Wedding Etiquette and Traditions
Confused about wedding etiquette? Wondering which traditions to keep and which to ignore? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! From meaningful traditions to strange superstitions, here’s absolutely everything you need to know before your big day.
Walking down the aisle – who goes first?
According to tradition and etiquette, the bride and groom should lead on the way up to the aisle after the ceremony. They should then be followed by bridesmaids and pageboys, the best man with the maid of honour, the bride’s mother with the groom’s father and then the groom’s mother with the bride’s father.
How do we start the first dance?
In a traditional wedding, the bride and groom should start off dancing together, then the groom should dance with his new mother-in-law, then his own mother. At the same time, the bride should dance with her new father-in-law and then with her father. The best man should join the dancing, with the maid of honour or chief bridesmaid when the newlyweds first break apart to dance with their in-laws.The rest of the ushers and bridesmaids are also invited to the dance floor at this time. Once the song has finished, all the guests are invited to join the party on the dance floor.
Want to follow tradition?
There are many traditions associated with marriage, and in the past a wedding was seen as a time when people were very open to bad luck and evil spirits. These superstitions began many years ago, and lots are now ignored, but lots of brides choose to honour some traditions that are supposed to bring them good luck. For example, some brides choose to wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue on their big day! Another tradition that is supposed to bring good luck is the bride and groom not seeing each other before the ceremony. However, many couples choose to ignore this tradition so they can do a private ‘first look’ before the official ceremony.
Who gives the speeches?
Wedding etiquette dictates that speeches should be made by the father of the bride, the groom and the best man, in that order. They should try to remember to thank everyone for coming to the wedding, and toast to the bride and groom. Nowadays, it’s very common for the bride to make a speech as well.
What lucky signs should I look out for on my big day?
According to tradition, it is supposed to be good luck for the bride to meet a lamb, dove, spider or black cat on her way to the church. But if she sees a pig or a funeral on her way, these are seen to be bad omens. It is also considered fortunate for the bride to see a policeman, clergyman, doctor, or blind man on the way to the church.
When should I throw the bouquet?
The custom of the bride throwing her bouquet shoulder was originally performed by her throwing one of her shoes over her shoulder. After the reception the bride throws her bouquet back over her shoulder where the unmarried female guest group together. Tradition states that the one who catches the bouquet will be the next one of those present to marry.
Did you know about these strange superstitions?
There is a tradition which says that if a bride wishes to be the dominating influence in her married life, she must be the first to buy something after the wedding. The best way to ensure this is to buy a pin from the chief bridesmaid when changing into her travelling costume. Although most weddings now take place on Saturdays, it was once considered an unlucky day to get married. Fridays were also considered unlucky, partially because of Friday 13th. A famous old rhyme advises that a wedding should take place during the first half of the week, saying that Monday brings “wealth”, Tuesday brings “health” and Wednesday is the “best day of all”.