Author Topic: Silly Etiquette Questions - September 1, 2013  (Read 3874 times)

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mspallaton

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Silly Etiquette Questions - September 1, 2013
« on: February 12, 2014, 03:49:44 PM »
Hi all,

I've got a fairly silly one for everybody.  My dad had some... interesting ideas... about what constituted proper wedding etiquette.  I'm wondering how many of them have merit - possibly in outdated rules about etiquette or something.  Before I share them, I want to point out that he didn't cause a fuss or a fight about any of them and all of the conversations were good-natured.

Here are the biggest ones he told us:
- Bridesmaids and groomsmen cannot be married.  I cracked up at this one because he said it a couple months before the ceremony -- long after the bridesmaids, groomsmen and one bridesman had been chosen.  It came up because DH said he wanted something traditional (I can't remember what) and dad's response was to say we were already being non-traditional because of married wedding parties... ignoring the bridesman though...  :)

- No flower girls over 6 yrs old.  He didn't argue that point because the only girl we knew well enough to trust besides my 10-yr-old cousin was 2.5 yrs at the time of the ceremony so he said we could 'make an exception' so the younger girl had someone keeping an eye on her.

- The Pastor is supposed to tell everyone where to stand in the processional and decide the music for the ceremony.  I've never heard of that, but my mom mentioned that's how things worked at their church when they get married so maybe it was a local thing.  That was in response to DH and I getting an e-mail from the organist where we were doing the ceremony asking us to choose songs.

- And my favorite/the reason this went into the Wedding Day section: "The bride is supposed to arrive at least 5, if not 15 minutes late to the ceremony venue."  I cashed in my bridezilla chip on that one because he didn't bust it out until 20 minutes before we were supposed to leave because I asked him why he didn't have his tux on.  He thought he had another 40 minutes. 
-----------------------
Like I said - my dad's a good-natured man so none of these were family fights or blow ups.  Mostly they were just head-scratchers because I honestly didn't know if they were correct or not - so, mostly out of curiosity - I thought I would toss it up to the experts.  Thoughts?  Any of these ring true about wedding etiquette?

daen

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Re: Silly Etiquette Questions - September 1, 2013
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2014, 05:56:06 PM »
Hi all,

I've got a fairly silly one for everybody.  My dad had some... interesting ideas... about what constituted proper wedding etiquette.  I'm wondering how many of them have merit - possibly in outdated rules about etiquette or something.  Before I share them, I want to point out that he didn't cause a fuss or a fight about any of them and all of the conversations were good-natured.

Here are the biggest ones he told us:
- Bridesmaids and groomsmen cannot be married.  I cracked up at this one because he said it a couple months before the ceremony -- long after the bridesmaids, groomsmen and one bridesman had been chosen.  It came up because DH said he wanted something traditional (I can't remember what) and dad's response was to say we were already being non-traditional because of married wedding parties... ignoring the bridesman though...  :)

- No flower girls over 6 yrs old.  He didn't argue that point because the only girl we knew well enough to trust besides my 10-yr-old cousin was 2.5 yrs at the time of the ceremony so he said we could 'make an exception' so the younger girl had someone keeping an eye on her.

- The Pastor is supposed to tell everyone where to stand in the processional and decide the music for the ceremony.  I've never heard of that, but my mom mentioned that's how things worked at their church when they get married so maybe it was a local thing.  That was in response to DH and I getting an e-mail from the organist where we were doing the ceremony asking us to choose songs.

- And my favorite/the reason this went into the Wedding Day section: "The bride is supposed to arrive at least 5, if not 15 minutes late to the ceremony venue."  I cashed in my bridezilla chip on that one because he didn't bust it out until 20 minutes before we were supposed to leave because I asked him why he didn't have his tux on.  He thought he had another 40 minutes. 
-----------------------
Like I said - my dad's a good-natured man so none of these were family fights or blow ups.  Mostly they were just head-scratchers because I honestly didn't know if they were correct or not - so, mostly out of curiosity - I thought I would toss it up to the experts.  Thoughts?  Any of these ring true about wedding etiquette?

