Etiquette 101: weddings

As I mentioned last week, I believe that proper etiquette is something that’s important, but often overlooked. Being in my mid-twenties, I’m at a place in my life where a lot of my friends are getting married. That’s why I’ve decided to dedicate my first etiquette post to weddings.

Although wedding season for me has finally come to an end, as soon as the holidays are over, it’ll be gearing up all over again. So here are my top tips. Whether you’re the one walking down the aisle or sitting in a church pew, there’s something here for everyone.

For Guests:

  • If you are invited but cannot attend the wedding (or shower, engagement party, etc.) you are still obligated to send a gift.
  • RSVP on time! The bride will be stressed enough during the last few weeks before the big day, so don’t make her do more work by having to call you and ask whether you’ll be attending or not.
  • To go along with RSVPing…if there isn’t a “plus one” invite included on the invitation (and you definitely have a “plus one”), don’t ask to bring someone along. It may not be right, but it’s the bride and groom’s choice.
  • Dress appropriately. Sounds simple, right? After attending so many, I feel like this must be mentioned. And don’t wear white; that’s for the bride. And really, be on your best behavior. Table dances are not tolerated.

For the Bride & Groom:

  • As the bride and groom, sending hand-written thank-you cards to each wedding guest is a must. And don’t wait 3 months to do it either.
  • Make sure to greet every single person at your wedding and thank them for attending. If you have a guest list of 400, this may be difficult so if needed, split the duties between the bride, groom and their parents. (For smaller weddings, a receiving line works perfectly.)
  • DON’T ask guests to pay for your honeymoon or mortgage. Yes, this actually does happen. There is a reason why traditional wedding gifts include home goods like silverware, cutlery, place settings, kitchen items, etc. These items are needed to start a real home. A honeymoon? While nice, it’s not a necessity and it’s unfair to ask for that from your guests.
  • And lastly, remember that although planning a wedding takes a lot of time, money and energy, don’t’ forget that your guests (and especially your bridal party) spent a lot of time, money and energy on your wedding too.  Don’t forget how much effort they put into your big day.

*For even more tips on etiquette, check EmilyPost.com.

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