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Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1: WEDDING DAY TIMELINE
CHAPTER 2: WEDDING DAY CHECK LIST
CHAPTER 3: WEDDING PROCESSIONAL
CHAPTER 4: WEDDING ETIQUETTE
CHAPTER 5: WEDDING ATTENDANTS
CHAPTER 6: WEDDING CEREMONY/INSERTS
CHAPTER 7: WEDDING TRIVIA
CHAPTER 8: THE WEDDING PARTY
CHAPTER 9: BRIDES PERSONAL JOURNAL
Glossary Wedding Day Timeline

CHAPTER 1:

8 - 12 MONTHS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING DAY

Agree with your spouse-to-be and your family on your Wedding date. Decide on a Preliminary Wedding Budget. Hire a wedding planner/coordinator, if you choose to. Prepare a guest list. Agree to meet with your Wedding Officiants or Clergyman/woman. Agree on the Ceremony location and time Agree on the Rehearsal & Reception Site. Shop for a Professional Videographer & Photographer. Shop for a Caterer, Florist and Music (Band, DJ, etc.) Look for a Wedding gown and allow time for alterations and fittings. Agree on a bridal registry. Call up and Select the bridesmaids. Agree on a date to order bridesmaids' dresses. Choose a beautiful place for your Honeymoon. Apply for passports, if needed.

6 MONTHS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING DAY
Make airline & hotel reservations for the Honeymoon. Fine tune the guest list. Shop for and order invitations, calligraphy, announcements & thank you notes.Shop for and order wedding favors. Draw a time line for the Wedding Reception. Agree on a caterer, a florist and place an order for the wedding cake. Call the Photographer to set up a time for the bridal portrait. Book a Limousine Company for transportation on your wedding day. Share and discuss the reception timeline all parties involved. Shop for a Party rental place and make reservations for any rentals.

8 WEEKS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING DAY

Discuss with the Wedding Officiant the specifics of the Wedding Ceremony. Finalize the guest list. Set a date and time for the rehearsal dinner. Choose gifts for the groom and the attendants. Make final alterations and fittings for the Wedding Gown. Visit your Photographer for the Bridal Portrait.

1 MONTH BEFORE YOUR WEDDING DAY

Fill out and submit application for the marriage license. Buy your wedding bands. Mail invitations. Contact out of town guests and make necessary Hotel reservations. Finalize music list and no-play list with band or DJ. Make reservations for bridesmaids' luncheon. Attend showers. Mail wedding announcement to guests living abroad.

2 weeks Before Your Wedding Day

Schedule the rehearsal a day or two before your wedding day. Make an appointment with a Beauty Salon for day of wedding. Discuss with the hairstylist your hairstyle for your wedding day. Verify the bridal party clothing. Send a wedding announcement to the local newspapers, if you wish. Make necessary arrangements for name & address change, if any. Agree with the reception Site and the Caterer on final details.

1 WEEK BEFORE YOUR WEDDING DAY

Send reminders to the rehearsal dinner attendees about the location.& time. Start packing for your Honeymoon. Contact your minister and discuss final ceremony details. Contact reception location and caterers to finalize details. Contact party rental company and finalize details. Visit your Beauty Salon for manicure and pedicure. Attend the rehearsal and dinner. Make sure the ushers have the final guest list. Make sure you have gathered the items on the Bride’s Wedding Day Checklist. Make sure you have tickets and reservation materials for the honeymoon.

YOUR WEDDING DAY
Make sure you eat something. Visit your Beauty Salon for Hair styling & make-up. (bring veil & headpiece). Make sure the Wedding Gown is pressed and steamed. Bring a change of clothes if you are leaving for your honeymoon. Try to relax... unwind yourself... and savor the unfolding of your Special day.

POST WEDDING & HONEYMOON

Contact a Flower Preservation Vendor to preserve you Bouquet. Contact a Gown preservation Vendor to hand clean, press and preserve your bridal gown. Ensure the marriage license has been filed with the register of deeds office.

Bride’s Wedding Day Checklist

CHAPTER 2:

Wedding gown Veil and headpiece
Additional headpiece for reception
Special bra, panties Special slip Extra hosiery
Shoes Gloves Jewelry Make-up, perfume Nail polish and file Curling iron, curlers Comb, brush Hairspray, extra bobby pins Mirror Toothbrush, toothpaste, breath mints Iron or steamer Garter Penny or sixpence Bible, hanky, etc Ring pillow Flower basket (if not being delivered by florist) Going-away outfit Going-away undergarments Going-away shoes and hosiery Accessories, jewelry, etc. Wedding night bag (placed in get-away car) Honeymoon suitcases (placed in get-away car) Marriage License (make sure best man has it)

Wedding Processional

CHAPTER 3:

