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Students and Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in China - by Paul Sparks
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Weddings in the UK
"Something Old, something New, something Borrowed and something Blue" - Traditional, well known rhyme, which list some things the Bride must wear when she gets married.
A is for ALBUM - Your wedding day is unique and pictures of this special day are unique too, because as the memory fades they will be a constant, vivid reminder of your happiest moments. So ensure you have perfect photographs by employing a professional.
B is for BRIDE AND BRIDESMAIDS - Once the wedding date is set the bride will have a full diary right until the big day. One of your first tasks is to choose your bridesmaids. The bridesmaids job is to help the bride on the wedding day. Another pleasurable task is choosing your wedding dress, whether it is going to be made, bought or loaned and assist your bridesmaids in choosing their outfits. Together with the groom you will decide on your guest list, send invitations, book the wedding cars, reception, photographer and flowers, so the sooner the planning starts the easier it will be. A bridesmaid is usually a sister of the bride or groom or a close friend of the bride.
C is for CHURCH - Once you have decided to marry in a church and set the date, it is important you see the church minister as soon as possible. Once you have booked the church the minister will offer you advice on the form of service, choice of hymns and wedding music.
D is for DATE - Whether it is booking the church or reception venue, selecting your photographer or choosing your flowers, remember to book early to avoid disappointment.
E is for ENTERTAINMENT - If you have decided to have an evening reception, as well as booking a suitable venue, you have to think about the type of entertainment you require whether you want a live group or band or a disco. Today most people have discos, but before booking a certain DJ ensure he can meet all your requirements. For instance, can he play all ranges of music from waltzes for the older guests to the latest sounds around?
F is for FLOWERS - The wedding bouquet and wedding flowers are an important part of your wedding and must be chosen with great care. The wedding bouquet must complement your dress, while the bridesmaids' bouquets must suit their dresses. There is a choice between fresh or silk flowers for bouquets, garland and corsages, The florist will advise you on your choice and you may well prefer the beautiful fragrance and natural beauty of fresh flowers. It is also a good idea, if possible, to take a piece of cloth from your wedding dress and bridesmaids' dresses to the florist.
G is for GROOM AND BEST MAN - The groom and best man must also look after their wedding attire. (Best man is the best friend of the Groom) If it is going to be morning suits they will have the choice of whether to hire or buy their suits. If it is going to be ordinary suits then again they can buy or hire dark suits, but if hiring, it is important to reserve your suits early. The groom chooses the best man and ushers, pays for the ring, fees and gifts for the bridesmaids and ushers, flowers, transport and traditionally the honeymoon.
H is for HONEYMOON - Put yourself in the hands of a reputable travel company whether you are honeymooning in this country or abroad. It is also important to go to a travel agency early to ensure you get the dates and destination you want.
I is for INVITATIONS - For anything other than a very small wedding, printed or engraved invitations are the most convenient. Most stationers have samples so it is a good idea to look through a few books and get comparative quotations before making your final choice. It is a good idea to post invitations at least six weeks ahead to give people a chance to plan ahead and note down your replies for the catering numbers.
J is for JEWELLERY - It is a good idea to start looking for your wedding rings three months ahead in case they need altering. Very often the groom will buy the bridesmaids an item of jewellery, such as a cross and chain or bracelet, as his wedding gift.
K is for KISS - When the minister or registrar utters those famous words, 'kiss the bride', you know your wedding day worries were unfounded it's gone like a dream!
L is for LOVE - Your wedding day is the start of a lifetime of love and sharing together, so ensure everything is well planned and organised in advance so you won't miss a minute of this unique day.
M is for MORTGAGE - Most newlyweds wish to start off married life in their own home and plans for house buying must start as soon as possible. House particulars are available from estate agents and once you have viewed a property you wish to buy, the next stage is to arrange a mortgage.
N is for - NEWSPAPER ANNOUNCEMENTS - If you wish, news of your engagement and forthcoming marriage can be placed in your local newspapers. Most wedding photographers will also ensure that a wedding day photograph will appear in your local newspapers.
0 is for OUTFITS - As well as choosing your beautiful wedding dress you must also decide what other outfits you will require. For instance, if you are having an evening reception are you going to wear your wedding dress so guests who are attending only the reception can see it? Or are you having a separate outfit?
