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Ask the Experts

Ceremony

Question: My Fiance's mother passed on this year and now I have no idea how to have his father walk down the aisle or with him to walk with. My fiance's sister is one of my bridesmaids so I don't know if I'm suppose to have her walk down with her father in place of her mother because of this. I was thinking of having my Fiance's Godmother escort his father down the aisle but I'm not sure if that is the right way to do it. Should I have my Fiance's sister escort their father down the aisle or keep her with the rest of the bridal party?? Or will it be alright to have my Fiance's Godmother to escort his father down the aisle?? I'm sooooo confused!!!
 

Answer from Jubilee Lau
Reminisce
Dear Bride-to-be,
I am sure this has been a difficult year for your fiancĂ©'s family, and I can understand your concerns and confusion on the right protocols for the ceremony. However, keep in mind that the ceremony should not be dictated by any “rules or guidelines” unless you are getting married at a church and your Pastor has very specific instructions. First of all, you should find out if your fiancĂ©'s father wants to be escorted down the aisle. Sometimes parents are uncomfortable in being a part of the processional and would rather take a seat prior to the ceremony. If his father does want to be a part of the Processional, then you and your fiancĂ© can discuss possible candidates with him to see which one he would feel most comfortable with. If your fiancĂ© is very close to his father, perhaps the two of them can walk down the aisle together side by side. You can also have your fiancĂ©'s sister escort the father as well, and then walk back to join the rest of the bridal part for the processional. That is not unusual at all, and may make your fiancĂ©'s father feel better about having his own son or daughter be next to him as he walks down the aisle.
No matter what the decision is, I am sure your fiancé and his family will appreciate your consideration for such a sensitive time in their family!
Best of luck to you!
Jubilee Lau, JWIC
 

Question: We are getting married in two weeks in Hawaii and do not have a bridal party. Here is something we forgot to think of... What do we do about the rings? Who holds them until it is time to exchange them? We have 25 guests attending, but they will all be seated during the ceremony. Is it customary to have the judge hold the rings or should we have our nephew be a ring bearer?
Thank you for your help!

Answer from Jubilee Lau
Reminisce
Since you do not have a wedding party, it is definitely appropriate to have your officiant hold on to the rings. Having your nephew be the ring bearer would also be a good solution as children always add a little more fun to the processional. Keep in mind, however, that if your nephew is very young, he may be intimidated to be the only ‘wedding party’ for the ceremony.
Best of luck to you!
Jubilee Lau, JWIC


Question:
Hi, I'm only having my 2 sisters and my fiancé's 1 brother in our wedding party. I have been in a lot of my friends weddings, as well as my cousins wedding and have gained some other close friends too. I am also the Godmother of my cousins daughter. I would like to know how I can include some of my friends and definitely my cousin in my "Jewish" wedding? Anything you suggest would be helpful. Thank you!

Answer from Kim Oliff
Always r.s.v.p.*

There are many ways to incorporate you dear friends and family into your Jewish Wedding. You can ask 4 people to be your Chuppah Holders. They would walk down the aisle before the wedding party, and each hold one pole of the Chuppah throughout the entire ceremony. This would be a wonderful honor. You could also ask one of your guests to help pass out yarmulkes before the ceremony. Another person could pass out wedding programs if you are doing them. You will need to have a witness to sign your wedding license, as well as a witness to sign your Ketubah. These are 2 special honors to give to 2 special people.

If you have any grandparents in the wedding that are widows, one of your special friends could escort him/her down the aisle to their seat. Jewish weddings are all about family and friends being a part of the Jewish traditions, and I think that any of the "jobs' that I mentioned would be a huge honor for the people that mean so much to you. If you are having an Orthodox or very conservative wedding, I would certainly consult with a rabbi before making any of these choice.
Best of luck and Mazel Tov!!! Kim


Question:
Please give me the order of the processional for a Christian wedding including parents and grandparents entrance and seating. If there is a picture or a chart that would be helpful also. Thanks.

Answer from Tosca Clark, Wedding Planner
Tosca Productions
Most weddings are personal and many prefer to do a variation of the following traditional Christian processional.

1. Clergy member
2. Groom
3. Best Man
4. Groomsmen
5. Bridesmaids
6. Honor attendant
7. Ring Bearer
8. Flower Girl
9. Bride and Father

This will vary depending on a Catholic, Protestant, formal, informal wedding, or even
if there are children are younger than five years old. Your location will also dictate the order of the procession proceed. If you do not have a professional wedding coordinator, consult
with your officiant. Hope this helps you with your celebration.


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