After all guests have been seated,

1. The Groom’s Mother is escorted to the front row on the right side of the church or area set-up for the ceremony. This is ordinarily done by an usher, but can also be done by the groom’s father.
2. The Bride’s Mother then follows, escorted by an usher, who delivers her to her place in the front row on the left side of the church or area set-up for the ceremony. Note: The seating of the bride’s mother is the traditional indication that the wedding is about to begin.
3. At this point the Minister enters, usually from a side door or side aisle of the church or gathering place, to take his place at the alter or focal point of the ceremony. Note: The minister’s presence brings the preparatory part of the ceremony – the musical prelude and gathering of the guests to a conclusion.
4. Next, the Groom followed immediately by his Best Man, takes his place at the front of the church or focal point on the right. Note: The groom and best man turn and face the door or place from which the bride will enter.
5. Now the music selected for the processional is started, and the Ushers proceed down the aisle, taking their places along side the groom and best man. Note: If there is not room to stand beside them, then they should stand directly behind the best man in a row.
6. Once the ushers are situated, the Bride’s Maids begin their procession, and take their place on the left at the front, leaving room for the maid of honor and the bride herself. Note: If there is not room to stand beside them, then they should stand directly behind the maid of honor in a row.
7. Following the bride’s maids, the Maid of Honor will enter, taking her place to the right of the bride’s maids and leaving room for the bride at the center of the aisle.
8. The maid of honor is followed by the Ring-Bearer, who has the actual rings for the ceremony, normally carried on a pillow.
9. Next, the Flower Girl or girls enter, who scatter the aisle with flowers for the bride to walk on enter. They proceed down the aisle and take their place on the left side of the bride’s maids.
10. Now everyone is prepared for the Bride’s entrance and selected music is played such as the traditional wedding march or other song. She is escorted down the aisle on her father’s left arm, who then, traditionally kisses her farewell after the minister asks who gives this women in marriage. Her father then takes his place beside the bride’s mother and the ceremony begins!

RECESSION RECEIVING LINE

In the Christian Wedding the receiving line is formed after the bride and groom and the wedding party have left the church or the front of the area set-up for the wedding ceremony. It is my experience that a formal receiving line is utilized only 35% of the time. Only the most formal outdoor weddings will have a receiving line. This is also the case at historic properties such as at an inn or bed & breakfast. Most often, the bride and groom choose to personally greet the guests by stopping by each table during the banquet or by casually mingling during the reception. When a receiving line is used the following is the traditional placement: Bride’s Mother Groom’s Mother Bride’s Father Bride Groom Maid of Honor Bridesmaids Note: The following wedding party members are not usually a part of the receiving line: Best Man, Groom’s Father, Groomsmen, Flower Girl, Ring Bearer & Clergyman (Minister).

Wedding Etiquette

CHAPTER 4:

WHO PAYS FOR WHAT?

Cultural backgrounds and individual convictions heavily influence the decision-making in Wedding Etiquette. Nevertheless, the following is a general guide that should be construed as such... and adopted as you deem fit:

THE BRIDE TYPICALLY PAYS FOR:
The Wedding ring for the Groom Gifts for the Attendants Accommodation for out-of-town Attendants The Wedding gift for the Groom

THE GROOM TYPICALLY PAYS FOR:

The Bride's rings including the Engagement ring The honeymoon Wedding gift for the bride The marriage license The Groom's men gifts Accommodation for out-of-town groom's men Flowers for the Bride The going-away corsage, corsages for mothers, special ladies; The boutonnieres for men in wedding party The gloves, ties and accessories for the men in the wedding party Fee for clergyperson or judge

THE GROOM'S FAMILY TYPICALLY PAYS FOR:
Clothing for the Wedding Travel and lodging expenses Rehearsal dinner The Wedding gift for the newlyweds

THE BRIDE'S FAMILY TYPICALLY PAYS FOR:

The costs of the reception. The Bride's Wedding attire/trousseau Invitations, announcements, thank you notes The seating assignment chart, napkins and mailing costs Photographer Videographer Ceremony costs Bridesmaids, flower girl, ring bearer flowers and accessories Transportation for bridal party on Wedding day from ceremony to reception All gratuities for all services: parking, security Bridesmaid luncheon

THE ATTENDANTS TYPICALLY PAY FOR:

Their Wedding clothes Travel expenses Wedding gift for newlyweds Wedding Attendants

CHAPTER 5:

ATTENDANT’S RESPONSIBILITIES MAID/MATRON OF HONOR RESPONSIBILITIES:

