After a few months of wedding planning, you start to feel like a pro. You've already memorized all the in-season flowers, can name the top 20 wedding dress designers alphabetically and are on a first-name basis with every single member on staff at your reception venue. Still, there's bound to be a couple of questions that you forgot to ask. Let us help fill it in for you.(image above courtesy of TheKnot)
1. When should I take off my veil after the ceremony?Everyone loves to talk about the veil, but nobody tells you exactly when to ditch it. While it's perfectly okay to wear the veil for the entire reception, there are two optimal times to take it off. The first is after the ceremony (have your hairstylist show a bridesmaid how to do this without messing up your 'do), and the second is after the first dance while your guests are eating. Once the veil's off, stick it in your bridal suite or have it "decorate" your chair.
2. How should our wedding party travel to the reception?We bet you and your groom planned a perfect ceremony exit where you hop into a vintage Rolls-Royce and ride off to the reception. That sounds great, but yes, you're responsible for getting your wedding party there too. If you're going casual and want them to simply drive over, let everyone know this beforehand so they can carpool. Otherwise, rent a stretch limo, go vintage with a trolley or let them be kids again by cruising in a budget-friendly school bus -- of course, feel free to tag along for the ride!
3. Do I really need someone to hold my dress while I pee?This depends on the dress. If you're wearing a full-length ball gown, you'll probably need an extra set of hands to help hold up the skirt while you do your thing. Trust us -- the cost versus the benefit on this is a no-brainer. But if you're sporting a silk sheath and a posse pee makes you cringe, go ahead and handle your own business. Another tip: There's a pee-ready Spanx designed with a hole in, well, just the right place. We'll stay classy and resist the oh-so-obvious dirty joke opportunity here.
4. Is there an appropriate way to kiss at the ceremony?Remember the day he proposed, and you saw the ring and the tears in his eyes, and then you two started making out like maniacs? Yeah, don't do that. But your first kiss as a married couple doesn't have to be just a peck either. Do what comes naturally, as long as it doesn't involve visible tongue and last more than 10 seconds. Oh, and don't do the dip thing either -- unless of course you want to look like you belong in a Hugh Grant movie.
5. What exactly do the bride and groom do during the cake cutting?The cake cutting typically takes place after dinner when your bandleader or DJ makes an announcement (you can also do this). If you have older guests who might be leaving early, do your cake cutting at the beginning of the reception just before the first dance. For the first cut, your groom's hands are placed over yours as you cut into the bottom layer of the cake. The groom makes the second cut solo and feeds the bride, and then it's your turn.
6. Where do I put my engagement ring during the ceremony?Wear the ring on your right hand or have your aunt or grandma hold it. If you want to wear your engagement ring for the reception, put it on during the ride to your venue or just before being announced. For Jewish weddings, it's fine to wear your engagement ring, and then exchange stone-free wedding bands if you want to keep with tradition. Also remember: The band is usually worn closest to your heart on your left hand.
7. Who lifts my veil?While more and more brides are wearing a veil flipped back for the entire ceremony or not wearing one at all, the most traditional bride still wears a veil over her face. If you like to keep things classic, there are two options. One is your dad lifts the veil when he gives you away, "revealing" you to the groom (like you really need help with that one). The other is for the groom to lift the veil just before the kiss.
8. What side are we supposed to stand on during the ceremony?If you're in a church facing the altar, the bride stands on the left side and the groom on the right. Guests of the bride and groom should follow suit, sitting on the side of whoever they know best or are related to (hint: tell mutual friends to sit on the side that has less people). For Jewish ceremonies, it's the opposite.
9. What's the best way to greet guests if I don't want a receiving line?Yeah, we get it -- you don't want to stand around after the ceremony in an assembly line. Instead, greet your guests during the reception by going from table to table during the first course. Just make sure you have time to eat too! Also, make a short speech thanking guests for coming and give a shout-out to vendors and parents (or anyone else who helped pay for your wedding!). While this moment with the mic shouldn't take the place of personal interaction with guests, it can be a great forum to let them know how much their support means to you.
10. Can I take my shoes off at any time during the reception?We've all been to the wedding where guests cut loose on the dance floor and ditch the heels. But it's a little different when you're the bride -- especially if you're wearing a formal dress. Instead of going barefoot, bring a pair of flats for dancing. If you're getting married in the summer, have baskets of flip-flops in your wedding colors for your guests to slip into before they get down. There's one exception to the shoes-or-lose rule: beach weddings!
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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY