The processional - when walking into the church or venue, it is proper not to greet your guests. So there should be no waving, hugging, or blowing kisses. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging them with a nod of recognition.
During the ceremony it is proper etiquette for the bride and groom to show the love they have for each other by gazing into each other’s eyes, gently touching one another, and showing their devotion by paying attention.
Talking during the ceremony and ignoring the words of the pastor is disrespectful. There are times, however, when talking is appropriate and even some light humor, so use discretion.
Giggling a lot is seriously offensive to the minister. Your pastor may think that you are not ready for marriage. Therefore, he/she may be stopped the wedding or may chastise you on the seriousness of your commitment, before continuing.
Readers or wedding singers should face you during the ceremony and not your guests. Your wedding is not a time for them to showcase their talents. It is a time for you to be serenaded, while basting in the spotlight of change. It is advisable that your guests not applaud them at the end of their performance (no matter how fantastic they are). You are the only ones to be applauded on your special day. The vocalist and the readers can be thanked by the minister.
Bridal Party, if your wedding party is walking in pairs (bridesmaid / groomsman) the bridesmaids should be on the left (bride's side) and the groomsmen should be on the right (groom's side). The ladies should take the gentleman's arm. And the ladies should hold their bouquet at their waist while walk down the aisle, and it should be draped on their right arm during the ceremony.
While waiting for the bride to enter, the bridal party faces the guests. After the bride is handed to the groom and the couple faces each other, the wedding party turns the same direction the couple faces and view the ceremony (side profiles).
The wedding party should stand at attention at all times with the groomsmen holding their right hand over the left or both hands behind their back. They should not be wearing sun glasses, chewing gum, or roasting the groom.
Best Man & Maid of Honor Toast - During the reception (this is off topic), your best man and maid/matron of honor should face you when making their toast. It is offensive when they toast you and all you see are their backs. So provide them with some guidance.
More to come………
Reverend Starlene Joyner Burns
The DC Marriage Knot
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Washington DC Weddings
DC Wedding Minister / Maryland Wedding Officiant / VA Marriage Celebrant
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