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Who's Who at the Wedding Do?

Jul 10, 2008
Primarily, weddings are about people. It's the mere fact that people are "gathered here today" to celebrate the couple's public declaration of love that makes wedding ceremonies happen. But a successful wedding depends on the actions of many important people coming together in unison to make sure the day runs smoothly. So let's synchronise watches and investigate the roles of all those present.

The Happy Couple

These two put the V in VIP. Everyone else is just an IP. They might have been together for decades or they could have met a month ago, but today they are only thinking about the future, and guests have travelled far and wide to witness it. In fact, the couple are so important that if just one of them decides not to show up, the wedding can really fail to get into full swing.

The Officiant

Someone has to actually perform the ceremony, and that responsibility falls on the officiant. If it's a religious ceremony, the officiant will be the vicar, priest or rabbi for example. If the ceremony is a Christian one, anyone who has watched a British soap opera will know their script off by heart. Officiants can also be appointed by local authorities to oversee secular weddings at the registry office.

The Best Man

This is usually a friend, but often a relative, of the groom. As well as arranging the stag do, he'll be in charge of the wedding ring on the day, and will have to make a speech at the reception. A bit of gentle teasing or cringe-inducing humiliation is normal here. Some grooms will choose several best men and allocate a specific job to each of them.

The Maid of Honour and Bridesmaids

Honour isn't necessarily a prerequisite for the maid of honour job. She will be in charge of treating the bride like royalty for the day. Again, she is normally drawn from the bride's circle of friends and relatives, and will often be bought a wedding gift by the couple. All girls apparently dream of one day being a bridesmaid. This may or may not be true, but there is rarely a shortage of applicants when the job is advertised. Since nobody wants to leave anyone out, they can often be quite numerous.

The Father of the Bride

Here we have perhaps the most emotional guest at the ceremony, at least until Black Lace comes on at the disco. He will be officially "giving away" the bride, although this is really a traditional role from the days when his permission was sought by the groom. He'll arrive at the ceremony with the bride, followed only by the bridesmaids. It's a role that can also be fulfilled by a brother, relative or friend; it's not unknown for sons to do it, too.


The job of the usher is, as the name suggests, to ush. Guests arriving at the venue will be ushed into place depending on pre-arranged seating plans.

The Rabble

Otherwise known as guests, these are the invited friends, relatives and colleagues who fill the venues with laughter, goodwill and wedding gifts. Due to venue capacities and basic economics, some people will be invited to the evening do but not the ceremony itself. This should not be taken personally.

The Disc Jockey

Legally obliged to play "You're my First, My Last, My Everything" and keep the Barry White dream alive.

As you can see, many people are involved when it comes to making a wedding tick seamlessly along, and that's not to mention all the drivers, bar staff, waiters, cooks, florists and printers who each do their bit. So if you've been invited to a wedding, or planning one yourself, now might be the time to consider looking at wedding gifts for those involved with, or on the path to wedded bliss. After all the hard work and planning, "congratulations" and "thank yous" will definitely be a feature of the day.
About the Author
To explore our range of wedding gifts further, please visit our website at http://www.gettingpersonal.co.uk.
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