Etiquette still reigns supreme when it comes
to weddings. Even with modern-day twists on tradition, cultural shifts, and
couples “doing their thing,” there is still room for proper wedding planning
and respect towards everyone involved.
Did you know that there are actually etiquette
coaches out there who put on workshops to teach couples how to do everything
from plan a rehearsal dinner to properly addressing a wedding invitation? The
fact that this exists shows that future wedded couples take etiquette seriously
and want to make sure all is well.
But you don’t have to go to a fancy workshop
or hire an etiquette coach to get the details on what’s appropriate. I’ve
pulled together the top 10 wedding etiquette questions couples have, and you
can find the answers right here.
gets a plus one? Anyone who is married, engaged or
living together gets a plus one on the invite. Even if you can’t stand your
cousin Amy’s boyfriend of six months, it’s still appropriate to tack on that +1
in her wedding invitation. Any relationship less than six months is
questionable, so just use your judgment around the situation.
and how do we fire a member of the wedding party? You
definitely can say adios to a
bridesmaid or groomsmen, but do you really want to? This is tricky because
letting go of someone you’ve chosen to stand by your side during the wedding
planning process has the potential to end your friendship. Assess the situation
and use your best judgment. If possible, redistribute their duties to another
member of the wedding party before giving them the boot.
do we handle invitees who have not RSVPed? If it’s
past the RSVP date and you haven’t heard from so-and-so, contact them as soon
as possible to confirm their attendance. You can send them a casual email or
text (“Just checking in…hope you can make it…let me know by ____”), but
it’s better to call or get them in person so as not to have to wait around for
an answer. It’s up to you how long you’ll hold their spot.
4. Is it
okay to have an adults-only wedding? Although it would
probably be easier for guests with children to bring them along, it’s not
necessary to have a kid-friendly wedding to appease potential invitees. The
pros suggest only addressing your invitations with the adults’ names, but this
is quite subtle and may not get the point across. If you want to be more
direct, but polite, consider adding a simple note inside the invitation that
reads something like: “This invitation is extended to adults only,” or “Adult
wedding and reception.”
gets invited to the rehearsal dinner? If you’re
hosting a rehearsal dinner you’ll need to invite immediate family, members of
the wedding party (bridesmaids, groomsmen, maid of honor, etc.), and
it okay to have an unplugged wedding? Absolutely!
Whether it’s because you want people to be more present, for privacy reasons,
or because you don’t want to chance cell phone photobombs, asking guests to put
their devices away is acceptable. There are a number of ways you can politely
let your friends and family know that you’re having a phone and social
media-free wedding: let them know in the invite, display a sign at the wedding,
have your officiant make an announcement.
Related: How to Tell Your Wedding Guests to “Unplug”
we have to have a wedding registry or can we just ask for cash? The most important thing to remember about wedding registry etiquette
is that your registry should not be treated as a personal wish list. It’s more
about asking for items that you can use as a couple. But since people are
usually already living together before the wedding and have the essentials,
it’s okay to set up a different kind of registry. Consider a honey fund (cash
that goes towards a honeymoon) or home improvement registry.
do we handle inviting co-workers? You don’t have to
invite everyone in the office, but if there are certain people you would like
to extend an invitation to, treat them as you would a friend. Invite them
outside of work and mail invitations to their homes. To avoid people feeling
excluded, try to keep your wedding planning discussions to a minimal or outside
of the office.
9. How much should we tip the vendors? Tips should go towards non-contracted vendors, but it’s acceptable to distribute a small gift or cash tip to those you have signed a contract with. For a more detailed look at how much you should tip to each kind of vendor, read Bridal Guide’s cheat sheet for tipping wedding vendors.
When should we send thank-you notes and can they be digital? You have three months after the
wedding to send your handwritten thank-you note to guests. And yes, handwritten
trumps digital in the etiquette world. As etiquette expert Sharon Schweitzer
says, “Nothing expresses gratitude like a handwritten card. The ink on the
paper shows that you put everything aside to focus on writing this one letter
for this one special person.”
Related: Unique Ideas for Wedding Thank You Cards