The maid or matron of honor is usually a sister or very close friend. Choose some dependable. If you choose, you may have both a maid (single) and a matron (married) of honor takes precedence at the ceremony, signs as you legal witness and carries the groom's ring. Before the Wedding: The maid of Honor may plan your wedding and take care of details for you. If she lives nearby she might help address invitations, plan pre-wedding parties, make favors or table decorations, and keep track of gifts received and thank you cards sent. The maid of honor usually hosts a bridal shower. The bride can delegate care of bridesmaid's fittings and details. She attends pre-wedding parties. She attends the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. At the Wedding: The maid of honor helps the bride with dressing and assists with the, train, veil and holding the brides bouquet during the ceremony. The maid of honor wears the grooms ring on her thumb (or carries it in some other safe manner) until it is time for the blessing and exchange of rings in the ceremony. She is responsible for having an emergency kit with miscellaneous items such as a needle and thread, extra nylons, a roll of tape etc. The maid of honor holds on to a duplicate list of desired shots for the photographer and videographer as well as a song list for ceremony musicians and a copy of any special prayers or readings to be used during the ceremony. She walks in front of the bride in the processional and with the best man in the recessional and stands near the bride at the altar. She makes sure that all of the bride's clothing, make-up and personal belongings are removed from the changing room at the ceremony site and taken back to the bride's home. She helps to line up bridesmaids for formal photographs. At the Reception: The maid of Honor stands next to the groom in very formal receiving lines. The maid of honor is seated at the head table or table of honor. During the reception, she mingles with guest. She dances with the best man at the reception. She helps the bride with her train, fastening it to floor length so it is out of the way for dancing, if necessary. A duplicate copy of the list of names and pronunciations for the bridal party announcements is kept by the maid of honor. She also keeps a duplicate song list for the reception musicians or disc jockey. If the bride needs assistance in tossing her bouquet or in gathering single women to catch it, the maid of honor can help out. If requested, she helps the bride dress for the honey moon and makes sure the bridal gown and other personal clothing items are returned to the bride's home after the reception. She takes the bridal bouquet for preserving and may take the gown for heir looming while the bride is on her honeymoon. Expenses: The maid or matron of honor pays for her own dress and other attire. If travel expenses are involved, she pays for her own dress and other attire. Although she may attend several pre-wedding parties, only one shower gift and one wedding gift are to be expected. She may share the cost of bridal shower.

BRIDESMAID RESPONSIBILITIES:

Bridesmaids are usually close friends or family members. When inviting them, make them aware that there are costs involved as well as a time commitment. It is an honor to be asked, but may also be a financial burden. Make friends feel special when you invite them to be part of your wedding. The number of bridesmaids usually depends on the formality of your wedding, with a dozen being the maximum for any wedding. Girls between 8 and 16 are considered to be junior bridesmaids. Junior bridesmaids are not expected to help with details as much as bridesmaids. Before the Wedding: Bridesmaids help take care of details for the bride such as running errands, and making table decorations or favors. Bridesmaids usually join the maid of honor in hosting a bridal shower. Bridesmaids attend pre-wedding parties. Bridesmaids attend the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. At the Wedding: Bridesmaids walk in the processional and recessional, either single file, two together or with an usher. They stand near the bride during the ceremony. They are in formal photographs of the bridal party. At the Reception: Bridesmaids pay for their own dresses and other attire. If travel expenses are involved, they pay their own cost involved in getting to the wedding and staying in town during the celebration. Although bridesmaids may attend several pre-wedding parties, only one shower gift and one wedding gift are to be expected. Bridesmaids share the cost of the bridal shower with the maid of honor.

FLOWER GIRL RESPONSIBILITIES:

You may choose one or two little girls to be flower girls. The best age range is between four and eight. (Although younger ones are cute, they can create some real challenges during a processional or ceremony.) If you choose two girls, it looks nice if they are about the same size, but that may not be possible. It can be a special honor for a child to be chosen as part of you wedding. Before the Wedding: Flower girls attend the shower and some pre-wedding parties. They attend the rehearsal and may attend the rehearsal dinner with their families. At the Wedding: Flower girls walk directly in front of the bride in the processional and in front of the maid of honor in the recessional. As flower girls walk down the aisle, they may scatter flower or rose petals. If petals are not permitted, sometimes flower girls will hand out single flowers to guest as they walk, or they may just carry a bouquet, a ring of flowers or a pomander ball. During the ceremony, flower girls may stand near the bridesmaids or may sit with their families. Younger ones probably will do better sitting with their families. They are in the formal photographs of the bridal parties. At the Reception: Flower girls do not usually stand in the reception line. Flower girls usually sit at a table of honor with their families rather than at the head table. Flower girls may dance with family members, friends or other members of the wedding party if they choose to do so. Expenses: Families of flower girls are expected to pay for dresses and other attire. If travel expenses are involved, the girls' family pick up these costs. Flower girls are not expected to bring a gift to pre-wedding parties they may attend. If their parents attend, gift expectations would be the same as any other guest. If they attend more than one shower or party, only one shower gift is expected. Flower girls are not responsible for helping financially with bridal shower.

