EVEN WHILE the bride AND the groom are discussing where to spend their honeymoon, assembling their trousseaus and planning their new home, it is none too soon to begin thinking of definite plans for the wedding. As already pointed out, the one thing that must be fully decided upon and completed is the budget. Without specific information on how much she may spend, the bride would find herself working in confusion and uncertainty. But once the budget has been established, the bride will then want to set about her plans. She must get estimates on every phase of the wedding-ceremony, decorations, music, invitations, reception, wedding clothes, gifts, tips, gratuities. She must decide the kind of wedding she will have-whether formal, semiformal, informal-the kind of reception; and the number of guests at each. Only then will she be able to decide on her wedding clothes. She will find that nothing she can ever undertake will require more careful and accurate planning than the preparations for the wedding. And she will find that if she wants to be sure not to omit a single item, she must put every single thing on paper.
The Bride might well compare the wedding-and its planning-to a big-time theatrical production in which she acts as producer, director, stage manager and star, all in one. She needs to know how much she can spend; what the stage scenes and sets will be; how to work with and direct her 'cast' to bring out the best in each; what props she requires and how to assemble them; what the costuming will be. And not the least important, how she herself may give a radiant performance! And yet-none of this will prove formidable to the bride if she begins working and planning far enough in advance. And if she gets every item down on paper to check off, item by item, as each is accomplished. So sharpen all pencils and begin the paper work!
Division of Responsibilities
QUESTION I: What are the main divisions of responsibilities for the wedding?
ANSWER: Financial and functional.
QUESTION 2: Who takes the responsibilities?
ANSWER: The bride-to-be and her family, the groom-to-be and his family.
QUESTION 3: What are the responsibilities of the bride and her family?
ANSWER: If the wedding is to have a double ring ceremony, the bride provides the ring for the groom.
the bride's linen, lingerie, clothes and luggage trousseau, Ordering, addressing, stamping and mailing the wedding invitations and announcements, Providing the stationery trousseau,
Planning the color scheme for the ceremony and reception.
Providing the transportation from home to church to reception for the bride's family, the groom's parents and the bridal attendants (either by hired limousines or borrowed cars). The wedding ceremony, including the church rental (if any), special equipment needed for the ceremony, organist's, vocalist's or special musicians' and sexton's fees, pew ribbons, aisle runner, canopy, candelabra. Deciding upon the type of reception, place, hour and menu; catering (food and beverage), wedding cake, announcer, gratuities, parking facilities, awnings, canopies, ground coverings. Arranging with traffic officer to assist with traffic at the church and reception (including his tip); parking service at the reception (amplification system, men to take care of guests' cars). Wedding clothes-planning and selecting the bridal and bridal attendants' outfits, dresses for both mothers and the bride's father's outfit (he will dress according to the groom's decision for what the men will wear). Flowers-decorations for the ceremony and reception, attendants' bouquets; and the selection of the bridal bouquet and the mothers' corsages (for which the groom will pay).
Music at the reception.
Photographs-formal bridal portraits (if desired) and candids.
Thank-you notes for wedding gifts, and the display of gifts (including insurance during display).
Bridal Registry-china, silver, crystal patterns. Pre-wedding parties-bridesmaids' luncheon; tea for friends to see gifts and trousseau; bridal dinner (which may be given by the groom's mother). Accommodations for out-of-town guests. Gifts to groom and bridal attendants; parents' gift to bride and groom.
Instructions to bridal attendants.
Wedding books-gift listing, and one for guests to sign at the reception.
Listing items for honeymoon; packing and delivering luggage and going away outfit to the place of the reception.
Attend the rehearsal, ceremony and reception.
QUESTION 4: What are the responsibilities of the groom and his family?
ANSWER: Providing the engagement and wedding ring for the bride.
the groom's clothes and luggage trousseau; deciding upon what attire the men in the wedding will wear; providing his own and his mother's and father's wedding clothes (his father will dress according to the way the other men in the wedding will dress).
The bridal bouquet, going-away corsage, corsages for the two mothers, boutonnieres for the best man, ushers and both fathers (and sometimes the bridesmaids' bouquets). Accessories for best man, ushers and both fathers-ties, gloves and spats (optional).
Gifts to bride, best man and ushers; groom's parents' gift to bride and groom.
Marriage license (while the bride and groom go together to get the license, the groom pays for it). In some areas it is accepted that the groom pay for the blood tests for the bride as well as for himself.
The clergyman's fee. Accommodations for out-of-town guests of the groom's family; the best man and ushers and their wives. The bachelor dinner (this may be given by the best man or be a 'dutching' party). Rehearsal dinner (or the bride's parents may prefer to give this).
Instructions to the best man and the ushers.
Packing and delivering luggage and going away clothes to the dressing room at the reception (or placing the luggage in his automobile if it is to be used). Attend rehearsal, ceremony and reception.
Make all honeymoon arrangements including transportation from the place of the reception to the honeymoon take-off.
QUESTION 5: What responsibilities have the bride and the groom together?
ANSWER: In conference with both families, they:
- Set the wedding date.
- See the clergyman and make definite arrangements with him.
- Decide upon the type and hour of the wedding ceremony and the reception.
- Decide upon the number of bridal attendants and groomsmen and invite them to participate.
- Make up guest lists.
- Decide upon musical selections for ceremony and reception.
- Arrange seating in church and at reception.
- See their family doctors for blood tests, routine check-up, etc.
- Get the marriage license (for which the groom pays, see above).
- Attend rehearsal dinner, rehearsal, ceremony and reception (naturally!).
- Take off for honeymoon.
- Send telegram to bride's parents to thank them for the wedding.