1. Should our engagement be announced
first to my family or to my fiances family?
In the old days the news was first announced to the brides family. Today, most
people try to announce the engagement to each family on the same day. A great idea is to
bring them together for lunch or dinner, if they know that an engagement is about to be
announced. And it becomes "official".
2. My grandmother would like to give a shower for me, but Ive been told that
close family members do not give showers. Is it true?
Yes, anyone may give a shower except the immediate family. It is not appropriate for
mothers, sisters (or half sisters), grandmothers or mother-in-law.
3. Can we include both sets of parents on the wedding invitation? Is this
acceptable wedding etiquette?
It is more than acceptable. It is an increasing custom which should be encouraged,
specially when both families nowadays share more and more of the expenses.
4. Who sits at the brides table? I would like my parents to be there since
they are paying for most of the costs, but I have been told that the wedding party sits
Your parents and your fiances parents should be seated together to share in the
happiness of their two children. But if you have one of those long banquet like tables and
you have room for both sets of parents you could sit them with the wedding party and you.
5. I cant have a big reception. My parents are divorced and they don't speak
to each other. My mother doesnt want my dad to attend, so we told them we are doing
it our way and we are paying for it. But the truth is that we cant afford it. Do you
have any solutions?
There are different ways you can handle it. You could have two receptions given by each of
you parents: one held immediately after the wedding ceremony and attended by your mothers
friends and relatives and the other later the same day or after you return from your
honeymoon and attended by your dad's friends and relatives.
Another way of addressing your problem is to plan a simple church reception for everyone
who comes to the wedding and afterward a smaller dinner for a limited group of family and
6. We come from large families and there are 76 small children that would have to
be invited. We don't have the space or the money. Can you say in the invitation: No
Absolutely not. But you could enclose a personal note to those guests who may assume their
children are invited and explain that, although you would like to include the children, it
simply isnt possible. And don't back away when you receive some telephone calls from
those parents asking you to make an exception.
7. What is the origin of the members of the bridal party?
In the ancient times of warlike tribes when marriage by capture was common, the loyal
tribesmen and close friends of the groom (ushers and best man) aided him to invade the
enemy territory to capture his bride.
The maid-of-honor and the bridesmaids, as they are known today, can also be traced back
through the centuries to Saxon England. The senior among them would attend the bride for a
number of days before the wedding. The maid-of-honor was especially responsible for the
decorations for the wedding feast and for dressing the bride.
The flower girls and ring-bearers of today are a vestige of the fertility rites practiced
by many different peoples. The bride was often accompanied by a little child who was
supposed to symbolize a fruitful union.