6 Wedding Questions You Never Thought to Ask

By Maria Yeonhee Ji

There are innumerable planning aids and resources when it comes to weddings. Timeline guides, checklists, and apps are just some of the many tools you can use to make sure you don’t forget anything vital. However, a smooth wedding day with no drama or confusion requires more than just the right combination of vendors and guests who show up at the right time and place; it requires some forethought and planning about various aspects of the day that these instruments of organisation often don’t cover. So we’ve brought you a list of six questions to ask, ideally well before you’re due to tie the knot, in order to avoid disorder on the big day.

1/ WILL YOU BE EXCHANGING GIFTS ON THE DAY? 

Image by Fox + Ivory Photographers + Storytellers

Many couples exchange gifts on their wedding day, and some even give gifts to the parents of their partner. It’s a good idea to have a discussion prior to the actual day about whether you want to give presents, because the last thing with which you want to commence your big day is hurt feelings or disappointment from a set of parents who didn’t receive anything, or guilt/awkwardness on your part because you didn’t get something for your partner when they prepared something incredibly thoughtful.

2/ HOW DOES GUEST SEATING WORK DURING THE CEREMONY?

Image by Samantha Donaldson Photography

Traditionally, in Christian ceremonies, the bride stands to the left of the celebrant and the groom to the right, with their respective guests seated on the same sides. However, these days, many people recommend that the bride and grooms’ guests be seated on the opposite side from their loved one (e.g. the bride’s guests sit on the right; groom’s guests sit on the left) to allow for a better view of the person’s face as they get married. Open seating where guests are welcome to sit wherever they wish is also increasingly popular and removes the need for an usher to guide people to their seats. It’s a sweet idea to encourage mingling between the two families and their guests and works well as long as you have clear signage informing people about the decision. Here are some popular sign sayings: 

“Pick A Seat, Not A Side.”
“Please Pick A Seat, Either Side, You’re Loved By Both Groom & Bride.”
“Choose A Seat Not A Side - We’re All Family Once The Knot Is Tied” 

3/ WHO WILL LIFT THE BRIDE’S VEIL?

Image by Molly Carr Photography

With the diversification of bridal headwear, many women don’t even wear a veil on their wedding day. But for those who do want to partake in this tradition, there is no hard and fast rule as to who should lift the veil. It’s a common and sweet gesture for the father of the bride to unveil the bride right before giving her away to the groom. In many ceremonies, the groom waits until the couple has been announced husband and wife by the celebrant before lifting the veil before the first kiss, though this does mean that the bride’s face will have been covered for the duration of the ceremony. Of course, the bride can also lift the veil herself before the exchange of vows. To put it succinctly, if you are wearing a veil, our three recommended options for the veil lifter are (1) The father of the bride, (2) The groom, (3) The bride herself. 


4/ HOW WILL YOU GREET YOUR GUESTS?

Image by Diana V Photography

Attending the wedding in person is a thoughtful - and often expensive - act of showing love and support for a couple. So you should definitely consider how you are planning on greeting your guests to say hello and express your thanks. Receiving lines allow for every guest to personally meet the bride’s parents, married couple, groom’s parents, and sometimes also the bridesmaids. It is considered good etiquette to have a receiving line after the ceremony for weddings with greater numbers of guests (e.g. more than 50) so that nobody is missed being greeted by accident. However, it’s not absolutely necessary, and there are lots of reasons why you might want to modify the way you do the line or forgo the ordeals of this tradition altogether. Good alternatives to the receiving line include: greeting guests at the reception venue entrance; visiting each table if you’re having a sit-down dinner; or having a first look so that you can join your guests at cocktail hour and having more time to talk to everyone. 

5/ WHAT MODE OF TRANSPORT WILL YOU HAVE FOR THE WEDDING PARTY?

Image by Hollow & Co.

Though most couples plan for what kind of transport they want to take leaving the ceremony, it’s also important to consider transport for the wedding party. Particularly if your ceremony and reception venues are far apart, and/or if members of your wedding party are from out of town, the couple has responsibility for making sure everyone knows beforehand whether they need to make their own way to the reception or if you’ve booked something for them. As with organising your own transport, make sure you’ve: seen the vehicle(s) before the day; asked if the driver has any other bookings on the day so that you know how strictly you have to stick to schedule; inquired about if there are wedding packages that come with perks like bubbly; and combed through the paperwork to look at the cancellation and insurance policies. 

6/ WHAT IS THE BACKUP PLAN?

Image by Levien & Lens Photography

There are many aspects of your wedding day over which you have a lot of control. Unfortunately, the weather is not one of them. So it’s important to have a backup plan that’s a little more fledged out than an ‘oh, we’ll move it inside’. If your venue does have an indoor space available, make sure you’ve reserved it just in case (this will have to be factored into the budget). Alternatively, if you’re set on keeping the ceremony outside, talk to tent/marquee rental companies to get a quote for having a tent on standby and ask how much notice you need to give should you require their services (and double check with the venue that they are happy for a tent to be put up on site). Of course, if the bad weather is temporary or will affect only one part of the day, it’s also possible to make do with a bit of schedule shuffling, as long as your venue and vendors have the flexibility to accommodate last minute changes to the run sheet. 



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