P is for PRESENTS - One ideal way of coping with wedding presents is to compile a wedding list which you can give to all your guests to give them ideas of what you really need. Include the complete price range of gifts so no-one feels obliged to 'spend a fortune'. Keep a master list for yourself so you know which items are being bought for you.
Q is for QUEST FOR THE BEST - Obviously, you want everything to be perfect for your wedding day, so it is always a good idea to allow yourself to shop around and compare services and prices.
R is for RECEPTION - When organising your reception you must decide whether or not you require an evening reception, and if you are going to have the same venue throughout the day.
S is for SPEECHES - Speeches are an important part of a wedding, but they should be brief, sincere and humorous if possible. The bride's father or an old family friend proposes a toast to the bride and groom's health. The bridegroom replies and should thank those who have given the wedding.
T is for TRANSPORT - Wedding cars should be booked as early as possible. As most people have their own cars, sometimes the only cars required are for the attendants, immediate family and you and your father. Don't forget to check your travel arrangements one week before the wedding.
U is for USHERS - Formal church weddings require a minimum of three ushers. They hand out service sheets to guests on arrival and show them to their seats. The bride's family is on the left-hand side of the altar, the bridegroom's on the right. The ushers are chosen by the groom and his best man and are usually brothers, close relatives or friends.
V is for VIDEO - Having a professional video made of your wedding day is the ideal way of keeping cherished memories alive.
W is for WEDDING CAKE - Your wedding cake should be moist, rich and beautiful and it should photograph well X is for the kiss that started it.
Y is for why WORRY? - If you have followed our guide everything will be well organised and go without a hitch.
Z ... zzz - Is for sleeping
peacefully knowing you will have a splendid day.
Weddings - The Legal Requirements
If you wish to marry in England and Wales you may do so either by civil or religious ceremony. A civil ceremony can take place at a register office or other premises approved by the local authority for marriages (e.g. hotel, stately home etc.) A religious ceremony can take place at a Church or Chapel of the Church of England or Church of Wales or any other place of worship which has been formally registered by the Registrar General for marriages.
England or Church of Wales
Other places of
marriage can be given in one of two ways:
If the couple reside in different districts to each other, then each person must give notice in his/her district or either party must give notice in both districts. However notice cannot be given until both persons have lived in their respective districts for at least seven days.
After the Superintendent Registrar has established that he can take notice of marriage, it is entered into a marriage notice book and a statutory form is displayed on a public notice board for 21 clear days. (This is the equivalent period that banns are published in the Church of England) The reason for this is to allow anyone who has any objection to the marriage to register his objection.
A certificate of marriage is then issued (Not a Marriage Certificate which is issued after the wedding) and held at register office until the day of marriage. If notice of marriage is given in two districts, then one should be collected by the couple as it will have to be produced before the ceremony can go ahead.
The marriage has to take place after 21 days and within one year of Notice of marriage having been given. If the marriage is postponed beyond the one year fresh notice will have to be given. (e.g. if notice is given on 1 July the marriage may take place on or after the 23 July)
Registrar's certificate and licence 'Special Licence'
How far in
advance to book
It would also be useful if your birth certificate or passport (or some identity document) could be produced. Photocopies are unlikely to be accepted. Other documents may also be needed depending on the circumstances, for example, the consent of parents to a marriage where one of the partners is under the age of 18 years old. If you are not able to provide any of the above documents the Superintendent Registrar will explain what other documents may be acceptable.
Notice of marriage must be given in person to the Superintendent Registrar by one or both of the partners. No one else can do so on their behalf. Where an advance booking for marriage has been made it is essential that a formal notice is given to the Superintendent Registrar once it is within three months of the marriage.
The earliest recorded
diamond engagement ring was given to Mary of Burgundy in 1477 by her
fiance, Archduke Maximilian of Hapsburg. Although until the 19th Century
only royalty and the very rich could afford diamonds, little did
Maximilian know that he would set a trend for so many centuries.
The bride stands on the left and the groom on the right, so that the groom's sword-hand always remains free. This dates back the days when a groom kidnapped his bride-to-be and might, in the middle of the ceremony, be called upon to fend off intruders.
The bride's family is on the left-hand side of the altar, the bridegroom's on the right.
