Wedding Etiquette - the Forgotten Necessity continued

What are the Bridesmaids’ Responsibilities?

Wedding etiquette suggests the bride usually chooses close friends or family members to be her bridesmaids in her wedding. While it is a huge honor to be asked to be a bridesmaid, it can also be a financial burden, proper wedding etiquette requires you be sure that each bridesmaid is aware of the costs involved as well as the time commitment it takes to be an attendant in a wedding. The number of bridesmaids is a matter of personal choice and it usually depends on the formality of the wedding. However, within wedding etiquette guidelines, twelve bridesmaids should be the maximum. Young ladies between the ages of eight and sixteen are usually considered junior bridesmaids and are not expected to help with the details as much as regular bridesmaids.

The Planning Stages:

During the planning stages of the wedding, the bridesmaids may help the bride by running errands for her and making table decorations and favors. Bridesmaids usually help the MOH in hosting a bridal shower and attend other pre-wedding parties. They are also responsible for getting fitted for their dress when requested to do so by the bride or MOH. Bridesmaids attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

At the Ceremony:

Bridesmaids help the bride get ready for the big day and help the MOH take care of any last minute details before the ceremony. The bridesmaids walk in the processional and recessional, usually escorted by a groomsman or usher. During the ceremony, the bridesmaids stand near the bride (on the other side of the MOH). Immediately following the ceremony, they pose for professional photographs with the rest of the wedding party.

At the Reception:

The bridesmaids are responsible for standing in the receiving line with the rest of the wedding party and are also seated at the head table. Good wedding etiquette suggests that the bridesmaids mingle with guests, and dance with groomsmen/ushers. Unmarried bridesmaids are expected to gather with other single women for the throwing of the bouquet.

Expenses for the Bridesmaids:

Bridesmaids pay for their own dress and accessories. Bridesmaids may attend several pre-wedding parties and/or showers, however only one shower gift and one wedding gift is necessary. Bridesmaids help the MOH with the bridal shower, and may share some of the cost.

What are the Flower Girl’s Responsibilities?

A bride normally chooses one or two young girls (typically between the ages of four and eight) to be the flower girls for the wedding. While younger ones may be cute, keep in mind that they may cause some problems in the processional, during the ceremony, or in the recessional.

The Planning Stages:

Flower girls may attend the bridal shower and some pre-wedding parties. They attend the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner with their families.

At the Ceremony:

The flower girls walk right after the MOH and directly in front of the bride during the processional. As the flower girls walk down the aisle, they usually scatter rose petals or other flower petals on the aisle. If flower petals are not permitted, they can either hand out single flowers to guests as they go down the aisle, or simply carry a small bouquet.

During the ceremony, flower girls may either stand with the other bridesmaids or sit with their families. It is suggested that younger flower girls sit with their families since standing quietly at the altar for a long period of time might be difficult for them. Flower girls also pose for professional photographs with the rest of the wedding party after the ceremony.

At the Reception:

Flower girls are not expected to stand in the receiving line and usually sit at a table of honor with their families rather than at the head table.

Expenses for Flower Girls:

The families of the flower girls are expected to pay for the flower girl’s dress and accessories. If the flower girls attend pre-wedding parties or showers, they are not expected to bring a gift, however if their families attend, then gift expectations are the same as any other guest. Flower girls and their families are not expected to help host the bridal shower, nor should they be expected to help with any of the expenses.

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