GROOMSMEN & USHER RESPONSIBILITIES:
Before the Wedding: Groomsmen usually help the best man plan the bachelor party for the groom. Groomsmen attend pre-wedding parties. Groomsmen attend the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. At the Wedding: The main Job of the usher is to seat guests. They should arrive at the ceremony site at least one hour in advance and should have clear instructions on the seating plan. In Christian ceremonies, the bride's family and guests sit on the left and the groom's on the right. In Jewish services, the seating is opposite, with the bride's family on the right. Female guests are escorted by having the usher offer his right arm to her. Her date or spouse walks behind. Male guests are lead to their seats. If there are pew cards being used or a special reserved section, ushers should pay special attention as they escort these guests to their seats. Ushers distribute any programs or ceremony handouts at the ceremony. Ushers direct those bringing gifts to the ceremony to a gift table. If there is a guest book at the ceremony, ushers direct guest to sign it. After all guests are seated, the ushers escort the groom's parents to the front row on the groom's side (Unless they are part of the processional.) Lastly, they escort the bride's mother to her seat, unless she is accompanying her husband in the processional. Once everyone is seated, the groomsmen unroll the aisle runner in readiness for the processional. The Groomsmen may be part of the processional or they may take positions in the front with the best man or groom. They stand near the groom during the ceremony. They are in formal Photographs of the bridal party. They Escort the bridesmaids from the ceremony in the recessional. One of the ushers should be responsible to roll the aisle runner back up after the ceremony and have it cleaned and returned. One of the ushers should collect any leftover handouts or programs and see that they get returned to the couple who may want to send them to family or friends who were unable to attend. At the Reception: Ushers may be part of the receiving lines in the very formal or formal weddings. Ushers may be seated at the head table or a table of honor at the reception. During the reception, groomsmen mingle with the guest. Groomsmen dance with the bridesmaids at the reception. They assist by encouraging single young men to participate in catching the garter. Expenses: Groomsmen or ushers pay for their own formalwear and accessories. If travel expenses are involved, they pay their own costs involved in getting to the wedding and staying in town during the celebration. Although groomsmen may attend several pre-wedding parties, only one shower gift and one wedding gift are to be expected. Groomsmen may share the cost of the bachelor party with the best man.

RING BEARER AND TRAINBEARER RESPONSIBILITIES:

Neither of these is required positions and may be boys or girls. Usually only one ring bearer is used, but two with one ring per pillow will work if you have and abundance of four or five year children that you would like to have involved in the ceremony. Although the rings on the pillows are usually not the actual wedding rings, you could have two ring bearers if you are having a double ring ceremony, one for the bride and one for the groom. Trainbearer or pages usually walk in pairs but a single trainbearer can be used.Before the Wedding: If ring bearers and trainbearer are little boys they are not likely to be interested in any pre--wedding parties. If they are girls, they might want to attend the shower and some other parties. They attend the rehearsal and may attend the rehearsal dinner with their families. At the Wedding: During the Ceremony: The ring bearers (s) carries a pillow with a ring or rings sewn to it. (These are usually not the real wedding rings but symbolic ones for show only.) The ring bearer (s) walks either directly in front of or beside of the flower girl (s) in the processional and the recessional. If real rings are tied to the pillow the ring bearer takes the pillow directly to the maid or honor and the best man who will remove the rings. The trainbearers follow the bride in the processional and recessional, and carry the bridal train. The ring and train bearers may stand near the ushers or sit with their families. They are in the formal Photographs of the bridal party. At the Reception: Ring and train Bearers do not usually stand in the reception line. Ring and trainbearers usually sit at a table of honor with their families. Expenses: Families of ring and train bearers are expected to pay for attire. If travel expenses are involved, the children's families pick up these costs. Ring and train bearers are not expected to bring gifts to any pre-wedding parties they may attend. If their parents attend gifts expectations would be the same as any other guest. If they attend more than one party, only one shower gift is expected. The number of ushers is usually determined by the size of the wedding. One usher can comfortably seat about fifty guests. Ushers are usually brothers, relatives or best friends of the groom. In inviting people to serve as ushers, make sure that they are aware of the expenses involved. While it is not necessary to have an equal number if ushers and bridesmaids, it does balance nicely if they walk in pairs in either the processional or recessional.

