According to the Oxford dictionary etiquette means ‘the code of polite behaviour in a society.’
In the first of a new series on ‘etiquette’ we explore the confusions with this topic and hope to help you decide which way to proceed with the planning. Who knows it might even save a few arguments with family along the way! I feel it’s important to remember that though etiquette is part of our every day life it is our personal choice whether to follow the ‘laws’ or not.
Responsibilities – pre wedding
The BRIDE of course is the focus point of the wedding and I think this is something that will not change with time. She decides who her attendants will be, i.e bridesmaids, flower girls and pageboys and then chooses their dresses/suits & accessories. A bride does most of the wedding planning (even if hiring a wedding planner) and also devotes a lot of her time to her dress, makeup, accessories to ensure she looks as perfect as possible on the day without any flaws.The BRIDEGROOM has a few more responsibilities, at least according to etiquette and tradition. He appoints his ushers and best man or best men and helps decide what suits to hire for them. He chooses and buys the wedding rings, pays for ceremony expenses excluding flowers and music. Traditionally he pays for the brides bouquet, his buttonholes and bridesmaids bouquets – (although I’ve yet to meet a groom who has shown an interest in flowers let alone buy for them). Finally he is in charge of choosing and paying for the honeymoon.
PARENTS OF THE BRIDE traditionally are the ones that pay for the largest proportion of the wedding and take part in a lot of the decisions made. Traditionally they were the ones placing the engagement notices in the newspapers and would heavily influence the final guest list. The invitations are sent from them (more on stationery wording in the next instalment of this etiquette guide) and all replies posted back to them. Normally the parents would pay for the brides dress and any bridesmaids she may have. Now although parents traditionally paid for their daughters wedding it is more common place for them to contribute towards rather then pay for all of the wedding. Many couples pay for part (or sometimes all) of the wedding themselves especially as the cost of weddings has escalated to £20k which is out of reach for many parents .
Part 2 of this guide will be posted early April and we will cover invitation wording.
Picture Credit: Kerry Morgan