Whether you’re the bride or the groom, you probably have squillions of questions about your upcoming wedding but, believe it or not, there are even more that you probably don’t even know about! Here are just a few of the questions many couples only think about on the big day, by which time, it’s too late to ask them:
How do we kiss when we kiss?
The big moment has finally arrived! You’re wed and your priest or celebrant has uttered those infamous words: you may now kiss the bride. But how? The best way is the most natural, something between the two extremes: don’t try kicking off the honeymoon in front of your families and friends – but, equally, don’t go all shy and think a peck on the cheek will suffice. Just do it and avoid making it lascivious or prudish.
When do we cut the cake?
Many couples have the cake-cutting early in the reception. If you have elderly guests who don’t want to hang around all night, hold the cutting of the cake early in the reception. That way, those leaving early can receive their cake and leave with their treasured memento.
There is a standard, although not rigid, procedure in the cake cutting.
- Someone announces it will take place.
- The couple cut the lowest tier together, the groom’s hands over the bride’s hands.
- The groom cuts a piece of cake and feeds a small piece to his bride.
- The bride cuts a piece of cake and feeds a small piece to her groom.
How’s everyone getting to the reception?
Obviously, the bridal couple will travel in style. You’ll have arranged a vehicle to bring the bride to the ceremony and usually the bride’s father will accompany her. After the ceremony, Dad can find his own wheels and the new groom takes his place in the back seat. But what about your attendants? Some couples opt for the casual approach in which everyone finds their own way there but for something more classy, how about hiring a fleet of stretch limos?
When do I remove my veil?
When you remove your veil is completely up to you. Some brides like to remove it after the ceremony. This means it won’t be in the way for photographers and particularly if you’re outdoors and there’s a breeze about. Some brides keep wearing their veil until the reception begins. Many have their first dance and then remove their veil. But when the moment arrives, having a trusted and talented bridesmaid to help is vital. Doing it yourself, or by someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing, could mean your gorgeous hairstyle takes a hit! After your veil is removed, have a safe and secure place in which to store it.
Who lifts the bride’s veil?
As traditions change over the years, some things that were once taken for granted are no longer. Wearing a veil is a good example. Some brides simply dispense with it altogether. But many choose to wear one and so the question arises as to who lifts it? It can be the father of the bride just as he ‘gives away’ his daughter. The more common and traditional option involves the groom who lifts the veil just before that famous kiss.
How does a bride use the bathroom?
There are several answers to this question with the most obvious being, carefully. The point, however, is that if you have a large and voluminous wedding dress, spending a penny may require an extra pair of hands – most definitely from the female side of the bridal party. We don’t need to dwell on the consequences of an unsuccessful trip to the loo. Obviously, a smaller or simpler wedding dress offers much more flexibility but in scouting parlance, be prepared. For a clever solution there is a product called the Bridal Buddy that may be worth investing in!
Do I wear my engagement ring at the wedding?
Given the significance of the wedding band during your all-important wedding ceremony, many brides prefer to keep their ring fingers “clear” for the big moment.
Brides tend to either leave their engagement rings at home on the day or, more commonly, wear it on their right-hand ring finger until after the rings are exchanged during the ceremony.
Some slip it back on while signing the register or before they meet and greet guests or head off for photographs. Either way, the choice is yours.
What happens to the engagement ring?
Different cultures have different traditions. Some Jewish weddings exchange stone-free wedding rings keeping an old tradition. But many brides wear their engagement ring during the service but on their right hand. Some give their engagement ring to an aunt or grandmother for safekeeping. The time to again wear the engagement ring with your wedding ring is en route to the reception. Many brides follow the tradition of wearing the wedding band or ring closest to their heart with their engagement ring closer to the end of their finger.
Do I have a receiving line or not?
You’ve probably been to a wedding where the bridal party has gathered at the entrance to greet each guest as they entered the reception venue. This is called a receiving line. While this is a nice way of making each guest feel welcome, it’s often left out of proceedings. Why? Well, with a large guest list it can take forever, and you can’t really spend time with the guests. So, what’s the alternative? Well, once the reception has started, simply wander around the room visiting each table and spend some quality time with your guests. Remember you’re there to eat too so don’t spend all day chatting. You are in a sense the host and hostess of the party. These days, many couples opt to allocate portions of the night table-hopping together. That way, they can still see every guest but can do it in their own time and at their own pace.
Do I have to wear my heels – all day/night?
You’re dressed to the nines with a stunning pair of heels – well-worn in before the big day, of course. But do you keep wearing them once the band kicks in and the dancing begins? That depends. If you’re a dancer and dancing pumps grow out of your feet, then no problem. But having a pair of ‘sensible’ shoes ready for the jitterbugging may be a good idea. At that time of the reception, the guests are fed and watered and having a knees-up is not the time to check out the footwear worn by the bride. Control your own destiny.
Will your venue be indoors or outdoors?
Where do we stand for the ceremony?
Again different cultures have different traditions. When facing the altar or front of the wedding venue, the bride normally stands on the left and the groom on the right. It’s the opposite in Jewish ceremonies. Again, tradition suggests the bride’s family and friends sit on the left, i.e. behind the bride, with the groom’s family and friends on the right. If you want a better viewing position and there are fewer guests on one side, you might like to sneak across for a better seat!
Should I tell my guests what to wear?
That depends. By all means be specific if you require a certain dress code; examples being formal or cocktail attire or black-tie optional. Give your guests clear instructions. People can be embarrassed arriving in the incorrect attire. But on the other hand, avoid giving cute instructions such as ‘do your own thing’ or ‘be fabulous’. That’s asking for trouble and, well, you better not be upset if someone turns up in a onsie!
How do I ensure everyone is photographed at my wedding?
The secret is to make a list and ask your wedding photographer to check it off. Of course, you’ve hired your wedding photographer to get the best picture for you, and the best use of their time isn’t chasing people down, so, perhaps, you can ask a guest who can tag along with the photographer at a certain time and tick off the shot once it’s been taken. It can be a real shame if a friend from far away isn’t captured in your album, so it’s worth asking!
Will I fit?
You will, no doubt, rehearse the big day using your dress and shoes. But have you thought about the spaces you’ll venture into on the day. There’s the car, the aisle, the bathroom and other places and spaces. If your wedding dress is large and billowy, make sure you’ll be safe to go where no bride has ever gone before!
Who will walk me down the aisle?
Traditionally, the father of the bride will walk the bride down the aisle, but sometimes this isn’t possible (or advisable). So, who takes his place? It actually doesn’t have to be anybody at all as some brides choose to walk alone. Alternatively, it can be a relative, a friend, it can even be more than one person. Like all planning decisions for your wedding, it’s your wedding so you can do it the way you want. This bride had her son walk her down the aisle – and how cute do they look?
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