Hey All! Frugalbride posted this great article on Wedding Etiquette. Some of it is old school (which they readily admit), but it is really some great basics. Enjoy 🙂
What you are about to read are things to do and not to do at your wedding. Some of the information comes from professional etiquette guides and other information comes from what we’ve learned through the years. So if you want to pull this day off the PROPER way keep reading. If you don’t fancy etiquette rules, FB has given you a few suggestions.
If you don’t want children at your wedding, you have 2 options:
- When addressing your invitations, leave the children’s names off it and also don’t mention them in the invitation.
- Have friends and family pass the word around that you don’t want children there.
FB Says: How many people know or understand etiquette. In some cases you have to cut straight to the chase and say what you mean. We suggest adding one of these phrases to the bottom of your reply card:
- Adult Reception
- We hope that the (# of) of you will be able to join us
- (# of) seats have been reserved in your names
Other invitation stuff:
- If someone hasn’t responded to your invitation, 1 week past the “Reply by” date, call him or her and confirm over the phone.
- Children over the age of 16 get their own invitations. (FB thinks 18 is sufficient)
- Your officiant and their better half get an invitation
- Send your parents and wedding party invitations, as a keepsake. They don’t have to reply.
- You have to put return postage on your RSVP’s.
- It is considered rude to put “cash only gifts”, or other wording meaning the same thing on the invitation.
- You’re not supposed to put registry information on your wedding invitation. It’s left up to friends and family to inform everyone. However, you can put gift information on an insert in your bridal shower invitations. FB Says: If you have a personal wedding website with info for bridal party and guests (and gift registry info), you can include an insert with the link to your website in your wedding invitation.
- You’re not required to open your gifts at the reception or in front of anyone.
IF YOU CANCEL OR POSTPONE THE WEDDING
- You’re supposed to return the engagement ring (now that’s hilarious!!!)
- You have to send back all the gifts with a brief explanation why it was cancelled. (So don’t us
e anything until you say, “I do”.)
- It’s written that if a gift is engraved or personalized, you don’t have to return it.
- Don’t speak poorly of your ex because somewhere down the line you might get back together. (Darsi added this one all by herself.)
- You should inform out-of-town guests first so that they can change or cancel their travel and lodging arrangements.
- If you’re postponing your wedding, of course every guest has to be contacted. Etiquette pros say that you have to send another invitation with the new date.
WHEN IT’S THE BRIDE’S SECOND MARRIAGE
If you’ve been married before or have children it’s perfectly acceptable to wear white.
If you’ve been married before or have children you’re not supposed to wear a veil or have a train attached to your dress or carry orange blossoms. (Must be a sign of purity or virginity thing).
The second time around, your parents are not obligated to pay for anything.
If you get along with your ex-husband and his family and it’s fine with your fiancé, then it’s acceptable to invite them to the wedding. (why you’d want to is another story)
THE DREADED RECEPTION SEATING PLAN
- Don’t seat battling relatives together.
- So that everyone has a good time, seat teens together, aunts and uncles together, etc. Try seating groups either by their relationship to you or by their ages.
- As for the head table, the rule has changed so often that there isn’t one anymore. You and your better half can sit at a raised table with your wedding party below you. You can have your own table with a table on either side of you with your wedding party. You and your husband in the middle of a long table with men on one side and women on the other, or boy, girl, boy, girl. Parents and grandparents at the table or not, it’s up to you.
- Stick to table numbers. Famous couples, places you’ve been, etc., are hard to see from across the room. We’ve heard many complaints by guests at weddings, when they have to search for their tables.
- Reserved tables are all you need. Why put yourself through the extra work of having a reserved chair for each guest? It just gives people something else to complain about.
- It’s a good idea to have a “Reserved” card at the parents seats. They are the only ones that need preferred seating.
JUST A FEW RULES FOR THE GUESTS
- Don’t assume that the couple knows you’re coming to their wedding. You must send back your reply card before the “Reply by” date.
- If you have declined an invitation, you are not expected to send a gift.
- If you arrive at the church during the procession, you should wait until the bride has gone down the aisle before entering. Also, don’t peek through the doors to watch because you’ll be in her photos.
- If you are late for the ceremony, you should walk down an outside aisle and find a seat quickly and quietly.
- If you are of a different faith, you are not required to participate in the rituals, but if you want to that’s fine.
- You have to buy the couple a gift.
- The gift should be something that they can both use.
- If you have sent a wedding gift through the mail, then you don’t have to bring another one to the reception.
- It’s wise to give a cash gift to couples that are getting married out-of-town because they will have to ship everything back home and that’s an added cost to them.
- Many couples that have lived together for awhile will not register for gifts. That’s because they already have everything they need. In this case, cash in a wedding card is appropriate.
- Guests pay for their own transportation and lodgings.
OKAY, THE REALLY BIG QUESTION? WHO PAYS FOR WHAT?
- All Reception Costs
- Church Fees
- Groom’s Rings
- Flowers for Church, Bridesmaids and Reception
- Music for Ceremony
- Transportation for Bridal Party
- Gifts for Bridal Party
- Groom’s Gift
- Lodging for Bridesmaids, if necessary
- Your Attire
- The Shower
- If you’re from out-of-town, Transportation to the Town the wedding is in
- Gift for the Couple
The advice above is traditional. We realize that things have changed in the past 50 years.