SUMMARY OF RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE WEDDING PARTY: Maid of Honor/Personal Attendant:
Bridesmaids: Purchases and completes fittings of gowns Performs tasks as assigned by bride Attends rehearsal and rehearsal dinner Best Man: (Assists groom with all details of the wedding day.) Pays for own attire Transports groom to the church. Supervises the grooms men, regarding their dress and duties at ceremony Takes care of bride's ring until ceremony. Presents the clergy person with fee and gratuity. Signs and witnesses the marriage certificate Offers the first toast to the bride and groom. Dances with the bride after the groom and both fathers have danced with her Prepares the honeymoon car, packs suitcases in car. Holds for safe-keeping, any tickets, keys, etc. for the groom. Returns groom's tuxedo to rental shop. Groomsmen: Pays for their own wedding attire Attends rehearsal and rehearsal dinner Attends bachelor dinner if there is one Escorts bridesmaids during the ceremony Ushers: Pay for own wedding attire Make sure principles have flowers before being seated. (Unless this task is assigned to another) Distribute wedding programs. (Unless this task is assigned to another) Seat guests on appropriate side of church. Assist elderly guests to seats. After all guests are seated, unroll aisle carpet. Check church or synagogue for any items left behind.

RULES OF ETIQUETTE FOR MOTHER’S ATTIRE:

Tradition holds that the mother of the bride chooses a dress first, followed by the mother of the groom. Their dresses should complement each other, as well as the bridal party. For instance, having one mother in a floor length dress and another in a mini-skirt is a major no-no. Likewise, your mother wearing an orange dress next to your bridesmaid’s light green ensembles are bound to make your wedding pictures look tacky. While your moms shouldn’t be wearing the same style and color, their dresses should coordinate. Generally, at formal weddings, your mother and mother-in-law should be in floor or tea-length dresses. Semi-formal or informal weddings allow them to get more creative with the length, but they still need to make sure they are complementing one another. Unless your bridesmaids will be wearing black, a mother of the bride or groom should avoid this color. Until recently, black at weddings was considered a social blunder and many guests will still look at the color choice with suspicion. Steer them away from choosing a color that will raise eyebrows as to whether or not they approve of the marriage. Don’t forget to finish the look with a matching corsage or a small bouquet.

Wedding Ceremony

CHAPTER 6:

CEREMONY OPTIONS/INSERTS: Rose Ceremony

In the Rose Ceremony, the Bride & Groom give each other a Rose. Two roses are all that is necessary. The Rose Ceremony is placed at the end of the ceremony just before being pronounced husband and wife. If a Unity Candle Ceremony is included it is placed directly following the Unity Candle Ceremony. A single red rose is said to mean, "I Love You". It is appropriate that the first gift as husband and wife should be a single red rose. A rose has always been considered as a symbol of love and a single rose has always meant only one thing – it means "I Love You." Often, couples will stop on their exit and hand the mother of the bride and groom each their Rose, whispering "I Love You" before proceeding with their exit. Additional roses may also be given to grandparents, sisters and other special guests.

Unity Candle Service

A Unity Candle Ceremony can easily be added to any marriage ceremony. It is placed near the end of the ceremony, following the Exchange of Rings. Mothers usually light the two outer tapers as they are escorted forward at the beginning of the ceremony. A Unity Candle set consists of two tapers and a large center candle. The two outer tapers represent your individual lives before today. They represent all that you are from your vast experiences, and they represent your individual families. Each of you takes a single taper and lights the center candle, then extinguish your individual candles. This represents the closing of the chapters in your individual "Book of Life" and the beginning of new chapters as you begin to write a new book as husband and wife! In another version, the tapers are left burning, representing that even though you have created a new family, each of you still maintains those characteristics that makes you individually unique. If you are creating a new family you may want to include the children in the lighting of the Unity Candle. Often this is done by having the bride and groom light the taper for the children and then everyone lighting the center candle together. This is a good way to involve children from a previous marriage.

Breaking A Glass Ceremony
The traditional Jewish wedding ceremony includes a "breaking of the glass." Here the Groom, having been offered a glass on a wooden pallet or wrapped in a cloth napkin, smashes it with his foot. The breaking of the glass symbolizes the fragility of life, the fact that whatever we see before us as whole can be broken at any moment. It calls our attention for the need to care for one another; for just as glass can be shattered with a single blow, so the grace of the marriage bond can be shattered with a single act of infidelity or repeated acts of emotional irresponsibility.

Include Creatures Great & Small Include the Children
If you have children you may want to include them at some point in the ceremony. Often you may just want their names mentioned by the pastor or you may want to include them in a more active role, but be aware that children will not always share your enthusiasm for the wedding. Most of the time children can participate by being a flower girl or a ring bearer of simply by being included in the lighting of the Unity Candle. Some people give each child a small gift and say a few words to them following the exchanging of rings. Normally the bride and groom present children with a medallion, necklace or other gift following the exchange of rings. In giving a small gift, the bride and groom are symbolizing the fact that love and family are more than the relationship between two people.