The right of women to propose to men on the February 29 each leap year, goes back hundreds of years, when the day had no recognition in English law. It was considered that the day also had no legal status – thus it was reasonable to assume that tradition had no status, so women took advantage of this and proposed to the man they wanted to marry. Women who want to take advantage of this ancient tradition can put it to the test on February 29 next year, in the new millennium.
Confetti symbolises fertility. Paper confetti and rose petals are a modern substitute for rice and corn, the symbol of a full harvest and therefore abundance.
Something old stands for a link with the past, ensuring that friends will be faithful, and can cover a myriad of things from jewellery to a veil. Something new looks to the future, success in a new life; and must be either something newly made or never worn before. Something borrowed is where the family can contribute and refers to a link with the present, indicating that the bride takes with her the love of her family. The idea is to borrow something small and perhaps precious – a prayer book, a veil, a piece of jewellery, a hair decoration – but it should be returned after the wedding. And something blue? Blue is the colour of fidelity and can be worn to be seen, as in a blue trim, sash or flower in the bride's bouquet, or hidden from view, a sexy garter for instance.
The wedding cake has symbolised fertility since Roman times and the custom of the bride cutting the first slice was supposed to ensure a fruitful marriage. On the wedding cake there should be a few silver horseshoes – silver stands for luck – and horseshoes for protection against the devil.
White is always considered the traditional colour of wedding dresses, the sign of purity, but this is a fairly recent idea dating back to the late 18th Century. Long hair hanging down her back was an earlier sign of the bride's virginity.
As the 19th Century began, the fashion was for white and gold as women aspired to resemble the classical Greek statue. In the mid 1920s fashion took on a very different look. The great designer Coco Channel kept her boyish look for day but her bridal gowns were feminine and simple. The feminine woman returned in the 1930s, personified by Greta Garbo. Wedding dresses for this period were of simple well-cut design, worn with a small coronet on the back of a short hairstyle to create the effect of height and gracefulness.
It's considered bad luck for a bride to try on her complete wedding outfit before the wedding day. And don't be surprised if you find a hair sewn into a handmade dress – to do this is supposed to bring good luck to the seamstress...
The bridegroom does not have too many superstitions attached to him, but he must not drop his hat or the ring. Should the bride have to help him put the ring on her finger he can expect her to be boss in future. On no account must he go back for anything after the wedding journey has begun, any money he pays out during the day should be in odd sums, and he must ensure that no telegrams are handed to him on the way to the church.
Ubest man was known as the
groomsman. The groomsman was originally present to ensure the capture of
the bride. His only qualification was that he should be unmarried, but
today many grooms choose married best men.
The Best man.... how
to plan the ultimate stag night
There are many different interpretations of the "Stag Night" ranging from a drink up the pub one evening to a week away abroad with the lads, although a typical Stag Night would probably consist of a daytime activity (such as go-karting or clay pigeon shooting) followed by a pub crawl or nightclub. The best man would nowadays organise the whole event taking special care to ensure that some sort of embarrassment befalls the groom (A photographic record of this is a must for future blackmail.).
Ideas For Stag Night
The Wedding Cake
The departure of the
Bride and Groom
Wedding Customs and Superstitions
The Wedding Cake
The Wedding Dress
Married in white, You have chosen a right.
The Wedding Bouquet
Carrying the Bride
over the Threshold (Doorway)
Not seeing the Bride
The Wedding Day
The Wedding Vows
The wedding service vows can be altered by the couple if they wish to write their own. a more traditional wedding will use the following vows:
Who Gives this Woman to be married to this man?
("I do" or "Her mother and I do" or "We do")
Dearly Beloved, We are Gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the Face of this company, to join together this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God, and therefore, is not by any to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, discreetly and advisedly, and in the fear of God. Into this holy estate, these two persons present come now to be joined. If any man or any woman can show just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him or her speak, or else hereafter forever hold his or her peace.
________________________, (Groom), Wilt thou have this woman to be thy wedded wife, to live together after God's ordinance, in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour and keep her, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?
If so, please answer I will.
________________________, (Bride), wilt thou have this man to be thy wedded husband, to live together after God's Ordinance, in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love him, comfort him, honour, and keep him in sickness and in Health; and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?
If so, please answer I
Weddings - News Articles