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WEDDING ETIQUETTE

Wording for invitations is dependant on who is doing the inviting and their relationship to the couple

INVITATIONS

You need to start thinking about your invitations about three months before the wedding day.

The wording for a wedding invitation varies and if bespoke stationery is required, wording is entirely your choice, however normally there are two standard layouts you can have. The first is:-

Mr and Mrs John Smith
Request the pleasure of your company
Etc.

or

Mr and Mrs John Smith
Request the pleasure of the company of
..............................

In the first, the name of the guest you are inviting is put in the top left hand corner of the card, and is the more traditional form. The second is more modern and used quite frequently, both forms are equally correct and really a choice for the bride.

WHO HOSTS THE WEDDING

This is not as simple as it sounds, of course in an ideal world it is the parents of the bride, in which case the invitation will read:-

Mr and Mrs John Smith
Request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughter
Caroline Jane
to
Mr Peter Jones

Note that the Bride is referred to by her Christian names with no surname and the groom by his first name and surname, this can be changed but is the traditional wording.

If the bride and groom are sending the invitations the wording becomes:- Miss Caroline Smith and Mr Peter Jones Request the pleasure of your company at their marriage

PLANNING YOUR DAY

The traditions of wedding etiquette may not suit you, but it is best to be aware of them. We have prepared a short list you may like to use as a guide to preparing your wedding.

THE BRIDE

The Bride generally selects the type of service, and over-sees the preparations. These will include choosing the date and venue and who she wants as her attendants. Then she will want to give thought to her dress and what her bridesmaids and page boys will be wearing. When she knows these things she can choose the flowers. The guest list, and later any seating arrangements at the reception are also things she will need to give thought to, but generally she will do this with her mother.

THE GROOM

The Groom has to arrange transport for himself, the bride and the attendants, he should also hire the wedding venue, and book the honeymoon. This will all be arranged in co-ordination with the bride. The groom chooses his best man and the ushers. The groom has to reply to the bride's fathers speech at the reception, and propose the toast to the bridesmaids.

THE BEST MAN

The best man is responsible for his dress and that of the groom. He makes sure that transport to the church is arranged. The best man is responsible for the 'Stag Night', he should try to arrange this some time in advance of the wedding. It is his responsibility to ensure that the groom arrives in time at the wedding venue, and to keep the rings safe. The best man should make sure the day runs smoothly, that all the guests know the way from the wedding to the reception. He has to reply to the grooms toast and to read out any telegrams or cards sent from guests unable to attend. It is his responsibility to make sure any transport taking the bride and groom from the reception is arranged, and that they leave in time to catch any flights if they are leaving straight from the reception.

THE CHIEF BRIDESMAID

The bride will choose who she wants as her chief bridesmaid, it is her job to make sure that all the other attendants know what to do. She will arrange the brides veil and dress when she arrives. During the ceremony she will hold the bouquet for the bride. When leaving the wedding she will be escorted by the best man, and should be on hand to help the bride if needed.

USHERS

The ushers will greet the guests as they arrive, showing people where to sit, and giving out service sheets.

THE BRIDES FATHER

Traditionally the brides father is responsible for the financial side of the wedding, now it is often shared by the bride and groom, and sometimes the grooms parents. On the wedding day the brides father will escort his daughter to the wedding and give her away during the service. He will make the first speech at the reception, in which he will propose a toast to the bride and groom.

THE BRIDES MOTHER

The brides mother will take a major role in helping the bride to organise the wedding, it is her job to compile the guest list in consultation with the grooms parents. She will organise sending out the invitations, and compile the final numbers for the wedding. She will oversee all the arrangements for the day, and organise to display the wedding gifts.

THE GROOMS PARENTS

Traditionally the grooms parents have little role to play, but today they often contribute financially, it is also good manners for the bride to ensure that they are included at all stages of the arrangements.



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