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Wedding Wednesday…The Etiquette

wedding festivities

April 6, 2011

One day, maybe I’ll write a weekly newspaper column about wedding etiquette and the in’s and out’s of being a good guest/bride/bridesmaid/etc, but until that day, I wanted to share some lessons I’ve learned these past 14 months that could just help some of you out…
{and by no means am I claiming to be the “end all” of etiquette, however, after being in a number of my friends’ weddings, attending countless shindigs, and now working through the final chapters of planning my own soiree, I think I may be able to offer some helpful advice/tips and tricks…hopefully}

Number 1: If you do not receive “and guest” on your wedding invitation, you shouldn’t be bringing a +1. Some people-myself included-are limited to the number of people they can invite to their weddings/rehearsals/showers/parties/etc. This is a delicate issue for some people, and the way I look at it for my own guest list planning was this…if you have a longtime significant other that we have met OR know personally, you get to bring them–the more the merrier! However, if you’re just wanting to bring a date so you don’t have to wedding crash, leave that for the afterparty please. This goes the same for children…if they aren’t included on the invitation, {inner envelope is where their names would be included} then it’s time to find a good babysitter for the festivities. Sorry to say, this isn’t a daycare party.

Number 2: They send you a Response Card for a reason. Contrary to popular belief, response cards and reply envelopes do matter ladies and gentlemen. To simply throw this away and show up is rude, and just plain mean. These friends/family/colleagues have invited you to their wedding for a reason, and you should extend the same kindness and send in your RSVP-by the due date. Factoring in a headcount for final food/alcohol/seating/etc is extremely important not to mention costly so please please please…send these back in a timely fashion!

Number 3: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. No offense, but wedding planning puts you in a bubble–an out-of-body experience where all you can dream about is flowers galore, feeding cake to your cute new hubby, dancing with all your friends to your favorite wedding band, and yes, the list goes on and on. If the person planning their wedding asks you for advice, by all means, don’t hold back and be truthful in your answers, but if you feel as though you should offer your two cents any time you get the opportunity, please refrain. We all have different tastes and each person’s wedding should reflect their personality, not your vision. Don’t rain on their parade!!

Number 4: The Registry Information. This pertinent info should ONLY be included on party and shower invitations and/or wedding websites, not the actual wedding invitation. It’s like you’re advertising your guests to bring gifts to your nuptuals–and that just sounds greedy.

Number 5: The People Who Can’t Arrive On Time. If you arrive at the church during the procession, you should wait until the bride has gone down the aisle before entering. Please don’t peek through the doors to watch because you’ll absolutely show up in her photos, which no doubt will make for an unhappy bride {not something anyone wants!} If you are late for the ceremony, you should walk down an outside aisle and find a seat quickly and quietly.

Number 6 {and this is the BIG one friends}: Unless you are THE bride, any shade of white OR ivory is off limits and completely inapprorpriate to wear to ANY wedding event. I have a feeling I may get some slack for this one, but it’s true… your friend/family member/other important person has most likely waited a long time to be a “vision in white” so please just simply leave it alone. People will notice and it won’t be pretty–trust me, I have seen it before with my own two eyes, and I couldn’t help but say ‘what was she thinking?’

So friends, we’re coming into the home stretch here…I can’t believe we only have 66 more days until we tie the knot! Last weekend, I was able to knockout a huge amount of my to-do list…ordered cocktail napkins with our custom monogram, finished and mailed all my thank-you notes for shower gifts {before the 10 day deadline!}, and ordered the groomsmen gifts. This week, I am putting the finishing touches on all the invitations–only 20 more to finish the calligraphy on, and then they will go out to our guests next week–OH SO EXCITED!!

This weekend, we’re headed to Knoxville for our couple’s shower, thrown by my two best friends and their husbands as well as my MOH’s parents…I cannot wait!! They all know how to throw a great party and Jeff and I can’t wait to see some old and new friends in our other home away from home city.

Happy Wednesday friends…I’m off to diffuse some not-so-great news I was delivered this morning. I think this may be a cupcake for lunch kinda day with the way it’s starting off–deep breaths, deep breaths! Love to you all 😉

  1. I definitely agree on not putting your registry on the invitations! We didn't even put it on our engagement invitations. It just seems greedy! Love these tips by the way!

  2. Jocelyn says:

    Ahh, all of these tips are so true! Yay for 66 days — it's coming up soo quickly!

  3. Tiff says:

    I agree with these so much! When I got married almost 6 years ago… We were having a SIT DOWN 6 course meal reception.. Do you not realize how hard it is to do a seating chart when people arent RSVPing or RSVPing and adding extra names along with theirs.. so tacky!

    Now, as far as the white thing.. I totally agree.. I even try to find out what colors the bride is using and stay clear of that too.. I mean, unless you are a bridesmaid or greeter, you have no reason to match the wedding party..

