Seating Mothers and Grandmothers

I need to know the correct order to seat mothers and grandmothers and how long before the wedding ceremony begins.

– P.H.

The groom's grandmothers are seated first, followed by the bride's grandmothers. The mother of the groom comes next and finally the mother of the bride. This occurs anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes before the ceremony is set to begin. Mothers and grandmothers are seated within the first two rows and are the last guests to enter the church. This is general guideline only. While most couples follow this order, it's not mandatory. As with all the wedding details, the decision on how to seat the guests is ultimately yours.

Giving Away the Bride

This is the second wedding for my niece. She has no father or other male relative to give her away. I'm her aunt and was wondering if it's okay for me to give her away? If so, what would be the proper apparel for the occasion?

– Thelma

It's ultimately up to the bride. If she's happy to have you walk her down the aisle then by all means do so. This is her day after all! As for what to wear, any sophisticated or elegant outfit will do. In addition to walking the bride down the aisle, you're a wedding guest, so follow our tips on wedding guest attire. Don't wear anything that takes attention away from the bride; avoid white or noticeably bright colors (hot pink).

Marriage Laws

I am planning to get married in Tenerife, Spain next year. I am a recently divorced Catholic and would like to know more about Spanish wedding laws. Also, do I have to be a resident of Spain to in order to marry there?

– Elizabeth

As a divorcee, Spanish and Catholic law prevents you from marrying in a Catholic wedding ceremony. However, you can get married in a civil ceremony. To marry in Spain, either you or your partner must be a legal resident of that country for at least 2 years. If one of you meets that condition and can provide a certificate of residence, you can apply for a marriage license.

You'll also require your original birth certificate (you must be over 18 years old), passport, and a "consular certificate of no impediment to marriage" which is a sworn statement that acknowledges that you are both single and free to marry. Other required documents include: marriage application, divorce/annulment certificate or death certificate (if previously married), a consular registration certificate, certificate of consular inscription and posting of the banns. It should be noted that applying to marry in Spain is a lengthy process and requires a lot of paperwork. On average it takes 30-45 days for all the paperwork to clear. However if you do meet all the criteria, enjoy your Spanish wedding; it's a country rich in beauty and traditions.

Memorial Candles

I would like to know how to memorialize a deceased parent during a wedding. Some way to let people know that we're thinking of that person on such a special day?

– Tammie

First of all, I think this is a wonderful, thoughtful idea! Of the many ways to honor past loved ones during a wedding, I think lighting a memorial candle is the most touching. Simply set up a second table by the church alter and place a memorial candle on it. Ask your wedding officiant to say a quick memorial statement such as "the bride and groom light this candle in memory of .", then light the candle. The candle can be accompanied by a small picture, a small card with a short statement or nothing at all; it's personal choice. Regardless of the manner in which you decide to remember your loved one, it's a touching gesture that won't go unnoticed.
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