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Dear bride to be - Graphical Header

Thank you for taking the time to visit the Bridal Parasol web site. Your wedding day is a very special day for you and you will want to look your very best.

The most important decision, and the hardest will be choosing your wedding dress, we have helped hundreds of brides choose the perfect dress to create the look they desire, be it traditional, modern, fun, demure or alluring.

In our spacious shop you will find a variety of co-ordinating bridesmaid’s outfits to suit all sizes, ages and budgets. We also have a wide range of tiara’s, veils, bags, shoes, hosiery and jewellery to compliment your look.

Wedding Dress Photo 1I hope that this website will be invaluable to you as you progress with all your plans over the coming months.

If there is anything further we can do to help you on your special day, please call in, contact us on 01502 515786, or use our web site Contact Form

Or visit our shop at 271 London Road South, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 0DS. We are open Monday to Saturday 10am – 4pm, and by appointment only Thursday evenings.

Please visit our accessories page to view a selection of our products.

Val Barker-Pearce - Proprietor

Planning your special day - Graphical Header

The wedding Timetable

First Steps

The first thing you will plan for your wedding is the budget. Talk between yourselves and your respective parents about the kind of service you would like.

You will find that your parents will be of enormous help to you in discussing the budget. On your very special day you will want the best of everything, so plan carefully the style and tone of the day. When you have decided, visit your Vicar/Priest or Registrar and make arrangements for your marriage ceremony. They will be of great help to you both, and explain everything you will need to know about walking up the aisle and saying ‘I do’. If you wish, a rehearsal can be arranged to set your minds at ease and to assure you that it will all be perfect on your wedding day. Take this opportunity to apply for a marriage licence if necessary.

Now might also be the ideal time to decide on who you will ask to be ‘Chief Bridesmaid’ and ‘Best Man’.

The Wedding Countdown

18-12 Months

Once you have decided the date and place of your wedding, it is important to remember the following points. In descending order your family and friends will generally remember the following:

  1. How beautiful the bride looked.

  2. How wonderful the ceremony was.

  3. The Reception

Think about it. Now is certainly the time to be choosing carefully both your wedding dress and your reception venue. Other important things to be arranged now are as follows:

  1. Book the photographer and videographer

  2. Book the transport

  3. Book the toastmaster if required

  4. Decide on the number of guests, and make a list

  5. Order the invitations

  6. Book the honeymoon and apply for passports

  7. Decide on the bridesmaids and ushers

  8. Order the wedding cake

You have now put in place an excellent framework for the build up to your big day. Hopefully, you now have a team of professionals all working towards making sure it is a day to remember, and for all the right reasons.

6 Months

Time for some fun! Let’s organise a wedding present list. (don’t forget that a lot of stores will now help you with this.) Having already organised your dress, you will probably have a colour scheme in mind for the bridesmaids’ dresses. Now is the time to be co-ordinating these as well.

Once the colour scheme is decided it is probably time to start ordering the flowers for bouquets, church, and reception if required.

Other items to arrange now are:

  1. Hire of the suits for the bridegroom, best man, fathers and ushers

  2. Initial fitting of the dress

  3. Choosing the wedding rings

While on the phone, now might be the ideal time to organise appointments with your hairdresser and beauty salon, to make sure you look at your most beautiful on the big day.

3 Months

Now is the time to be sending out the wedding invitations. This would also be the ideal time to be escorting the ‘mums’ into town to organise their outfits.


  1. Choose the hymns and choice of music

  2. Arrange for the ‘order of service’ sheets to be printed

6 Weeks

You should be fairly well organised, and in the envious position of sitting back and relaxing for a couple of weeks in the full knowledge that there are a whole host of people out there worrying on your behalf. However, on your one weekend off between now and the big day, it might be an excellent idea to nip out and choose some presents for the bridesmaids, and perhaps some flowers for the mums.

4 Weeks

The pace is starting to hot up now. It’s time to see whether everyone else has been as organised as you.

  1. Confirm the reception venue booking, and numbers attending

  2. Confirm details with the photographer

  3. Confirm the wedding cars

  4. Confirm details with the florist and give final numbers for buttonholes

  5. Confirm travel and hotel bookings for the honeymoon. N.B. Check Passport

10 to 7 Days

If you haven’t organised a rehearsal of the ceremony now might be a good time to meet with the best man, bridesmaids and ushers to finalise arrangements and responsibilities.

