It’s an issue of respect…My experience in officiating as many as 12 weddings in a month has given me a unique insight into wedding etiquette. Some of the trends today concern me, because it appears that people are not very interested in showing respect to other people in ordinary social situations. Either that, or they just have not been made aware of how their behavior impacts other people. I’ve heard it said that when courtesy is eroded, civilizations decline. That is an interesting thought.

In many parts of wedding ceremonies I’m a non-conformist. I like to take old traditions and put them into new forms, if the content is truly meaningful. However, I’m very, very old fashioned regarding the entrance of the Bride. I believe everyone who is physically able, should stand when the Bride enters. Why? There are a number of reasons. This is not an empty tradition that is observed just because everyone else has done it. In the first place, it shows respect for the Bride. Every woman deserves to have at least one day in her life where she is the center of attention and people give her the respect that all of us would like to have.

We should stand because she decided to honor the institution of marriage. In this society, a couple does not have to get married. So, the fact that they are honoring marriage is meaningful and should be honored by the guests. We should stand in honor of marriage itself. We should stand to teach our children that there are things worthy of being honored, even when they don’t understand it. We should stand because we spend too much time sitting, watching entertainment, or other things. We need to get up on our feet to honor something besides a football touchdown.

Contributed by Dan Jenkins