Written By Special Events Contributor, Danyel Buie, Event Planner Extraordinaire
We know that summer is the season for weddings, so in this Summer Wedding Series, Danyel Buie will break down everything you need to know about etiquette and the do’s and dont’s of wedding planning to ensure your big day goes off without a hitch. Up next, wedding etiquette! To read Part 1 of this series on engagement, click HERE!
Here are a few basic tips to help you along in some key areas such as invitations, gifts and wedding guest relations:
- If children aren’t being invited to the wedding, there are some options to cover your bases. When addressing the invitation, it is acceptable to leave their names off it and not mention them in the invite. You can also indicate that your wedding is to be an adult event and indicate the number of seats that are being reserved in the guest’s name. Any children over the age of 16 that are invited to the wedding should receive their own personal invitation.
- If someone hasn’t responded to your invitation (ideally 1 week past the “Reply by” date), contact him/her and confirm their attendance over the phone.
- Be sure and send the parents of the Bride and Groom an invitation as a keepsake.
- Don’t forget the return postage on your RSVP cards!
- If you have been invited to a wedding, a gift is expected whether or not you plan to attend the ceremony.
- It is considered to be in bad form to put “cash only” gifts or any other wording meaning the same thing in an invitation.
- Contrary to popular belief, it is not customary to put registry information on your wedding invitation. This is usually left up to friends and family to inform everyone by word of mouth. However, you can add gift registry information as an insert in your bridal shower invitations. Another great way to get the word out is to create a personal wedding website (lots of great ones out there to choose from, and most are FREE!) where you can share this info along with tidbits about the wedding party and the wedding itself.
- Don’t feel obligated to purchase a gift from the registry. However, be sure that the gift you purchase is something they can both use. A decorative or practical gift for the couple’s home is always welcomed.
- Don’t assume that the couple knows you’re coming to their wedding. Think it well to send back the RSVP card by the designated “reply by” date.
- Guests are to pay for their own transportation, lodging and other accommodations.
- Dress for the wedding as the style of invitation suggests. If the couple has gone for sea shells and sand dollars, a long silk dress is out of the question. If the invitation is formally scripted and engraved, assume that khaki shorts and your favorite tee would be frowned upon.
- If you have declined a wedding invitation, you are not expected to send a gift.
- Attempt to arrive at the ceremony on time. If you are late during the wedding ceremony, it is best to walk down an outside aisle at the appropriate time and find a seat quickly and quietly. If you arrive during the procession, please wait until the Bride has gone down the aisle before entering. Also avoid the urge to peek through the doors to watch, there’s a chance you may end up in the background of her photos.
- Last but not least, if you weren’t invited with a guest, don’t show up with one. Nothing throws a budget (and a wedding planner) into a tailspin more than a few extra mouths to feed and seats to fill.
Best advice of all? Enjoy the special day with the lovely couple! Cheers!