When it comes to weddings, everyone and their mother seems to have something to say. The rules and traditions you must follow. Things you just can’t possible exclude. Who to invite. What to serve. Receiving lines, bouquet tosses, garter belts, song choices, the list goes on and on and on. Now, I am usually the first one to tell you to throw the rule book out the window when it comes to planning your wedding. However, there are a few rules you need to keep in mind, as breaking these etiquette rules will have you in trouble.
These are in no particular order, so don’t feel like any one is more or less important than another. Mainly that drive me a bit crazy.
- Cash Bar. Would you ask people to pay for their drinks if they came to your house for dinner? I didn’t think so. So don’t do it at your wedding. Think about your wedding as a much larger (and more expensive) dinner at your house. Treat your guests like they are in your home. If your budget is tight, then think about cutting your guest list, not making those attending pay for part of the dinner.
- Gifts. Please don’t expect to get gifts. It’s not mandatory for guests to give the cost of their meal, despite what our culture has stated. Again, this goes back to my last point, if you are worried about budget, cut the guest list. Your wedding shouldn’t put you in debt, nor should you expect to make money from your guests. Receiving gifts is an added bonus! Now on the topic of gifts, let’s talk about all the pre-parties. If someone is invited say to two bridal showers, they are only expected to bring a gift to one. Just keep that one in mind.
- Invitations. It’s all in the wording, but you must include those partners that live together, even if they aren’t married. Also, do not print your registry information on your invitations. See above if you are confused why.
- Thank You Cards. These need to be out in a timely manner. The sooner the better really. Would you wait a year six months or a year for a thank you for doing something nice? No. Why should your guests. Hand written personalized notes are also much nicer. A generic printed caption shows that you didn’t really care what they gave you or that they attended. Writing out what they gave and how you appreciate it is a more intimate and genuine way to thank someone, even though it’s more time consuming.
There are more etiquette rules for sure, but these are the ones that make me cringe just a little when couples ask what to do. Just remember the golden rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. You know what you hate as a wedding guest. Don’t do that to your guests. Be kind and considerate.
Need help navigating etiquette with your wedding? Let’s chat on how I can help.