When you want someone to care
                          as much as you do.....
 Rev. Judith L. Guasch, M.Div.
                          Wedding Officiant

Serving S. Central PA, MD DC
                           (717) 222-9173 
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Attendants & Customs

            How many times have you either been involved in, or attended,  a wedding  where the attendants had no real duties?    The original function of attendants stems from the Renaissance period when beliefs in other worlds, faeries, and  mischievous evil spirits were an every day part of life, as heavily evidenced in the writings of Master William Shakespeare. 

 

            The practice of having many bridesmaids dressed in their finest attire, was part of the practice of protecting the bride from evil spirits.  It was believed that if there were many finely dressed maids, the evil spirits would be confused, and not know which one was the bride.  Hence, they would not be able to wreak havoc upon  the bride and her new life.  AND, it was not until the 19th century  that the practice of brides wearing white came into play. White did not become a popular option until 1840, after the marriage of Queen Victoria to Albert of Saxe-Coburg. Victoria had worn a white gown for the event so as to incorporate some lace she owned. The official wedding portrait photograph was widely published, and many other brides opted for a similar dress in honor of the Queen's choice.

 

             The practice of a “blushing veil” stems from arranged marriages, in order to hide a potentially less than beautiful bride from the unsuspecting groom until after the ceremony.  If he didn’t see her before the ceremony, he couldn’t say “NO WAY!!”

 

            As our beliefs in evil spirits, and playful faeries & sprites has waned, so too, has the true function of a “bridal party.”  Today, there are plenty of bridesmaids who spend hundreds of dollars on expensive (and sometimes less than flattering) dresses which will never be worn again.  And how many little flower girls have you seen walk down the aisle carrying a basket bigger than she was?  Oh, and dare we mention the ring bearer who carries a pillow holding only “fake” rings?  And what EXACTLY do all those groomsmen do?

 

            Instead, as you plan your ceremony, think of ways to INVOLVE your attendants… ask them to read your Scripture or a reading, have your flower girl drop real flower petals or glitter (if outside) in the aisle, and by all means, have the ring bearer BEAR THE RINGS. 


    These bridesmaids are pouring the wine for the "First Cup of Wine"


      If the ring bearer is especially young, have someone hand him the rings just before the processional, and have them sit with the young fellow during the ceremony, or he can hand it to one of the Honor Attendants as soon as he gets up the aisle..

 

            Children from a previous marriage or many nieces and nephews?  Why not begin down the aisle empty- handed?  Then as you pass those special children, nieces or nephews, have them hand  you flowers, and hence  you “collects” your bouquet AS you processes?  OR…why limit it to children?  Have special friends and family members hand you flowers! 

 

            Also consider having both parents walk both both of you down the aisle!  This is a lovely shift from the idea of the bride being “Given Away” in an arranged marriage.   

 

            This is your day, BE CREATIVE and HAVE FUN!!!!!