1. Where should the bride wear her engagement ring during the wedding ceremony?
The bride can choose to wear the ring on her right hand, or have someone, such as an aunt or her maid-of-honour, hold it for her. If the ring is worn for the reception, the bride can put it on during the drive to the reception venue. In Singapore, the wedding band is usually worn on the left hand as it is closest to the heart.
2. Who lifts the bride’s veil?
It is an increasing trend among modern brides to wear the veil more as an accessory by keeping it held back during the entire ceremony or even forgoing a veil entirely in favour of flowers or other hair accessories. Brides taking the traditional route of wearing the veil over the face have two options. The first is for the bride’s father or the person giving the bride away to lift the veil as they arrive at the altar. Alternatively, after being pronounced husband and wife, the groom will lift the veil in order to kiss the bride.
3. Which side do the guests stand on during the ceremony?
If the wedding ceremony is held in a church, the bride will stand on the left facing the altar while the groom stands on the right. Guests of the wedding couple should sit in the pews on the side of whoever they are related to or know best. Mutual friends can be instructed to sit on the side that has fewer people, in order to balance things out. Note that in Jewish ceremonies, the arrangement is reversed.
4. How should the newlyweds greet guests if they don’t want a receiving line?
Some newlywed couples may feel a bit like robots and insincere standing with a fixed smile while a long line of guests queue up for their turn to shake their hands, as though they were all part of a factory assembly line. Instead of having this, the bride and groom can thank their guests during the reception by going from table to table. This is also a good opportunity for photographs to be taken.
Make sure that the newlyweds have time to eat, either before or during the reception. If there is a speech by the bride and groom, they can thank the guests for coming, mention the vendors for the wedding supplies and thank their parents or anyone else who contributed towards the wedding. The speech should not be the only point of interaction between the newlyweds and the guests, but it is a good time to let them know that their presence and support are highly appreciated.
5. Can the bride take off her shoes at any time during the reception?
It’s not uncommon for the music to be so enticing that guests kick off their heels and join in the dancing, bare-footed. For the bride, however, it’s a different story, especially if she is wearing a formal dress. As an alternative to her wedding shoes, the bride can bring a pair of flat shoes to change into for dancing.
If it’s a wedding in sunny Singapore, add to the fun factor by providing flip-flops for guests to change into. These slippers are inexpensive and can be purchased in colours to match the wedding theme. The only exception to the “no bare feet” rule is if it’s a beach wedding, where sandy feet would be a welcome addition to the festivities.
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