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?
Neither is there any real reason why even the best man has to be a man (although obviously since among his duties are helping the groom to dress and prepare for the ceremony, it would be more usual to choose a male friend). Like so much of wedding etiquette the apportioning of roles is more a matter of custom hallowed by time and tradition than of the demands of either ecclesiastical or secular law. As soon as the bridal party enters the church, the groom moves from the front pew to the right of the chancel steps, with the best man at his right hand but a little behind him / her.
Best man or best friend?
When the bride arrives at the chancel steps she takes her place on his left with the chief bridesmaid at her left hand, a little behind her. The bride's father (or whoever is giving away the bride) remains on the left of the bride. The chief bridesmaid then takes the bridal bouquet and bride's gloves if she wears them. Some brides wear their engagement ring on their wedding finger right up to this point in the ceremony and choose this moment to change it to their right hand.
Most will however have already made the switch when dressing for the wedding. The best man and bridal attendants remain in these places throughout the ceremony, but once his role has been fulfilled the bride's father steps gently backward to take his place beside the bride's mother in the front pew where a space will have been reserved for him / her.
The best man and bridesmaids stay where they are while the bride and groom at the priest's request move up to the altar. Either the clergyman or the best man may give the wedding ring to the bridegroom at the proper moment for him / her to place it on the third finger of the bride's left hand.
It is however more usual for the clergyman to do so, having first received it from the best man.
When the ceremony is concluded, the bride takes her husband's left arm, the bridal attendants take up her train as she leaves the chancel and the bridal party follows the clergyman into the vestry to sign the register and receive the marriage certificate. The certificate is presented to the bride and remains, legally, her property.