Well, he may have had a point (in part) on item #1: technically one can't be a bridesmaid if one is married. I believe this is why the old terminology was Matron of Honor instead of Maid of Honor if the lady was already wed. But otherwise... no. Don't think so.

Item #2: No idea where that might have come from. I personally wouldn't want a flower girl/ring bearer much younger than 6. But then, I didn't want either one at all at my wedding.

Item #3: I've seen pastors organize the wedding rehearsal and tell people to stand, but only when that job is given to them because no one else knows what to do. And choosing the music? Not in my experience. I understand that some houses of worship will veto certain types of music via the officiant, but not choose all the music.

Item #4: I have heard of it being traditional for the bride to arrive late, but I tend to think of that as bad planning and/or rude.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Silly Etiquette Questions - September 1, 2013
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2014, 06:29:56 PM »
I think at sometime married women serving as attendants weren't common. They had households to run so didn't have time for such foolishness. ::) But a married sister or close friend could be a matron of honor which was more symbolic and not expected to do much.

Haven't heard of an age restriction on flower girls.

I do know some ministers used to have very strict guidelines on the marriage ceremony and probably did set the procession and other guidelines. In my church all music must be approved by the clergy. And they may make recommendations if you need them.

Brides arriving late is unusual. But if your wedding is at 7 I could see the music starting then and parents being seated, bridal party marching in taking 5 to 10 minutes. So the bride doesn't make an appearance till 7:10 or so. But in my city, brides and party dress at the church. So no reason to arrive late.

Harriet Jones

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Re: Silly Etiquette Questions - September 1, 2013
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2014, 07:17:36 PM »
Hi all,

I've got a fairly silly one for everybody.  My dad had some... interesting ideas... about what constituted proper wedding etiquette.  I'm wondering how many of them have merit - possibly in outdated rules about etiquette or something.  Before I share them, I want to point out that he didn't cause a fuss or a fight about any of them and all of the conversations were good-natured.

Here are the biggest ones he told us:
- Bridesmaids and groomsmen cannot be married.  I cracked up at this one because he said it a couple months before the ceremony -- long after the bridesmaids, groomsmen and one bridesman had been chosen.  It came up because DH said he wanted something traditional (I can't remember what) and dad's response was to say we were already being non-traditional because of married wedding parties... ignoring the bridesman though...  :)

Nope.

Quote

- No flower girls over 6 yrs old.  He didn't argue that point because the only girl we knew well enough to trust besides my 10-yr-old cousin was 2.5 yrs at the time of the ceremony so he said we could 'make an exception' so the younger girl had someone keeping an eye on her.

Traditionally, flower girls usually aren't *too* terribly old, but there's no age limit. 

Quote
- The Pastor is supposed to tell everyone where to stand in the processional and decide the music for the ceremony.  I've never heard of that, but my mom mentioned that's how things worked at their church when they get married so maybe it was a local thing.  That was in response to DH and I getting an e-mail from the organist where we were doing the ceremony asking us to choose songs.

I'd imagine the pastor might want to have some input into where everyone should stand.  We worked with the organist on what music we'd have.  I imagine she would have told us if something was inappropriate. 

Quote
- And my favorite/the reason this went into the Wedding Day section: "The bride is supposed to arrive at least 5, if not 15 minutes late to the ceremony venue."  I cashed in my bridezilla chip on that one because he didn't bust it out until 20 minutes before we were supposed to leave because I asked him why he didn't have his tux on.  He thought he had another 40 minutes. 
-----------------------
Like I said - my dad's a good-natured man so none of these were family fights or blow ups.  Mostly they were just head-scratchers because I honestly didn't know if they were correct or not - so, mostly out of curiosity - I thought I would toss it up to the experts.  Thoughts?  Any of these ring true about wedding etiquette?

