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General etiquette and tips. (how to choose attendants)

The myth goes that having attendants at weddings is a custom that began as a measure to perplex any evil spirits that happened to drop by the ceremony. Since all attendants would be dressed similarly, any evil spirits which intended to curse the newlyweds would be confused and leave the venue, their objectives unachieved. Over a period of time, this has evolved into a tradition that is an exciting part of a wedding ceremony; attendants wholeheartedly help couples celebrate and stand around them taking care of their needs all throughout the ceremony. There are a few general etiquette tips that are often used as guidelines when selecting attendants for a wedding ceremony. Since your wedding is a very important day, you would naturally want all your closest friends and family to stand in as attendants. In reality however, this is not feasible and you might have to choose from amongst various friends and relatives. Choosing attendants is a critical wedding chore that requires some serious planning because special arrangements have to be made for all of them. This includes the selection of dresses and suits, accessories, visits to the parlor, transportation and hospitality. Hence, it is essential that you select an appropriate number of attendants, based on your budget and the time available to take care of the logistics.


 



How does one choose the bridesmaids and ushers?

Choosing bridesmaids and ushers may not be an easy task, given all the sentimentality and politics that go into selecting the right people. It's important to first decide how many attendants should be present at the wedding ceremony. Under most American wedding traditions you should choose one attendant for every forty to fifty guests. This convention determines the number of attendants from the number of wedding invitations sent out. This is not a rigid ground rule and the final decision lies with the couple to be wed. Also, when selecting attendants, there is no compulsion that the bride and groom must have an equal number of attendants. When deciding who should be asked to stand in as an attendant, the determining factors vary for different couples. Usually close friends and family members are the first choices. It is not essential to choose someone as an attendant just because they might have chosen you during their own wedding, though there is a sense of obligation that drives many couples to do this. Since it's a special event, memories of which you are going to cherish for a lifetime, choosing people you hope to be in close association with is a good yardstick. As a safe measure to avoid tricky situations, many people choose their siblings and cousins to do the honors. In the case of a second marriage, your adult children from previous marriages can stand in as attendants.


Once you have the wedding date finalized, it's important to immediately send your requests to the attendants you have chosen. This will give everyone adequate time to prepare themselves, reschedule plans or be replaced should they decline your offer in light of other commitments of theirs that you are not aware of.

Duties of the attendants.

The maid of honor and bridesmaids are typically in charge of the following responsibilities during a wedding ceremony:

  • Provide help with general pre-wedding activities
  • Arrange a bridal shower
  • Assist the bride in dressing
  • Keep an eye on the wedding veil and train
  • Hold the bride's bouquet
  • Supervise the reception

The best man and the ushers oversee the following at a wedding:

  • Pre-wedding activities
  • Arrange the bachelor's party
  • Escort guests to their seats
  • Supervise the reception

The best man is often responsible for presenting the bride's ring at the ceremony, acting as the signing witness and even proposing a toast for the bride. The maid of honor is responsible for presenting the groom's ring at the ceremony, stand in the receiving line and proposing a toast to the couple.




 
 
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