Wedding Etiquette

Who does, says and pays for what?

Who Does What?

The Bride's Father
escorts the bride to the Church/Venue to formally give her away, then at the reception he makes the first of three speeches.

The Bride
traditionally chooses her dress, her attendants and decides on their dresses, compiles a list of wedding presents and writes the thank-you letters, signing with both her and her husband's name.

The Bridesmaids
organise the Hen Night, On the day of the wedding, help the Bride to get ready.  Follow the Bride to the Church/Venue and make any necessary adjustments to the bride’s veil and dress before following her down the aisle.  Once the bride has joined the groom, the chief bridesmaid takes her bouquet and looks after them for the duration of the service.

The Bridegroom
has the responsibility of choosing his best man and the ushers. He also makes the second speech at the reception.

The Best Man 
traditionally organises the Grooms Stag Night, but more importantly plays a major role throughout the wedding day. His first task is to ensure the bridegroom arrives at the church on time. He also organises the ushers and looks after the wedding rings and passes them to the clergyman/Registrar when requested. After the service, he is responsible for ensuring the bridal party and all the guests are transported to the reception.

Who Pays for What?

Traditionally there are certain items that the bride and her family pay for and others that are paid for by the groom. Nothing is set in stone, and nowadays, many couples choose to pay for, or make a considerable contribution towards the cost of their wedding.


  • Wedding ring for Bride ~ The Groom
  • Wedding ring for Groom ~ The Bride
  • Bride’s bouquet ~ The Groom
  • Flowers ~ The Bride’s family
  • Bridesmaid’s Gifts ~ The Bride
  • Invitations/save the date cards ~ The Bride’s family
  • Marriage license ~ The Groom
  • Wedding cake ~ The Bride’s family
  • Honeymoon ~ The Groom
  • Transport for Bridal Party - The Bride’s family
  • Transport for Grooms Party ~ Best Man
  • Wedding Breakfast ~ The Bride’s family
  • Evening Reception & Entertainment ~ The Bride’s family, although in recent years, the cost is sometimes shared with the Grooms Family

Who Says What?

The Bride's Father

  • At the reception the Father of the Bride or alternatively an old friend of the family makes the first of three speeches. Traditionally:
  • He welcomes the guests
  • Talks about his daughter, shares any stories from when she was younger.  Talks about the groom and welcomes him to the family
  • Give a toast to the happy couple and their future together.

The Groom

  • The groom traditionally speaks next and begins with thanking everyone for coming, especially those who have travelled long distances.
  • If the bride isn't making a speech, then remember to speak on behalf of her, such as when you thank people. If she does want to say a few words, she can follow after the groom's speech.
  • He thanks the bride's parents for a wonderful day
  • Thanks the important people involved in organising the wedding
  • Compliments his Bride with some words of affection
  • Toast the bridesmaids
  • He then introduces his Best Man

The Best Man

  • The best man is traditionally the last speech and tends to be more humorous and light-hearted. . It is expected that the stories or jokes will be at the groom's expense, but not in a rude or offensive way.
  • He will thank the groom for asking him to be his best man
  • Share a couple of funny stories about the groom, sometimes about the Bride and Groom as a couple
  • Read out any telegrams, emails, cards from people who were unable to attend
  • Make a toast to the happy couple

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