So the ceremony's not supposed to start on time?  Or be really really late because the bride's actually getting ready at the church? Weird.

kherbert05

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Re: Silly Etiquette Questions - September 1, 2013
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2014, 08:37:33 PM »
I think that the bride being "late" might come from the days before there were brides rooms in churches. Everyone would come in and be seated - then the bride and bridesmaids would arrive with the guests inside so noone saw "The dress" till she was walking down the aisle. The wedding would actually start on time, because this convention was understood. I remember stories older family members told about weddings and the gossips who would come late so they would get to see the Bride First - like it was a competition.


In those stories for the Protestant side of the family they usually mentioned the bride and bridesmaids getting ready at the parsonage.

On the Catholic side - usually at the closest family/close friends house because the rectory/convent were not considered appropriate places to dress for a wedding. [/size][size=78%] [/size]
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TootsNYC

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Re: Silly Etiquette Questions - September 1, 2013
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2014, 11:14:31 PM »
Those actually don't seem that outlandish to me. And I've vaguely heard of them as traditions.

At once time, the attendants *were* unmarried--very, very long ago.

And yes, flower girls are frequently considered to be young--girls much older than 6 are usually junior bridesmaids.

Pastors are completely in charge of what happens during a worship service, and a religious wedding ceremony *is* a religious service. If the pastor has delegated this to a wedding coordinator at his church, that's his prerogative. But I know quite a few pastors who wouldn't be that happy having a professional wedding coordinator tell him what would happen, especially if it deviated from what he thought was appropriate. And for my wedding, there was no wedding coordinator period, and the pastor ran the rehearsal and told us where to go.
   Hey, after all, he's the one who's done this before. He's the officiant of the service, he knows what's happening.

The bride being a little late--that's actually a bit sensible, especially if she's not getting dressed at the church but is arriving and immediately starting down the aisle. That allows people who are only a tiny bit late to be seated and settled before things begin. But I'd say no more than 15 minutes late.

mspallaton

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Re: Silly Etiquette Questions - September 1, 2013
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2014, 10:56:51 AM »
 :D

This is why I love this site.  Out of context they all seemed kind of odd, but every single one of them has some basis in real etiquette.  Thank you all for the replies - it was neat to see where those ideas came from and that they had real traditions they were based on.

Thipu1

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Re: Silly Etiquette Questions - September 1, 2013
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2014, 11:18:18 AM »
This is an interesting thread. 

IME, girls of ten would be considered junior bridesmaids, although, if a girl of that age doesn't mind being a flower girl I see nothing wrong with it. 

For a ceremony held in a house of worship the officient usually does stage manage the bridal party because s/he know what works best given the layout of the sanctuary.  Also, some denominations are quite strict about not allowing secular music during the ceremony.  When we were planning our Wedding, appropriate music was discussed during our Pre-Cana meetings but a very wide choice was available.  There was plenty of room to express personal taste without having  'Lucy and Linus' as the recessional in a large church. 

Because of little hitches that happen on every Wedding day, Brides are often a bit late but I've never heard that this was a tradition. 

As for unmarried attendants, this is the first I've heard of that rule. 

 


bloo

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Re: Silly Etiquette Questions - September 1, 2013
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2014, 12:06:52 PM »
Interesting thread.

Every wedding I've been to for fellow adherents of my place of worship has been on time with little-to-no-wait for the reception. Punctuality is considered very important. The only blip of difference was the most recent wedding I've been to. I saw a lot of things that were very different to what's traditional.

