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 the way up 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 finally the groom’s mother with the bride’s father.
How do we start the first dance?
According to etiquette, the newlyweds start the dancing, then the groom should dance with his new mother-in-law, then his own mother. Meanwhile, the bride should dance with her new father-in-law and then with her father. The best man should start dancing with the maid of honour when the newlyweds start to dance with their in-laws. The other ushers and bridesmaids are also invited to dance at this time. Once the song has finished, all the guests are welcome on the dance floor!
Want to follow wedding tradition?
Traditionally, a wedding was seen as a time when people were very susceptible to bad luck and evil spirits. These historic superstitions are now often ignored, but lots of brides choose to honour some traditions that supposedly 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 supposedly brings 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’ beforehand.
Who gives the wedding speeches?
Wedding etiquette dictates that speeches should be made by the bride’s father, the groom and the best man, in that order. They should thank everyone for coming to the wedding, and toast the bride and groom. Nowadays, it’s 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’s supposedly good luck for the bride to meet a lamb, dove, spider or black cat on route to the church. But, if she sees a pig or a funeral on route, these are considered bad omens! It is also considered fortunate for the bride to see a policeman, clergyman, doctor, or blind man on her way to the church.
When should I throw the bouquet?
Originally, the bride would throw one of her shoes over her shoulder, rather than her bouquet! After the reception, the bride throws her bouquet over her shoulder towards a group of unmarried female guests. Tradition states that the one who catches the bouquet will be the next one to marry.
Did you know about these strange wedding 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. She can achieve this by buying a pin from the maid of honour when changing into her travelling costume! Also, 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. An old rhyme states that a wedding should take place during the first half of the week, as Monday brings “wealth”, Tuesday brings “health” and Wednesday is the “best day of all”.
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