"If you think business and manners don’t mix, try talking with your mouth full.” - Diane Gottsman, Modern Manners & Etiquette Expert, Author, Media Resource

Wedding Etiquette 101 – Planning your Wedding

April 18th, 2017 by

Planning your big wedding day is no small feat. Between selecting the perfect invitation to finding the right vendors, the lists are endless. There are so many things to think about and so many questions to ask. Here are some expert etiquette tips on getting ready for your upcoming nuptials.

1.”Making” the guest list

Perhaps one of the most stressful parts of wedding planning is the guest list. Who to invite and who doesn’t make the final cut can be difficult, to say the least. Although many times the decision to not invite someone can come down to numbers, meaning money, it can get very personal. One thing to keep in mind is that it’s your special day. Sit down with your significant other and have an honest discussion on who is a “must” and who is a “maybe so.”

2. When do invitations go out?

For a traditional wedding, send out the invitations six to eight weeks before the ceremony. For a destination wedding, consider sending a “save-the-date” six months in advance for planning purposes. Send the invitation two to three months out from the actual wedding.

3. Shower guest list

You have had to be delicate on who you invite to your wedding because of the size of the venue. When creating your shower guest list, use your wedding list as a guide. You should not invite anyone to a wedding shower who is not included in the festivities on your big day. The exception may be: your office colleagues decide to throw you a surprise shower. Be gracious without feeling guilty for not inviting them to your wedding. Everyone understands!

4. Plus ones on the invitation

You hate to be the bearer of bad news and telling someone not to bring a date may not be on the top of your things to do list. However, if you’re on a tight budget, you will want to be upfront and honest with your guests. It’s all in how you address the envelope. If you don’t include “and guest” that should send a clear message that they are invited solo. If you omit the children’s name, it’s an indicator that the kids are not included, as well. As a guest, you should not call and ask if special allowances can be made.

5. Location, location, location

When deciding how to plan your ceremony and reception, you will want to keep travel logistics in mind. Make sure you are giving guests enough time to get from the ceremony to the reception. A small gap will allow you and your wedding party plenty of time for pictures while giving guests an opportunity to enjoy a cocktail before the reception kicks off.

6. Tips for Gifts

Everyone shops online for gifts and wedding gifts are no exception. An important part of planning your big day is making sure you have set up your registries. You’ll want to select items in a range of price points. The ease of online shopping allows guests to have items sent to you ahead of time, so they don’t have to worry about carrying boxes the day of. At the reception, have a gift table available at your ceremony, and include a special area for cards.

Crowd funding has become a trending fad. Be extra cautious when asking your invited guests for donations towards your honeymoon. Some people won’t care while others will be highly offended. For second weddings, a charity donation request in lieu of a gift is more palatable.

7. Can a guest wear white?

No, leave the ivory or white clothing at home. The bride needs to stand out and be the center of attention. Select a color that is flattering on you, including a beautiful black cocktail dress. As long as the outfit does not make you look as if you are attending a solemn occasion, such as a funeral.

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Categories: Wedding Etiquette