INCLUDE A CONGREGATION/FAMILY VOW OF SUPPORT

After reciting your vows you might want me to address your guests and invite them to make a vow of support to you. It is within the context of this community that your marriage will be enacted. For example, I might say, "Now that you have heard ______ and _____ recite their vows, do you, their family and friends, promise, from this day forward to encourage them and love them, and to help guide and support them in being steadfast in the promises they have made?" "We do."

Jumping a Broom.

African-Americans often include the "jumping of the broom" as a part of their wedding ceremony. This normally takes place at the end of the ceremony as the couple is departing. Often the broom is decorated elaborately by the friends and families of the couple.

Wine Ceremony

The years of life are as a cup of wine poured out for you to drink. This "Cup of Life" contains within it a wine with certain properties that are sweet and symbolic of happiness, joy, hope, peace, love and delight. This same wine also holds some bitter properties that are symbolic of disappointment, sorrow, grief, despair, and life’s trials and tribulations. Together the sweet and the bitter represent "Life’s Journey" and all of the experiences that are a natural part of it. Those who drink deeply from the "Cup of Life" with an open heart and willing spirit, invite the full range of challenges and experiences into their being. (Pastor pours wine into goblet and holds it up.) This "Cup of Life" is symbolic of the pledges you have made to one another to share together the fullness of life. As you drink from this cup, you acknowledge to one another that your lives, until this moment separate, have become one with the Holy Spirit. (Pastor hands glass to groom, who drinks, then hands it to bride, who drinks, who passes it back to pastor.) As you have shared the wine from these goblets, so may you share your lives. May you find life’s joys heightened, it’s bitterness sweetened, and all of life enriched by God’s blessings upon you.

Pass the Peace

One of the most romantic and heart warming ceremony elements is the Passing of the Peace. There are several ways to do this, but in my version, I have found that adding it to the lighting of the unity candle ceremony works well. Instead of lighting the unity tapers prior to the ceremony, the mothers are invited up to light them during the ceremony. The mother’s then light another taper from the unity taper and then proceed back to their side of the aisle, where they "Pass the Peace (Light)" to the first person in their row, who in turn passes it to the next, while saying "peace be with you." (This requires handing out the candles prior to the ceremony as guests are seated). After all candles are lit and the lights dimmed, the pastor asks the congregation to vow their support and love to the bride and groom.

Wedding Trivia

CHAPTER 7:

