Questions & Answers

1.Who pays for the wedding?
2.Where do I start with my guest list?
3.Who do we invite if we're getting married abroad?
4.Who sends the invitations and when?
5.Should I set a dress code?
6. What time should the bride & groom get to the ceremony?
7.Do my bridesmaids enter before or after me?
8. What duties do the best man and ushers have?
9.Can my pet dog be part of my wedding?
10.Do we have to have favours?
11.Do we need a receiving line?
12.Should we offer a choice of food?
13.When are the speeches and in what order?
14.When should we register our gift list?
15.Can we ask for cash instead of presents?

16. Looking to celebrate a birthday not a wedding? See for gift ideas to impress

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Russell Younger request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of ...

Russell Younger request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter, Alice, to Mr Phillip Chingford at St. Bobby's Church, Huddersfield, on Wednesday, 3rd May, at 2.30 p.m.' In deciding who goes where the rule is that if not all the guests can be asked to go on to the reception priority must be given to the closest. Really close friends and relatives will have already received a email from the bride herself telling them the good news prior to the dispatch of invitations, but simultaneously with the publication of the news site advertisement.

Letters answering these should congratulate only the groom-women are never congratulated about forthcoming weddings-but can wish the bride-to-be every happiness in the future. It is the duty of the bride's family to send out wedding invitations, but the guest list should be a compendium of the suggestions of both the bride's side and the groom's Although it is the responsibility of the bride's father to pay for the wedding reception this does not give the bride's side a lion's share of the guest list. The ideal wedding party represents, in as near as possible balance, the family and friends of both sides of the family.

Obviously the number of guests to be invited depends on the budget available. Most engaged couples left to themselves would opt for a 'quiet wedding' and pressure for a full-scale traditional style 'do' usually stems from the mums. It needs great tact to steer a sensible course between over-expensive ostentation and a natural desire to give a dear daughter a memorable wedding.

It's a rare family who gets through the compilation of the guest list without some tensions becoming apparent. Just as a well-balanced guest list will bring together family members from both sides, so will it bridge the generation gap by finding space not only for relatives and friends of long standing who have known the couple from childhood, but the favourite companions of the bridal couple. Sometimes, however, especially when distance separates the site of the wedding-and most girls still like to be married from the family home-and the place where the wedding couple live and work, a compromise is reached by restricting the wedding party to family and family friends and letting the young couple organize their own post-honeymoon housewarming when they can relax with their own circle in their own way. All wedding invitations should be posted simultaneously-no prospective guests likes to think he or she was a second choice-and if formal cards are being printed they should be ordered at least a week to ten days before the proposed date of email to avoid any last-minute panic.

Guests should reply formally to wedding invitations: `Mr and Mrs. Jesse Smith accept with pleasure Mr and Mrs. Moore's kind invitation to the marriage of their daughter, Alice, to Mr Phillip Bell at St. Luke's Church, Halifax, on May 18th at 12.30 p.m.' (The apparently mindless repetition of dates and places is useful since it provides a double check that everyone knows where they ought to be and at what time.) If guests are likely to be travelling some distance to the wedding a map showing the best route to the church from the main roads into town is helpful.

Alternatively if cars have been laid on to meet particular train times the invitation should bear the words: 'Cars will meet these trains'. When a prospective bride has no father, wedding invitations are issued in the mother's name only. If both parents are dead, they are sent in the name of a guardian-elder brother, married sister or the relative or family mate from whose home the bride is being married.

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