We are always asked about ceremony etiquette. Here are a few of the questions that we hear quite often:
Which side of the church do guests sit on?
- Left side of the church is the bride’s side
- Right side of the church is the groom’s side
* If the two sides look uneven it’s perfectly acceptable for the ushers to escort guests to the side that has less people.
* If it’s a Jewish wedding, switch sides…bride on the right, groom on the left
There are many variations to the processional, here is one.
- The groom and best man are already at the altar
- Groomsmen first
- Bridesmaids follow
- Maid of honour
- Flower girl and ring bearer
- Bride walks with her father, other escort or by herself.
* If you have a big wedding party your groomsmen and bridesmaids can walk in pairs
Traditionally, the bride walks on her father’s left side. If the bride has a long train, you might want to consider being on your father’s right side so that he doesn’t have to walk around your train to take his seat.
- Bride & Groom first
- Flower girl & ring bearer next
- Maid of honour & best man
- Bridesmaids & ushers in couple pairs
* If you have an attendant without a partner they walk alone
- Your maid of honour will help you put your veil over your face before you walk down the aisle.
- After your father walks you down the aisle he will turn your veil up and give you a kiss
- Your maid of honour will fix the veil so that it’s in place and looks nice
- Before the ceremony put your engagement ring on your right hand
- After the groom puts your wedding band on, you can slip on your engagement ring
* Your wedding band should be worn first so that it’s closer to your heart
I’m wearing gloves … what happens when we exchange rings?
- You can buy gloves with a pre-sewn slit on the ring finger or you can slit the seam of the glove yourself allowing easy access to your ring finger without having to remove your glove.
- After your father has kissed you and your maid of honour fixes your veil, you can hand her your bouquet. Your maid of honour will bring your bouquet up to the altar with her when your marriage certificate is being signed and will hand it over to you after you have finished signing. Remember to place your bouquet with the heads of the flowers outwards for the photographer.
- Etiquette states that you shouldn’t wear white but choose off white or have colored accents sewn into your white dress.
- Etiquette also states that you can’t wear a veil, choose a tiara, floral head piece or hat.
* If you want to stick to etiquette those are the rules. If you don’t care about rules then by all means wear whatever you want.
- Reserved seats are for immediate family and anyone else that is important to you. These seats are up front…best seats in the house
- Use bows, decorations or rope off the seats/pews that are reserved
- Let your ushers know who will be sitting in the reserved sections.
* You can also in “Within the Ribbon” cards. These are little cards sent with the invitation to your VIP guests that will be seated up front. These guests will bring this card and show it to your ushers.
Who walks me down the aisle my father or my stepfather?
- If you are very close to both men your father is the one who gets the privilege.
- Emily Post says it’s a no-no to have both men walk with you but if they get along and you want it that way…go for it. We won’t tell.
If you are not having a reception or a receiving line at your reception location, then yes. Ask the church if they will allow you to have a receiving line on their property first. If there is another wedding immediately following yours, the church may require you to leave the premises.
We will give you two examples of receiving line order.
Line Up Example #1
Line Up Example #2
Not to worry, the Officiant will guide you through the ceremony. They will tell you where to stand, what to say and what to do. Making mistakes and forgetting is a normal occurrence at every wedding.
Thank you to eBrides for this info.
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