BEST MAN TRADITION
Among the Germanic Goths of northern Europe in 200 A.D., a man usually married a woman from within his own community. However, when there were fewer women, the prospective bridegroom would capture his bride from a neighboring village. The bridegroom was accompanied by his strongest friend (or best friend), who helped him capture his bride.
BRIDAL PARTY
This term has many origins from different cultures. In Anglo-Saxon times, the groom had the help of "bridesmen" or "brideknights" to help him capture and/or escort his bride. Later they would make sure that the bride got to the church and to the groom's home afterwards. The women who accompanied and assisted the bride were called "bridesmaids" or "brideswomen".
BRIDAL SHOWERS
Bridal showers were meant to strengthen the ties between the bride and her friends, provide her moral support, and help her prepare for her marriage. Gift giving at showers dates from the 1890's.
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES
The tradition of bridesmaids dressing the same as each other and in similar style to the bride comes from ancient days when it was believed that evil spirits have a more difficult time distinguishing which one is the bride and putting a hex on her. Cake In the 1st century B.C. in Rome, the cake was thrown at the bride or broken over her head as one of the many fertility symbols which then were a part of the marriage ceremony. Cutting the wedding cake together, still a predominant ritual at weddings, symbolizes the couple's unity, their shared future, and their life together as one. The three tiered cake is believed to have been inspired by the spire of Saint Bride's Church in London, England.
CARRYING THE BRIDE OVER THE THRESHOLD
Traditionally, the bride had to enter her new home the first time through the front door. If she tripped or stumbled while entering it was considered to be very bad luck. Hence the tradition of the groom carrying the bride over the threshold.
DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING
The diamond engagement ring originated with King Maximillian who presented Mary of Burgundy with a diamond ring in 1477 as a token of his love. The Venetians Popularized the custom during the 15th. century. Since the diamond was the hardest and most enduring substance in nature it followed that the engagement and marriage would endure forever.
ENGAGEMENT RING
In 860 A.D., Pope Nicholas I decreed that an engagement ring become a required statement of nuptial intent. He insisted that engagement rings had to be made of gold which signified a financial sacrifice on the part of the prospective husband.
GARTER AND BRIDAL BOUQUET TOSS
In parts of Europe during the 14th century, having a piece of the bride's clothing was thought to bring good luck. Guests would literally destroy the brides dress by ripping off pieces of fabric. In order to prevent this, brides began throwing various items to the guests - the garter belt being one of the items. In order to avoid this problem, it became customary in the 14th century for the bride to toss her garter to the men. Sometimes the men would get drunk, become impatient, and try to remove the garter ahead of time. Therefore, the custom evolved for the groom to remove and toss the garter. With that change the bride started to toss the bridal bouquet to the unwed girls of marriageable age. Tradition says that whoever catches the bouquet shall be the next to marry. She keeps the bouquet to ensure this destiny. a lamb, frog, spider, black cat, or rainbows on the way to the ceremony is believed to be a sign of good luck!
GROOM'S CAKE
The tradition of a "Groom's Cake" comes from England and Ireland. There, the traditional groom's cake is a fruit cake with white icing. The groom's cake is usually served along with the traditional wedding cake. Today groom's cakes are very often chocolate instead of the traditional fruit cake.
KISS THE BRIDE
The kiss dates back to the earliest days of civilization in the Middle East. A kiss was used as the formal seal to agreements, contracts, etc. In Ancient Rome a kiss was still being used as the legal bold to seal contracts. Hence the obvious use of the custom at the end of the wedding ceremony to "seal" the marriage vows. It also originates from the earliest times when the couple would actually make love for the first time under the eyes of half the village!
LARGEST WEDDING
It was the largest mass wedding in history, when nearly 21,000 couples from the Moonie cult all got married on the same day. The event was also 'attended' by another 9,800 couples who took their vows via a satellite link.
LONGEST MARRIAGE
Sir Temulji Nariman and his wife Lady Nariman were hitched for a grand total of 86 years, although they did have a distinct advantage over most people. Both were aged just five when they got married.
MONTH TO MARRYMOST MARRIAGES
Of course, it's a sad fact that not all marriages last. But some people really do seem to make a habit of getting divorced. The person who is credited with being married the most times is former Baptist minister Glynn Scotty Wolfe, who has taken on 28 brides - and divorced 27 of them.
MOST EXPENSIVE DRESS
Wedding dresses can make a major dent in your budget, but however much you spend it will be nothing compared to the outfit created by French designer Helene Gainville. Estimated to be worth a cool £3.5 million, the dress is embroidered with diamonds mounted on platinum. Not the sort of thing you would want to put in the attic after the wedding day.
OLDEST BRIDES
The oldest recorded bride was Minnie Munro, who got hitched at a sprightly 102 years of age. Minnie, from Australia, wed a toy boy of 82. Britain's oldest recorded bride was just one day off her 100th birthday when she took her vows with a man nearly 20 years her junior. Apparently the age gap was not thought to be a problem for them.
RICE THROWING
Rice has been used as a symbol of fertility and as a wish for a "full pantry" in various parts of the world from ancient to modern times. In the past, rice was not the only thing thrown at the bride and groom as the left the wedding. Wheat, instead of rice, was thrown in France, figs and dates were thrown in Northern Africa, and a combination of coins, dried fruit, and candy was thrown in Italy. In some European countries eggs are thrown! Rice is not harmful to the birds that eat it, but an article in California professing this to be the case, has caused birdseed to replace rice at most weddings. Flower petals, confetti, baubles, and balloons are often used today instead of rice.
RING
Rings were used as currency in the Middle East prior to the advent of coinage and were a sign of a persons wealth. In ancient times the wedding ring was thought to protected the bride from "evil spirits". Ancient Roman wedding rings were made of iron. In early Rome a gold band came to symbolize everlasting love and commitment in marriage. Roman wedding rings were carved with two clasped hands. Very early rings had a carved key through which a woman was thought to be able to open her husband's heart.
RING FINGER
In 3rd. century Greece the ring finger was the index finger. In India it was the thumb. The western tradition began with the Greeks who believed that the third finger was connected directly to the heart by a route that was called "the vein of love."
SECOND WEDDINGS