  1. Practice your make-up

  2. Take the headdress to the hairdresser

  3. Give the ‘Order of Service’ sheets to the vicar

And, perhaps most importantly of all…


One Day to Go

Try and delegate as much work as possible. Have your beauty treatment, finish off any packing that still remains to be done for the honeymoon, lay out your wedding and going away ensemble, relax and put your feet up.

The Wedding Day

Assuming a 2pm Wedding, the bride’s timetable will run something like this:-



Have a shower or relaxing bath
Have a good breakfast
Polish your nails
Best man arrives to collect the luggage / greetings cards / telegrams.
The Bridesmaids / Pageboys arrive.
The Bride and Bridesmaids dress.
The photographer arrives.
The first car takes the mother and the bridesmaids to the church. The bridesmaids then wait in the church entrance.
The second car takes the bride and her father to the church.
Wait in church entrance and line bridesmaids up behind you. The verger will greet you.
The ceremony. GOOD LUCK

Wedding Etiquette - Graphical Header


The tradition and conventions of wedding etiquette will not suit everyone but is important to be aware of them. This explanation of who does what in the preparations and ceremony aims to enable you to make an informed decision on the best way to run your wedding day.

Wedding Dress Photo 1

The Bride

The bride traditionally selects the type of service. She oversees all the preparations, which include choosing the date, and the church, who her attendants will be, her own dress and accessories, as well as those of the bridesmaids. She will choose the flowers, help with the guest list and seating arrangements, and attend to the many small details which will contribute to her perfect day.

The Groom

The groom has to arrange transport for himself, the bride and the wedding party, as well as hiring the church and booking the honeymoon. However, this will be done with direction from his future wife. The groom chooses his best man and ushers, of which it is traditional to have three, and is conventionally given responsibility for little else! However, in reality, the bride and groom discuss most aspects of the day as it is, after all, ‘their’ wedding. At the reception, the groom will reply to the bride’s father’s speech, thanking the bride’s parents and guests, and proposing a toast to the bridesmaids.

The Best Man

Traditionally, the best man is responsible for his own dress, and that of the groom. He sees that transport to the church for them both is arranged, and also organises the ‘Stag Night’, preferably several days or even weeks in advance, if he is to successfully fulfil his duty of escorting the groom to the church on time. On the day, the best man has to ensure that the whole day runs smoothly, primarily ensuring safe keeping of rings. After the ceremony, he is responsible for transportation of all the guests to the reception. The best man will speak at the reception, replying to the groom’s toast to the bridesmaids, and will read out a few cards and telegrams from guests unable to attend. His final responsibility of the day is to ensure that the bride and groom leave the reception in good time, and that their transport is arranged.

The Chief Bridesmaid

The chief bridesmaid is chosen by the bride to assist her during the preparations. On the day itself, it is her job to make sure that all the other attendants are in their places. She will arrange the bride’s dress and veil when she arrives, ready for her entry into the church. During the service, she holds the bride’s bouquet. The chief bridesmaid also signs the register, along with the best man. She is then escorted by the best man, and will be on hand all day to assist the bride.


The ushers greet the guests as they arrive at the church. They will distribute the service sheets and show people to their seats. If it is raining they will help escort the guests and bridal party from their cars to the church under umbrellas.

The Bride’s Father

Much of the bride’s father’s responsibility lies with the financial aspect of the event, as traditionally, he pays the bulk of the costs. Nowadays, though, it is likely that the bride and groom will meet some of the expenses themselves and also a possibility that the groom’s family will make some contribution.

On the day, the bride will be accompanied to the church by her father, who will escort her up the aisle and give her away during the ceremony. The bride’s father will sit next to the bride on the top table during the wedding breakfast, and will make the first speech, in which he proposes a toast to the bride and groom.

The Bride’s Mother

The bride’s mother will help her daughter with the wedding arrangements and may have a major role in the decisions taken, especially if she is contributing financially. She will compile the guest list, in consultation with the groom and his parents. She may organise the sending of invitation, and the display of the wedding gifts.

The bride’s mother will not only stand proudly watching her daughter on this special day, but is there to oversee all the arrangements, as well as to stand in line to greet the guests, along with her husband.

The Groom’s Parents

There is no specific traditional role for the groom’s parents, but it is important that they do not feel neglected. Today, it is not unusual for the groom’s parents to make a considerable contribution to organisation and payment. It is only good manners, on the part of the bride, to ask their advice and approval, and ensure they are included as much as possible in the preparations.

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