Generally the husband doesn't see the bride until she walks down the aisle, but in every wedding I've been to, the groom saw the bride in her wedding finery beforehand as they'd already taken most pictures. So there's rarely much of a delay before the reception. The most recent wedding I attended, the bride was very late making her appearance even though she was onsite. The groom didn't see her so they took an enormous amount of time getting pictures. Not wrong but I hadn't planned for that. We were instructed to head to the reception site right after but the only snacks provided were soft drinks and a small amount of cookies. For upwards of 250+ persons. Dinner was served much later than what the invitation intimated. I'd waited so long to eat that I could not eat cookies to hold me over as that would have made me sick. I finally told my DH that I needed to leave and he and another gentleman at our table with blood sugar issues (like us) made a move to get up and join us when they called our table to go to the buffet. Three hours after the reception 'started'.

Punctuality...it's very important!  :) 


lakey

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Re: Silly Etiquette Questions - September 1, 2013
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2014, 12:50:05 PM »
"- The Pastor is supposed to tell everyone where to stand in the processional and decide the music for the ceremony."

In the Catholic Church the pastor doesn't pick the music, but it must be liturgical, that means religious. You can pick your music from liturgical music, and the organist helps you with that. If you want a particular song, he/she will let you know if it is okay. You can't use a non-religious folk song or pop song,for instance, unless you have a priest who doesn't follow the church's rules.  As a matter of fact, I believe that you can't use "Here Comes the Bride" because it is not religious music. I think  it's from a Wagner opera.

TootsNYC

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Re: Silly Etiquette Questions - September 1, 2013
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2014, 12:52:22 PM »
"- The Pastor is supposed to tell everyone where to stand in the processional and decide the music for the ceremony."

In the Catholic Church the pastor doesn't pick the music, but it must be liturgical, that means religious. You can pick your music from liturgical music, and the organist helps you with that. If you want a particular song, he/she will let you know if it is okay. You can't use a non-religious folk song or pop song,for instance, unless you have a priest who doesn't follow the church's rules.  As a matter of fact, I believe that you can't use "Here Comes the Bride" because it is not religious music. I think  it's from a Wagner opera.

This was true of the Lutheran pastor who officiated at my wedding.
I do know some Lutheran pastors who have decided they don't care about that processional. And who wouldn't care about a non-religious pop song as long as it's not directly contrary to doctrine.

lakey

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Re: Silly Etiquette Questions - September 1, 2013
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2014, 12:56:40 PM »
Sorry for double post.

mechtilde

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Re: Silly Etiquette Questions - September 1, 2013
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2014, 12:58:47 PM »
"- The Pastor is supposed to tell everyone where to stand in the processional and decide the music for the ceremony."

In the Catholic Church the pastor doesn't pick the music, but it must be liturgical, that means religious. You can pick your music from liturgical music, and the organist helps you with that. If you want a particular song, he/she will let you know if it is okay. You can't use a non-religious folk song or pop song,for instance, unless you have a priest who doesn't follow the church's rules.  As a matter of fact, I believe that you can't use "Here Comes the Bride" because it is not religious music. I think  it's from a Wagner opera.

This was true of the Lutheran pastor who officiated at my wedding.
I do know some Lutheran pastors who have decided they don't care about that processional. And who wouldn't care about a non-religious pop song as long as it's not directly contrary to doctrine.

It was also true of the Anglican priest who married us. It is the norm for the couple to chose the music, and the priest would be able to say no to anything inappropriate.
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Silly Etiquette Questions - September 1, 2013
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2014, 01:24:19 PM »
I didn't have a traditional wedding but I have been a Jr. Bridesmaid as well as a regular one twice, once before I was married and once afterwards.

As for flower girls, my first time I was 6 and I think the second time I was either 7 or 8.
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Vall

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Re: Silly Etiquette Questions - September 1, 2013
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2014, 09:26:00 AM »
I know that it isn't common now but bridesmaids being unmarried doesn't seem like an odd idea to me.  A maid of honor is unmarried.  A matron of honor is married.  So it wouldn't seem off to say that a bridesmaid is unmarried.  I wonder if there was ever such a thing as a bridesmatron.

When wealthy, young, unmarried women had maids to attend to their needs, weren't the maids generally unmarried anyway?  I will admit that I am totally guessing at this due to watching too many movies.