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What is wedding protocol for the Bride, Groom, Best Man, Matron of Honour, Bridesmaids and Ushers?



Possibly the most important day in a woman's life is her wedding day.

This is the day where, the bride is rightfully the 'star of the show'. She is instrumental in the organisation of her day from start to finish. She is involved in decision making in virtually every part of the wedding planning, from the cake to the dress, the flowers, the date and type of ceremony. The ability to organise whilst not offending others is a useful skill during planning. Remember that the wedding is also a big day for both sets of parents. Parents will undoubtedly appreciate any consultation and their opinions may prove beneficial. Ultimately, the couple has the final say on decision making.



Contrary to popular belief the groom's role in organising a wedding extends far beyond the acceptance of congratulatory drinks. He has joint responsibility in the major decisions such as choice of wedding venue, photographer and reception. His contribution taking some of the pressure off his bride to be. Then there is the compiling the guest list for the reception.

On the day of the Wedding the groom and his best man should arrive at the wedding venue a good 20 minutes or so prior to the ceremony. Following the signing of the register he walks back up the aisle, with his new wife on his left, to begin the formal photographs. Then it's onto the reception where the bride and groom prepare to greet their guests as they arrive. The groom is expected to introduce his new bride to friends and relatives who have not previously met her. Following the bride's father's speech, the groom should thank the bride's parents and all those involved in the organisation of the wedding. The speech should include a toast to the bridesmaids. After the speeches and the cutting of the cake, it's time for the first dance.



A supporting role to the groom. His duties include:                                                                                                                                             

The arrangement of the Bucks night.
Ensuring a punctual arrival of the groom at the wedding venue.
Responsibility for the bringing of rings to the wedding venue.
Presenting rings when required.
Witnessing the signing of the register.
Payment of Church fees on behalf of the groom.
Best man speech at the reception.
Having first dance with the first bridesmaid..



Organising the Hen Night.
Helping the bride with her choice of wedding dress.                                                                  

Accompanying the bride to the hairdresser on the wedding day.
Making sure the bride is ready on the day.
Assisting the bride in getting dressed before the ceremony.                                                                          

Holds the bridal bouquet during the ceremony.                                                                                                 

Is responsible for the organisation of the other bridesmaids.                                                                  

Witnessing the signing of the register.
Re-arranging the bridal dress, veil and train at the wedding venue when necessary.
Being on hand to assist with the requirements of the bride as and when they arise.
Organising the flower girls and bridesmaids.
Assisting the best man introduce people to each other at the reception.



Assist Chief Bridesmaid with her preparations.
 Follow the bride into the church.


Showing people to their seats at the ceremony.
Distributing orders of service..
Assisting the best man in organising the photographs.
Assisting the best man with organisation of transport.
Generally looking after the guests.
Escorting the bride's mother to her seat.
Introducing guests to each other.



Traditionally, the bride's parents had the 'privilege' of paying for the majority of the wedding expenses. Although today the costs are likely to be distributed among both sets of parents and the couple themselves, there are still responsibilities the bride's parents maintain.

Discussing and agreeing the wedding planning with the groom's parents.
Assisting the bride with the guest list.
Assisting the bride in sending out the invitations. 
Acting as host and hostess at the reception.
Greeting the guests as they arrive at the reception.
Mixing with the guests.



Travels to church with his daughter.
Escorts his daughter down the aisle. the bride traditionally walks on the left side.
Makes the first speech at the reception.
Raises a toast to the bride and groom. 
Bids farewell to departing guests.
He is traditionally the last person to leave the reception.

The bride's mother has a vital role in supporting her daughter with all her preparations. she should listen and respect the bride’s wishes at every stage, even if these wishes do not match her own.



There are no traditional roles for the groom's parents. In the past it was an accepted obligation of the bride’s parents to meet all wedding expenses. Today however, it is not unusual for the groom's parents to make a considerable financial contribution. Therefore, it is good manners to consult the groom's parents and include them in as much of the planning as possible.

Organize a meeting where both sets of parents can discuss arrangements.
Agree the wedding plan with the bride's parents.
Inform the bride's mother of the number of guests from the groom's family.
Welcome the guests to the wedding.
Mingle with the guests.



Attend pre-wedding rehearsals.
Accompany each other down the aisle following the bridesmaids.
Flower girls may walk in front of the bride scattering flower petals or confetti down the aisle. Pageboys traditionally help carry the long bridal train. They may also carry the rings, on a cushion.


What is protocol for the seating arrangements, entrance procession and recessional?


Traditionally the Bride’s family and guests sit on the left side and the Grooms family and guests on the right. If the mix is uneven you can dispense with that tradition. The parents of the Bride and Groom sit at the front



The Brides maids

The Maid of Honour

The flower girl

The page boy



Bride and Groom

The Flower Girl and Page Boy

The Maid of Honour and Best Man together

Bridesmaids and Groomsmen partners together

Bride’s mother and Grooms Father

Brides Father and Grooms Mother

Other family members




Brides Parents

Grooms Parents




Who applies for the marriage certificate?


Please find information and links you will need when applying for your marriage certificate and a name change if relevant. It takes 21 days after your Wedding Ceremony  before you are able to apply for your marriage certificate.


About marriage certificates

You can use a standard marriage certificate as proof of your wedding for official purposes, such as changing your name on a passport or driver licence.

a marriage certificate can be issued once the marriage is registered in Victoria. (approx 21 days after the ceremony)

It is recommended you keep all Registry-issued documents safe and secure.

If you want to use your spouse's name after getting married in Australia, you do not need to register a change of name.

If you were married in Victoria you need to apply for a marriage certificate

Note. Most organisations will not accept the certificate you received on your wedding day.

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