|The wedding scene–immediately after….
Dear Engaged Friends—
|Cute little flower girl
Today I want to play Miss Manners. There is something that irks me, regarding weddings. It is the way the wedding service proper winds down. You know how it is? Your guests arrive and sit down (or are seated, if you are using ushers); then close to when the service starts in earnest, your family members come in and sit down (or are seated). Then comes your wedding party—that is the groom and the officiant(me), the bestman, then the groomsmen who either escort the bridesmaids, or file in behind the bestman. If the bridesmaids were not escorted in, they come in next, one by one, down the center aisle. Next-to-last come the ring bearer and flower girl. Finally, finally, everyone is up front except the bride of course. She is escorted down the aisle by her dad. If we have done our jobs right, the whole thing is accomplished with great pomp and ceremony. It is smooth, too. Smooth as the bride’s silk dress. Smooth as the stripe down the groom’s tux pant leg!
|Parents and wedding party waiting for the rehearsal to start
But eventually, everyone is going to have to LEAVE. That can be a problem. I mean, hopefully the wedding party rehearses how they will leave the scene with same attention to pomp and ceremony as when they entered. HOWEVER, the guests were not at the rehearsal. Often, even before I am down the aisle (and the officiant is the last wedding party member to leave) the guests have stood up and are spilling out into the center aisle. I have to shoulder my way through a mass of bodies. I can only imagine what happens to the parents and the grandparents of the bride and groom! They are often the last to surface at the reception or for the wedding photos, poor things! Just so you know, the correct way, the DECENT way, the RESPECTFUL way for a wedding to wind down, is for the bride’s mother and father to exit followed by the groom’s mother and father, followed by the grandparents of first the bride and then the groom. These folks leave immediately behind me. In other words, the exit is the exact reverse of the entrance.
How do we get the word out to guests? I’m depending on you. Spread the word to your friends and family members Don’t lay a guilt trip on them, just say, something like, “I didn’t know this before, but guests are not supposed to leave the wedding service until the couples’ parents and grandparents have left. Isn’t that interesting?” Ok, it’s really not that interesting but if you say it with energy, they’ll listen, one can only hope. Or, better yet, send this blog to all your friends and relatives. It’s important. It really is. Thanks for listening. Your Wedding Preacher
|Beautiful bride after the wedding
with her bridesmaids