It’s customary that the bridegroom and the best man should to arrive at the wedding venue about twenty to thirty minutes before the service is due to start.
The groom generally does not engage in much conversation during this time (not least because he’s probably nervous as hell) but should wait quietly, seated on the right front pew or row of seats.
When the ceremony is completed it is normal for the groom to take his newly married wife to his left and walk back up the aisle and on to the formal photographs.
At the Reception: The bride groom stand at the end of the reception line up or out of sight completely until introduced to the guests by the Toastmaster.
As they enter the reception, the groom should introduce the bride to members of his family or his friends who she has not already met.
The meal and speeches are next and the groom’s speech follows that of the bride’s father. His speech should thank everyone who helped organise and who contributed to the wedding, should thank the bride’s parents for giving him their daughter and should always end with a thank you and toast to the bridesmaids. Gifts are generally given to those who have assisted on the day and in particular, flowers for the new Mother in Law…
Following the meal comes the cutting of the cake during which the groom takes the brides hand in his and they cut the cake together.
Then traditionally there comes the first dance. Traditionally, the bride’s father cuts in during the dance and the groom invites the bride’s mother to dance. The bride’s father cuts in again and the groom resumes the dance with his new wife.
After this, the bride and groom have no more duties as such, and can spend the rest of the evening mingling, dancing and chatting.
If the bride and groom are leaving on honeymoon from the reception it is common to change at the reception venue, making sure the best man and bridesmaids are left in charge of any clothing and gifts that may be left behind.
If the bride and groom are not leaving from the reception but plan to stay until the end, it is a courtesy to get the best man and chief bridesmaid to make sure that everyone knows this, since some people won’t expect to leave until the bride and groom have done so.