Who does the toast?
It is etiquette for the toast to be proposed before dinner. It is a good idea to get your champagne ready and poured about 5 minutes prior to dinner being served. Your DJ will quiet the crowd and then formally introduce The Best Man for his toast. It is not uncommon for The Maid/Matron of Honor to also propose a toast. In some cases, The Bride and/or Groom’s parents may also like to propose a toast. It is etiquette for The Best Man to be first, followed by The Maid/Matron of Honor, and then anyone else. If you are going to have a prayer before dinner this should always be last after any and all toasts.
What is this garter business all about?
The bouquet is thrown first to the single ladies. Second, the garter is removed from the leg of the bride, by the groom, and then thrown to the single gentlemen. Traditionally, the person who catches the bouquet, and the person who catches the garter, do the reverse, that is, the gentleman who catches the garter puts it on the leg of the lady who catches the bouquet. In our experience, we see this done less and less and, in some cases, the bride and groom elect to forego the garter removal altogether. As to when this should be done, there are 2 options; Some brides choose to do this immediately after the last special dance song so they can be done with all the formalities and then just enjoy their party. Also, this is the last of the formal pictures to be taken, so if you are on a tight time limit with your photographer, this might be a good option for you. In most cases, the bride & groom prefer to wait 30-45 minutes into the general dancing before doing the bouquet & garter
Ever heard of the dollar dance?
This is usually done anywhere from 30-60 minutes after the general dancing has started. Your guests come up and dance with you and give you a dollar to do so. The only downfall of a dollar dance is that it can be very time consuming, especially at larger receptions. If you decide on doing a dollar dance, we highly recommend having an organized plan! Before the day of your wedding, talk with your Best Man and Maid/Matron of Honor and assign them to be your collectors; They will stand at the head of each line and collect the money for you. In addition, they need to keep the line moving, no more than 1 minute per person. If your guests dance with you any longer than this, you are liable to burn 30 or more minutes of your reception with the dollar dance. Dollar dances are still somewhat popular, and as long as you can keep it within a reasonable time frame, the guests generally like them!
If the groom is not available, to do so, it falls to the either the best man or the father of the bride to make sure the wedding reception staff receives a tip. At the end of the reception, the BM simply hands the envelope to the maître d’.
Likewise, at the end of the evening it is up to the BM to hand the tip to the limo driver or transportation pro.
Same deal with the band members/musicians/DJ and the officiant- all are expecting to be tipped.
We recommend that the BM and the FOB (father of the bride) have a private discussion with the groom as to how this will get done on the day.
Can someone other than the father walk the bride down the aisle?
The bride’s father traditionally walks her down the aisle, but you can have anyone who is significant—mom or stepdad, brother or sister—walk you down the aisle. You can even walk alone or with more than one person.
How do I get my guests to RSVP?
Give guests at least 15 days between the invitation’s arrival and the RSVP deadline to figure out the logistics. Sending pre-stamped enclosure cards or permitting RSVP via email may also encourage guests to respond faster. Approximately one week before the numbers are due to vendors, make follow-up calls to guests who have yet to reply.
Should I send an invitation to someone who I know can’t come?
No, it is not necessary. In the event it is a family member or close friend, you can send with a note that it is meant as a keepsake.
Can I back out of my Maid of Honor duties?
Generally, it is a binding commitment. Other than illness, family emergency, or an iron-clad work demand, it’s not acceptable to back out once you’ve committed. If you have no choice but to cancel, it’s important to let the bride know as soon as possible.
Who hosts the bridal shower?
Anyone from the bridesmaids to the mother of the bride to the mother of the groom can host a bridal shower. In any case, the hostess should consult with the bride about the guest list, because shower guests should also be invited to the wedding.
Can I upload pics of the B&G on day of to social media?
When in doubt, it’s better to ask the couple’s permission before posting photos to any social media outlet—especially during the ceremony. Uploading photos not only distracts you from participating in the moment, but it also broadcasts details of the event to people who may not have been invited.
How do I decide who can bring a date?
