just plain polite to thank all of your friends and family for your gifts and for attending your big day!
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- Debbie and Stevie
“Jessica and all in the amazing team at Thief Hall, what can we say? Thank you so much for an amazing weekend. Our wedding was everything we dreamed of and more. You guys were amazing from start to finish & we can't thank you enough. For such a popular venue with weddings more weekends and mid-weeks you do everything to make the bride and groom feel so special. There were so many extra thoughtful touches that made the weekend so special. Jess, You are some kind of wizard in keeping the day running so smoothly and thinking of things that we completely over looked. Our guests had the best day yesterday and those staying in the cottages and glamping tents all said how wonderful everything was. The welcome hampers are a lovely touch. We can't wait to come back and perhaps have a slightly more relaxed stay! Thank you SO SO much!!!!”
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