In almost half of U.S. weddings either the bride or groom has been married previously.
SHOES TO THE CAR
This tradition originated in England during the Tudor period. At that time, guests would throw shoes at the bride and groom as they left in their carriage. It was considered good luck if their carriage was hit. Today, more often than not, it is beverage cans that are tied to a couples car instead of shoes. It should also be noted that the English consider it good luck if it rains on their wedding day!
STAG PARTIES
In Sparta, during the height of Greek civilization, soldiers were the first to hold stag parties. The groom would have a party for his friends the night before he was to marry. He would bid farewell to his bachelorhood and pledge his continued allegiance to his comrades.
SATURDAY WEDDINGS
In early times, for Christians, Sunday was the original day of choice for weddings because it was not a work day. The Puritan revolution in England during the 17th century changed all that - because the Puritans thought it improper to be festive on the Sabbath, Saturday. It is the now the most popular day for a wedding.
SOMETHING "OLD", "NEW", "BORROWED", AND "BLUE"
The tradition of carrying one or more items that are "old", "new", "borrowed" and "blue" also comes from English. There is an old English rhyme describing the practice which also mentions a sixpence in the brides shoe. Something old, signifying continuity, could be a piece of lace, jewelry, or a grandmother's handkerchief. Something new, signifying optimism in the future, could be an article of clothing or the wedding rings. Something borrowed, signifying future happiness, could be handkerchief from a happily married relative or friend. Something blue, signifying modesty, fidelity and love, comes from early Jewish history. In early Biblical times, blue not white symbolized purity. Both the bride and groom usually wore a band of blue material around the bottom of their wedding attire, hence the tradition of "something blue". Originally the sixpence was presented to the bride by her future husband as a token of his love. Today, very often, it is the bride's father who places a coin in the brides shoe prior to leaving home for the church. "
TO TIE THE KNOT"
The term "tie the knot" also goes back Roman times. the bride would wear a girdle that was tied in many knots which the groom had the "duty" of untying.
TOAST
The term originates from the sixteenth century. At that time a small piece of bread would be placed in a goblet of wine. The goblet would be passed from guest to guest until it reached the person being honored who would drain the goblet and eat the morsel of bread in the bottom. This tradition is practiced at weddings today - usually in the form of one or more champagne "toasts". The best man has the honor of giving the first toast. Usually the bride and groom remain seated for the toasts while all the guests are usually standing to honor them. The couple may then make a few remarks thanking their families, wedding party members, and guests. They may also "toast" each other or share a "toast" together. Often special glass or silver goblets are used by the bride and groom.
TIN CANS
The tradition of tying tin cans to the back of the newlywed's vehicle originated long ago when items which would produce noise were tied to the back of the couple's carriage to scare away evil spirits.
VEIL
Brightly colored veils were worn in ancient times in many parts of the world and were considered a protection against evil spirits Greek and Roman brides for yellow or red veils (representing fire) to ward off evil spirits and demons. At one time, Roman brides were completely covered with a red veil for protection. In early European history, with the advent of arranged marriages veils served another purpose - to prevent the groom from seeing the brides' face till after the ceremony was over. Brides began to wear opaque yellow veils. Not only could the groom not see in, the bride could not see out! Therefore, the father of the bride had to escort her down the aisle and literally give the bride to the today, prior to a Jewish wedding ceremony, it is the groom who ritually "veils the bride". This tradition goes back to the marriage of Jacob to Leah (the older sister) when he thought he was marrying Rachel (the younger sister) whom he loved.
WEARING A WEDDING RING
The reason that the engagement ring and wedding band is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand is because the ancient Egyptians thought that the "vein of love' ran from this finger directly to the heart.
WEDDING AS A TERM
Although some brides were kidnapped, marriage by purchase was the preferred method of obtaining a wife. The "bride price" could be land, social status, political alliances, or cash. The Anglo-Saxon word "wed" meant that the groom would vow to marry the woman, but it also referred to the bride price (money or barter) to be paid by the groom to the bride's father. The root of the word "wedding" literally means to gamble or wager!
WHITE WEDDING DRESS AS TRADITION
The tradition for the bride to wear a white wedding dress began in the 16th century and is still commonly followed today. This is a symbol of the bride's purity and her worthiness of her groom. The tradition became solidified during the time of Queen Victoria who rebelled against the royal tradition for Royal brides to wear silver. Instead, the queen preferred the symbolism, which is expressed by wearing white. The brides of the time quickly emulated the queen, and the tradition has continued in full force to this day.
WHY THE BRIDE STANDS TO THE GROOMS LEFT
After the bridegroom captured his bride, he placed her on his left to protect her, thus freeing his right hand or sword hand against sudden attack.
WHY IT BECAME "BAD LUCK" FOR THE GROOM TO SEE BRIDE BEFORE THE CEREMONY
Until relatively recently, brides were considered the property of their father. Their futures and husbands were arranged without their consent. The marriage of an unattractive woman was often arranged with a prospective groom from another town without either of them having ever seen their prospective spouse. In more than one instance, when the groom saw his future wife, usually dressed in white, for the first time on the day of the wedding, he changed his mind and left the bride at the altar. To prevent this from happening, it became "bad luck" for the room to see the bride on the day of the wedding prior to the ceremony. According to an old legend, the month in which you marry may have some bearing on the fate of the marriage: " Married when the year is new, he'll be loving, kind and true; When February birds do mate, you wed nor dread your fate; If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you'll know; Marry in April when you can, joy for Maiden and for Man; Marry in the month of May, and you'll surely rue the day; Marry when June roses grow, over land and sea you will go; Those who in July do wed, must labour for their daily bred; Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see; Marry in September's shrine, your living will be rich and fine; If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry; If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember; When December snows fall fast, marry and true love will last" Can-A-LopeWedding Officiants.

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