You should extend a plus one to anyone who is in a committed relationship, whether married, engaged, or in a live-in partnership—even if you haven’t met the other half. You are not obligated to give single guests and guests who are involved in more casual relationships the option to bring a date.
If someone asks me to be in their wedding, do I have to ask them to be in mine?
You shouldn’t feel obligated to reciprocate. If you feel uncomfortable about the situation, ask them to be a reader or to fulfill some other role in the wedding. Similarly, it’s a nice gesture to include your fiancé’s siblings in the wedding party, but you are not required to do so.
Do I have to invite someone if the topic of my wedding comes up?
Nope, skirt the issue and say you haven’t finalized the guest list yet.
How can I tell my parents that there are certain people I don’t want at my wedding?
It may be best to give your parents an allotted amount of spots they can fill as they wish. If there are certain people you do not want in attendance, it’s best to have a private and honest conversation when you first discuss the guest list. Don’t insist your parents feel comfortable with the situation, but be clear about your wishes.
Am I expected to invite co-workers?
You do not have to invite everyone you work with, but try to pick a logical dividing line, like your division or team, so people don’t feel excluded. Treat any invited coworkers as you would friends, and invite them outside of work. Mail invitations to their home addresses and discuss wedding plans outside of the office.
How do I deal with guests who insist on bringing children when they know they are not included?
You have to nip this in the bud. Call the guest (even if they’ve contacted you through another medium, like email) and kindly, but firmly explain that the invitation was just for the adults and that you hope they can still attend. Don’t make exceptions—it’s not fair to other guests who respect your wishes. You can, however, invite the flower girl and the ring bearer without being hypocritical.
Can I register for gifts if it’s my 2nd marriage?
Yes.There are plenty of people who may want to give you a gift, including those who have attended a prior wedding.
How much do I tip wedding vendors?
You do not have to tip vendors with whom you have a contract. Depending on service and relationship, a small gift or a cash tip is at your discretion. You should, however, distribute tips to non-contracted staff like musicians and servers.
Meals for vendors are typically included in your contract, but you should plan to pay for their dinner regardless. Discuss meal options with your venue or caterer to find something that works with your budget.
How long do I have to send a thank you note?
Though it’s best to send a thank-you note as soon as possible, you have approximately three months to express your gratitude. If the three-month timeframe has elapsed, send any lingering thank-you notes as soon as possible. Sending an email or putting a generic thanks on social media, your wedding website, or anywhere else does not replace a handwritten note.Read More
You just agreed to being the Maid of Honor; a cherished and some would say enviable position. However, think deep before you leap…. many relationships have become strained due to miscommunication and misconceptions.
Before the Wedding…..
In the months leading up to the wedding, the bride will often call on her maid of honor for help, whether that means shopping for accessories, deciding on décor, or simply lending an open ear during times of stress. These are normal best friend duties that will likely come naturally for most maids of honor, but sometimes there are more challenging obligations as well. Here’s what you might expect:
- Wedding Dress Shopping. Some brides know exactly what they want in a wedding gown. Others will embark on a months-long process to find the perfect fit. Either way, you should expect to be at her side, sipping champagne as she tries on dress after dress — and accessories, of course. Be honest but kind to help her find the dress that will make her look and feel her most beautiful.
- Bridesmaid Dress Shopping. Rejoice! As the maid of honor, you will most likely have more of a say in what you’ll be wearing on your friend’s wedding day. Help her choose a frock that will be comfortable and flattering for you and the other bridesmaids. Co-ordinate the fittings with the other attendants.
- DIY Assistance. Depending on how crafty the bride is, she may be undertaking some DIY projects in the days leading up to the wedding, whether that means making favors, hand-lettering envelopes, or creating centerpieces. Volunteer to help her get those projects done with as little stress as possible.
- Hosting Bachelorette Party and/or Bridal Shower. Although sometimes the hosting duties for these events fall to other people or are shared by the bridesmaids, oftentimes the responsibility falls to the maid of honor. You may need to be prepared to arrange both, but don’t be afraid to turn to other bridesmaids for help if you need it. Keep a record of the gifts.
