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Wedding Etiquette 101

Dear Bride & Groom,

As I mentioned below, I will be doing a series of posts about proper wedding etiquette when it comes to the various roles of the bride, groom, friends and family of this major life changing event.This post is addressed to the bride's and groom's of the world.

Do not invite guests to your wedding just to receive gifts. I've had some brides and grooms say to me well, aren't guests supposed to pay for the wedding? Let me answer that quickly, no they are not. In other cultures in the world that is generally true and accepted but in America, you are inviting guests to your special day and the focus is not on receiving gifts but on what that day means to both of you and how you want to express that to others.

Do remember to invite close friends and all those important to you to your wedding parties and the big day. I know this may sound odd with me mentioning it but, there are instances where a family or friend may have been missed. Or you may think that it would not be a big deal to not invite them to a bridal shower or engagement party since they are coming to the wedding. But trust me, you want to avoid offending those close to you as much as possible. Before and after sending out invites, make sure you call/text and check to make sure all of the intended recipients have received them. It would be a shame to miss an invitation and hurt a loved one's feelings in the process. The best method is to check twice!

Do remember those that are helping to making your day special. Keeping a positive attitude and saying thank you goes a long way.

Avoid asking friends and family to take on various roles in the wedding that are meant for professionals. It's okay to ask for minor things like helping to pass out programs or guiding the crowd after the ceremony or helping to clean up after the event. But asking others to take photos, video, coordinate, provide food or DJ, etc is not a good idea for two reasons: If they are not certified or licensed in these areas and if you are unhappy with how things turned out or the quality of what was provided. There is no return policy when you hire friends. So you are stuck with the results. Two, that is a great burden and if you asking for these things as favors without compensation or gratuity, you are putting a great responsibility on those around you. The best thing to do is leave it to the professionals. There are affordable professionals that a wedding planner can help you locate in your area. If you don't have enough money to spend on these additional costs, then consider cutting down your guest count to cut costs or waiting to save enough money so that you can afford these services. And now more venues are requiring licensed or certified vendors in order to have your event at their location.

Do add elements to your wedding that will engage guests and make them feel apart of your special day.

Consider including children in the reception. "Adult only events" put strain on those who have children. Put yourself in the place of the parents, who may be coming from out of town and may not have someone to babysit their children. You can add elements like a kid's corner so that they will be entertained during the wedding.

Pay vendors on time. There is nothing worse for a vendor than providing a service for a couple and payment not being made on time.

Do work as much through familial relationships and problems BEFORE the wedding date. Lets face it, your spouse may not get along with your parents and vice versa. It is better to face these problems head on and work through them before the wedding to avoid stress and strain on the wedding day.

Do not invite more people than what you have to spend on the wedding budget. More people = more in wedding costs. It is not realistic to invite 500 people and have a budget of $5,000. It is almost impossible to do that. If you want quality, you will have to spend more. And nowadays, most wedding planners charge $5,000 just for servicing your wedding!

Do send thank you notes to your guests after the wedding. A handwritten message is much better than a spoken thank you when most of your guests have traveled, broughts gifts, took off work, etc for your special day.

I hope this helps all of you couples have a more enjoyable wedding season! It doesn't have to be stressful if you take an expert's advice.


Whitney B.

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