When it comes to wedding etiquette, many traditional standards still hold true. With weddings evolving over the years, however, some of the “rules” have evolved, too. I wanted to share some of the most common standards of wedding etiquette, including roles from guests to the happy couple.
Here are a few of the highlights when it comes to wedding etiquette:
What Do Guests Need to Know?
1. Attendance: Make sure you RSVP if you plan to attend the wedding, and do it by the deadline listed on the RSVP card. Only bring a guest if the invitation indicates you can. Also, show up to the ceremony on time. There is nothing more disruptive than guests bustling in after the ceremony has already begun!
2. Attire: Most people know that it’s generally not okay to wear white because it draws attention from the bride. Outside of the color, though, avoid other clothing qualities that could draw unwanted attention, such as really short skirts or low-cut tops, or clothes that are too casual or formal for the wedding’s theme.
3. Gifts: If you’re invited to the wedding, it’s considered proper etiquette to present a gift, whether or not you can attend. Either shop from the couple’s registry or give them cash to ensure you’re giving them something they can use.
4. Phones: Don’t block the aisle taking pictures with your phone during the ceremony, don’t share pictures before the couple allows it, and don’t spend your time tweeting or posting on Facebook. You’re there to enjoy the celebration, so put your phones away!
What Does the Couple Need to Know?
1. Guests: One of the hardest things couples have to do is narrow down their guest lists. Remember that the fewer guests there are, the further your budget will stretch, and the more time you’ll have to spend with each of them. Begin with immediate family and consider those people who matter the most to you as you make your list.
2. The 411. Be sure to give your guests as much information about your wedding as early as you can. They’ll need to know if they have to travel, buy special attire, take time off from work, and otherwise budget in order to attend.
3. Gifts: You’ll be receiving gifts (for which you’ll need to send thank-you notes), but you’ll also need to present gifts to your bridal party and possibly your parents or other people who have contributed to your wedding. Most of them will be outputting time and money to celebrate you, so it’s the least you can do to thank them.
What Do Parents of the Couple Need to Know?
1.Parents of the Bride
a. Budget: While tradition dictates that the parents of the bride pay for the wedding, that’s becoming less common. Parents of the bride should let the couple know from the beginning how much they can afford to contribute to their special day, and they shouldn’t dictate how it’s spent.
b. Attire: Fathers will likely wear a tuxedo or a suit, but it depends on what the groom chooses to wear. It’s customary for the Mother of the Bride to buy her dress after the bride has purchased hers and before the Mother of the Groom has purchased hers, though this tradition is starting to fade. Do your best to keep the bride’s wishes in mind.
c. Planning: It’s great if you make yourselves available to help the couple with their planning, but don’t be offended or irate if they don’t take your suggestions or do things the way you want. This is their wedding, so it should be done the way they envision.
2. Parents of the Groom
a. Attire: Fathers will likely wear a tuxedo or a suit, but it depends on what the groom chooses to wear. Mothers typically await a call from the bride or her mother before determining her wardrobe to ensure her attire fits the overall theme, level of formality, colors, etc. If you haven’t heard anything and the event is getting close, though, reach out to one of them.
b. Shower: The groom’s family can host a separate shower for the couple if they’d like. Just coordinate with the bridal party and/or the bride’s parents to make sure you’re not overlapping schedule-wise.
c. Rehearsal Dinner: It can be tempting to want everything done your way when it comes to planning the rehearsal dinner since you’re likely footing the bill, but remember that this isn’t your special day. Be sure to keep the couple’s interests at heart.
The bottom line is that as long as guests and family members respect the traditions and requests of the happy couple, and the couple treats the guests and family members with respect and gratitude, everything be just fine! There are many standards of etiquette when it comes to weddings. What are some you want to share?
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