- Moral Support. The months leading up to a wedding are stressful for any bride, and simply being available to chat can do wonders. Call your friend periodically to check in and make sure that everything’s progressing according to plan, and always ask if there’s anything you can do to help
The Day of….
The wedding day means go time for the maid of honor, as you step up to help the bride navigate the busy hours leading up to the ceremony. Whether the bride is cool as a cucumber or experiences extreme jitters, it’s your job to keep things running smoothly.
- Know Your Stuff. Everyone will have questions about the wedding day — when and where are portraits taking place? What time is the cake-cutting? What’s the rain plan? It will help the bride immensely if she isn’t the only one with the answers.
- Stay Within Arm’s Reach. When the bride needs something — a tissue, a bobby pin, a glass of champagne — you should be by her side anticipating her request. You should never be out of reach. She’ll be comforted by your presence.
- Corral the Bridesmaids. Whether there are two bridesmaids or 12, make sure everyone knows where they should be and what they should be doing throughout the day.
- Enforce Sobriety Control. Champagne can certainly help calm the nerves, but no one should overindulge — at least not before the ceremony.
- Run Interference. Everyone wants to see the bride before the wedding — but she may not return the sentiment. If there’s anyone who might run the risk of stressing the bride out, do your best to keep them away from her until she’s ready to see them. She may also appreciate it if you take control of her phone for the day — but that really depends on personal preference.
- Play Timekeeper. The bride shouldn’t be worried about the schedule. That’s your job!
- Witness and Sign the Marriage Certificate. Make it official!
- Hold the Bride’s Bouquet and the Groom’s Ring During the Vows
After the Vows….Reception time.
Once the ceremony is over, it’s time to celebrate — but your job isn’t over yet! That said, a lot of the pressure is lifted, and you should enjoy yourself. Just don’t forget to wrap up your final maid of honor duties.
- Bustle Up. Help the bride prepare her dress for the reception — and touch up her makeup, if need be.
- Toast the Happy Couple. It can be short and sweet, funny, or heartfelt. Just be yourself and say something sweet to the bride and groom! Be yourself and be gracious. Humor is appreciated, but off color jokes or comments sometimes are not well received. And, above all, no expletives!
- Be a Dancing Queen. Is the dance floor empty? Encourage guests to shake their booties by setting an example.
- Collect the Goods. For those guests who bring gifts to the wedding, ensure that they’re all collected in one place and brought home at the end of the night.
- Feed the Bride and Groom. Many couples never taste a bit of food during their receptions, but do your best to make sure the bride gets something in her belly before the toasts begin. Prep her a little plate and give her a few minutes to enjoy it.
- Corral the Guests. When it’s time for the cake-cutting, bouquet toss, etc., help corral everyone where they need to be.
- Prepare for Takeoff. When the party’s over, help the bride change into her going-away clothes (if she’s changing), and collect her gown and accessories to take home.
When does the father dance with his “little girl”?
The Father/Daughter Dance is done immediately following The Wedding Party Dance. This is where The Bride dances with her father to the song of their choice. Traditionally, “Daddy’s Little Girl” had been the favorite, however; over the years other selections have become much more popular and rarely is this song used anymore. Occasionally, and only in the case of a deceased father, we have seen brides dance with their grandfather for this dance. We have seen some brides choose the song “Daddy’s Hands” by Holly Dunn, and have even seen it suggested on other DJ’s web sites. This song is in reference to a deceased father and should only be used in a fitting and appropriate circumstance.
Do the parents dance together? Yes…
The Parents Dance is the last of the specialty dances to be done. This is where The Bride & Groom and their parents all dance together. Traditionally, “Sunrise Sunset” from “Fiddler On The Roof”, has been the favorite, however, over the years other songs have become much more popular. In the case of a divorced or deceased parent, The Bride and Groom usually choose not to do this dance
On funny story I heard is then the parents got up to dance, the DJ actually played “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye…Do I have to say be very careful in your tune selection?Read More