    However, for my own wedding I did it all in tones of offwhite and champagn.. So, my girls were sort of wearing a "white" tone.. but I loved it!! 🙂

  4. Amy says:

    I've recently started reading your blog and I love it! I totally agree with all of your wedding advice ESP. the RSVP cards. I sent those out and still had around 75 ppl just show up! We were planning for around 215 and had around 300+! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I was very irritated because the reception was JAM PACKED and uncomfortable for some. It is very rude not to RSVP esp when the return envelope has the adress written and a stamp on it. Wedding etiquette is so very important! Love the tips!

  5. Megan says:

    66 days!! that is great! I totally agree with all of this, especially the plus one thing and the response card. I have to have a exact number for my reception and if it comes down to it, if you don't reply, no food will be available and possibly no seats!! It may sound rude, but they won't know unless they have been in the same situation. I bet you feel this way too!

  6. I am in no way planning a wedding but considering i have 10 to attend before august I would say I have some experience. I agree with ALL of your points. In all honesty, they are all things I think about when attending a wedding event. Love it!

  7. Mindy says:

    Love all of these…I wish it were common knowledge to everybody!

    At my brother's wedding they invited one of my cousins, just him. He replied back as plus SEVEN! He thought it was okay to bring his three young children, girlfriend of the month and her three young children. We were all dumbfounded.

  8. Holly says:

    These are great!

    I'm dying laughing at Mindy's comment… That is too funny!

    I'm the MOH for ym best friend next month… Maybe you should do some tips for bridesmaids. We have one in our group that didn't attend any of the showers, hasn't picked up her dress, refused to buy the group shoe, and is complaining about the bachelorette party next month in Chicago. I wanna choke her! 🙂

  9. Oh my gosh so so true with all of these!

  10. I so totally agree with all of your points! Just sent out the 1st batch of invites and 2nd (and last!) batch will go out tomorrow. I'm nervous to see some of the response cards, and hoping that nobody "and guests" themself!

  11. Kayln says:

    I can't wait for you to post all your wedding pics!!! It's so soon 🙂

    And I was dying laughing about the "only the bride can wear white" tip. I've seen, on several occasions, the mother of the bride wear white to steal her daughter's thunder – sooo rude!

  12. Holmes says:

    You are right on sista. People's lack of knowledge on etiquette suprises me. The one that always shocks me is the attire of some of the guests!

  13. Carolyn says:

    GREAT tips!!! 🙂

  14. BeckyJo606 says:

    Your advice is so so true! We just had our wedding two weeks ago and I am not kidding when I say I wish I could've sent out all of these tips with our invitations!! 🙂

    Good luck in the final stages of your wedding planning–it's so fun! 🙂

  15. AMEN!!! I got a response card back for a family of 5 (all of whom were invited) saying that 11 of them were coming! I'm sorry, what?! I was pissed! I made my mom call them because I was not about to spend $34 for my 16 year old cousin's boyfriend of a week to eat. NO! No!

    I think you should add to that that high school kids do not get to bring a date!

  16. Sarah says:

    I TOTALLY agree with the white thing! It is amazing how many people do it too…I mean how do they not know this!?!?

  17. Emily Ann says:

    Great tips! I had someone wear a long off white dress to my wedding!!! Have a blast at your shower!

  18. Have a wonderful time at your shower!! I completely agree with you on EVERY tip you shared.

    Two people wore white to my wedding…seriously, I thought about punching them, but I figured on my wedding day, in my wedding dress, that wouldn't be so lady like. UGH! Still mad about this!

  19. melissa says:

    Amen! It's a shame that people do not understand these very simple rules. I've been to many weddings where women showed up in white/ivory and each time I am floored – who does that?!?! And I couldn't agree more on the registry information. Nothing tackier than opening a wedding invitation and the registry cards fall out.

    Other wedding ettiquette pet peeves – obnoxious bridezillas who take "it's my day" to a whole new level, cell phones that ring during a ceremony or reception, and mothers of the bride who dress like they think they're the bride (or 30 years younger than they are). Weddings sure bring out hte crazy in some people!

  20. Taylor B. says:

    You are so right about everything! The stories I could tell you about planning my wedding…

  21. Ashley says:

    I LOVE all your tips — I felt like this when I was planning our wedding. I wish I would have been blogging at that time lol
    Great post! You're getting so close!

  22. Laura J says:

    I'm having a rotten day. I noticed your tweet on the side sayind this could be a crying day? Absolutely. Thanks for reminding me of what to be thankful for!

  23. I LOVE #3- OMG the things you hear while planning one of the happiest day of your life! Too many peeps out there drinking the haterade! Thanks for sharing!!=)

  24. Kristen says:

    Oh #2 the dreaded Response cards.

    Not only did half of our guests not mail the pre-stamped little buggers back, BUT we even got a few that said that they were unsure if they were coming. HELLO..not an option, we sent the card to see if you are or are not coming, "maybe" is NOT an option! Com'mon!!

  25. Cait says:

    so true to everything girl and i'm not even ENGAGED ha but seriously- its YOUR wedding and planning it should be all about YOUR day with your man! xo

  26. LB says:

    I COMPLETELY agree with you on #6… no one else should be wearing white, just because it's a statement to be the one in white. I don't care if people think it's old fashioned, I think it's very respectful.

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