The Best Man And The Maid Of Honor

November 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Tips For your Wedding

If we think of a wedding as a film – and it has to be said that, unless we have been drinking, we usually do not – then the bride and groom are the actor and actress in a lead role, while the positions of “supporting” actor and actress go to the best man and the maid of honor. In a wedding, these latter roles are considered highly important and choosing people to fill them can often be one of the more stressful elements of the whole procedure. When you come to choose your best man or maid of honor, you have to think long and hard about your decision.

Usually, the roles will be given to the person you consider your best friend. They can be related to you by blood or merely by a bond forged in the fires of shared experience, but for many people, the difficulty is in choosing someone without upsetting another person who feels the role should have been theirs. For the bride or groom, avoiding hurt feelings on the part of their friends is often one of the longest tightropes they will ever have to walk.

There is no steadfast way to ensure you get it right, but it is a decision you have to take by yourself. By all means seek advice, and speak to the people you are considering, but when you make that final choice it is essential that you let the people who were not chosen know that they still matter to you, and that the choice was indeed a difficult one. If, after that, they still do not accept it, then they may not realize that the day is about you and your spouse to be rather then themselves.

Now You See Me, Now You Don’t…

November 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Tips For your Wedding

Given the implied importance of tradition for a wedding day, there are a lot of things that people superstitiously stick to even given their apparent inconvenience. One of these traditions is that the bride and the groom should not see one another from midnight on the day of the wedding until they meet at the altar. The idea is that, when their eyes meet in the witness of the wedding arena, they should look upon one another as if they were discovering anew the person with whom they will spend the rest of their life.

This is not, strictly speaking, a required part of the wedding and there are certainly plenty of couples celebrating major wedding anniversaries in the present day having spent the night before the wedding together. However, it is still stuck to by many, and can lead to logistical somersaults being turned by the couple in order to avoid running in to one another. In practice, this tends to mean the groom spending the eve of the wedding at the home of his best man, prior to a dash to the altar when they traditionally oversleep (this part is definitely not compulsory).

A couple who have lived together for some time prior to the ceremony may feel one of two ways – that they have seen each other every morning for a while and aren’t about to fix what isn’t broken, or that there is no point in tempting fate by breaking with tradition. In any case, it is not about what happens before the wedding, but what happens after it in the marriage.

Speech! Speech! Speech!

November 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Tips For your Wedding

One part of the wedding experience that is considered almost essential is the point during the reception at which, after the meal has been eaten and a reasonable amount of wine has been drunk, the best man gets to his feet and speaks from the heart (and usually from a sheaf of notes filled with juicy stories) about his friend the groom. There is some argument about the tone this speech should take. As they will often have been friends since childhood, there will be at least one story which makes the groom cringe and his new wife momentarily angry.

Often a best man will feel that it is his duty to make this speech as uncomfortable for the groom as possible, but this is somewhat misleading. Certainly, there is room for amusing stories, but the tone of a best man’s speech should be more encouraging than embarrassing. A few funny stories should be interwoven with tales of friendship, and the speech should end with warm congratulations and wishes for all the best of luck to be bestowed upon bride and groom.

For this reason, it is advisable in the case of a reception where alcohol is served that the best man should hold back a little on the consumption of such drinks until his speech is over. No-one will thank you if as a best man you drink your own body weight in wine and reel off a series of stories about past indiscretions which, seen through the filter of the day, make him appear to be a substance-abusing philanderer.

Wedding Day Quirks

November 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Tips For your Wedding

When you strip away all of the pageantry and all of the traditions which are not specifically required by law, the present form taken by a wedding is simply a short exchange of vows between two people who have decided that they want to spend the rest of their lives together. But if you ask a hundred people what marriage, and weddings, mean to them, there will be broad mentions given to the other parts of the process – the little quirks which in and of themselves are not essential, but play a major part in the story.

Think for example of the old saying “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue”. This has formed part of the superstition around a wedding day for some time, and requires the bride to have with her one item from each category. These items will usually be worn, and often one of them (though generally not the “blue” one or the borrowed) will be the ring. Think also of the throwing of the bouquet, which when caught is said to denote who will be the next female in the congregation to get married.

For the groom, the traditions are less prominent. Indeed, on the male side it is usually the best man who follows tradition, by making a speech (which, theoretically, should embarrass his friend the groom) and by leading the dancing with the head bridesmaid. None of these things is strictly necessary and yet we feel, perhaps despite ourselves, that a wedding is not quite right without them.

The Changing Face Of Marriage

November 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Tips For your Wedding

Some time ago, it was impossible to get married anywhere other than the interior of a religious building, and any ceremony conducted outside of these boundaries was considered not to constitute a genuine wedding. As times have changed, and our perceptions along with them, we find ourselves in an age where it is now easier to get married than it was before – and where the option to marry is extended to people who previously could not.

There are people who argue that this is a bad thing per se. Increasingly they find themselves in a minority, but they still insist that marriage, if it is to mean anything, should be between a man and a woman, married in the eyes of the church and within a church building – or whatever place of worship they are affiliated to. These people further argue that the ease of getting married leads to unions that should never have taken place – and in the case of some quickie marriages which are followed by equally speedy divorces, they may have the beginnings of a point.

However, it should be pointed out that many of the most secure marriages in place today, and the most monogamous unions, are unions that could never have taken place were the couple required to be church-going, mixed-sex, and of a high enough social standing to be accepted into the church. It requires some strength of character on the part of the couple getting married to ensure that these unions come about and are successful, but the times have certainly changed compared with the situation of a century ago.

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