Smart Start with Susan Southerland: What Everyone Should Know about Wedding Etiquette

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?

SusanSoutherland Getting engaged is such an exciting time. However, the exhilaration of saying “I will” can quickly be replaced by the overwhelming concerns surrounding planning a wedding.

I designed my Smart Start series to take the worry out of planning your wedding. Smart Start will be delivered to your inbox every week filled with tips on the business and the art sides of planning a wedding. It will break up your tasks into easy-to-accomplish segments so you can enjoy the planning process.

If you have questions or ideas, please don’t hesitate to email me at You may also find back issues of the Smart Start series by clicking HERE.


Wedding Planning: Three Reasons Why Vendor Relationships are Beneficial

Unless you wed at a venue with a list of preferred vendors that you are contracted to use, finding the right vendors to pull off your vision can be tricky. Instead of traveling all over God’s green Earth to interview countless wedding professionals, seek vendors in networking circles, as their relationships with one another will help make your planning that much easier. Once more, they’ll be happy to refer each other the business and maybe even extend a discount!

So you find a great wedding planner that you absolutely must use. The next step is asking them whom they recommend for the reaming aspects of your event, and here’s why:

1. Planners pick the vendors that best fit their clientele. Often juggling many vendors and coordinating multiple weddings at once, planners rely on their relationships with wedding professionals and trust that they will take care of his or her clients. To secure this mutually beneficial relationship, vendors invest their time and energy to get in with planners and have them serve as a referee by matching them with just the right couple. So know that the same amount of energy will be put into your event.

2. Vendors who have worked together in the past know how to compliment one another with décor and more, as they know each other’s styles. When it comes to making your vision a reality, they can communicate amongst themselves and bounce ideas off each other, rather than making you the middleman. You can be rest assured that the details will be taken care of.

3. Vendors help each other gain exposure and may pull in another wedding professional at no cost just to help them gain exposure/strong>. Sometimes, you’ll notice a decorator helping their friend, the florist, at a wedding. The trade off – both parties get to use the pictures to promote their businesses. And, going the extra mile to make the bride happy and hopefully get a positive review is worth their wile.

On the day of your “I Do,” you don’t want to turn into bridezilla because things aren’t getting done or issues arise. By seeking these vendors, you can relax and enjoy the experience of your wedding day knowing your team of professionals will ensure your vision is seamlessly brought to life.

Romantic Lake Club Wedding

Rachel and Justin
Gorgeous photos by Linczak Photography plus a stunning + stylish couple is what makes this Lake Club, Ohio, wedding simply breathtaking. The attire, decor and all the little details in between from Rachel and Justin’s intimate wedding is absolutely swoon-worthy. See more below!
[Read more...]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...