Questions & Answers

1.Who pays for the wedding?
2.Where do I start with my guest list?
3.Who do we invite if we're getting married abroad?
4.Who sends the invitations and when?
5.Should I set a dress code?
6. What time should the bride & groom get to the ceremony?
7.Do my bridesmaids enter before or after me?
8. What duties do the best man and ushers have?
9.Can my pet dog be part of my wedding?
10.Do we have to have favours?
11.Do we need a receiving line?
12.Should we offer a choice of food?
13.When are the speeches and in what order?
14.When should we register our gift list?
15.Can we ask for cash instead of presents?

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Modern convention moreover demands that the `togetherness' of a married couple extend ...

Modern convention moreover demands that the `togetherness' of a married couple extend into every sphere of their life. Even twenty years ago it was accepted that a couple could lead almost totally independent social lives and still be regarded as happily married. He could spend the bulk of his leisure with male companions at club or pub while she would see marriage as the opportunity to play a full role in the domesticated, matriarchal society which revolved mainly around the senior female members of her own family or married women friends of her own age.

'There isn't time , so brief is life , for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. there is only time for loving , and but an instant, so to speak, for that.' - Bobby Twain Today it would be assumed that the married couple who didn't want to spend the bulk of their spare time in each other's company-going for week-end drives to the seaside or country, visiting other married couples or involving themselves in `do-it-yourself efforts to improve house and/or garden, were heading for a marital breakdown. In short, in the modern marriage the preoccupation with the desires and interests of the other partner, once typical only of the courtship years, is expected to continue throughout the marriage. Thus although its conventions may seem more relaxed and informal, the engagement stage of the marriage relationship is even more important to the future success of that marriage than it was in the past.

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For their engagement is the point at which a man and woman have to begin to think as one and so to make a trial of their compatibility in that closest of all human relationships-marriage. Not so long ago engagement was taken so seriously that there was an actual formal ceremony only slightly less solemn than that of marriage itself. Plighting troth by the gift or exchange of rings is still, in many parts of the world, seen as the first stage in a contract finalised by marriage - the former emphasizing the secular and the latter the sacred bond between the couple.

In England today, since the lapsing of the old-style breach of promise laws, 'being engaged' has become more a matter of emotions and ethics rather than a legally definable status. Engagement however still differs from simply 'going steady' because, in promising to marry, the couple indicate their intent to share their lives permanently instead of merely enjoying each other's exclusive company on a day-to-day basis. By the time most couples decide to become engaged they have already formed such a close attachment that the idea of going out with someone else would not cross their minds.

Indeed it is a fair test of whether a couple are ready for engagement to ask if they still hanker for heavy dates other than with their prospective marriage partner. Just as the day that they get engaged is the day when most couples start to save seriously toward their first home-often by the very sensible process of opening a joint bank or building society account-so many couples find that engagement brings about a subtle shift in their sexual attitudes. Although to the committed Christian-as indeed to the devout of most faiths-pre-marital chastity for both sexes is the ideal, many girls who have hitherto held back from full sexual intercourse are happy to indulge in it once engaged. The traditional British prelude to marriage began with the suitor on bended knee begging the lady for her `hand'. In days gone by this request could well come to a girl out of the blue, allowing the lady to remark: 'This is so sudden' - and thereby shyly to beg for extra time to consider the proposition.

Today most couples become engaged as a result of a tacit understanding of affection in which the words `will you marry me?' are as likely, if spoken at all, to come from the bride-to-be. Secretly, however, most girls still cherish a vision of romantic wooing-no matter how emancipated are their exteriors-and will warm to a man who does take the trouble to make them feel a little special by putting his loving thoughts into words.

And While Liberated Ladies May Balk At The Idea Of Being 'bought' ...

It does not have to be a diamond. 'victorian girls, for example, ...

It does not have to be a diamond. 'Victorian girls, for example, were given engraved or embossed gold 'keepers'

November's Topaz Is The Gem Of The Good Companion And December's Turquoise ...

November's topaz is the gem of the good companion and December's turquoise offers the blessing of true contentment. While some couples feel that any cash they have to spare is better invested