Who’s invited to your wedding? What should you wear to the wedding? When do you send thank-you cards after a wedding? How many people can be in the bridal party at one time? Are there any rules about what kind of food is served at weddings, or whether kids are allowed to attend? What type of music should I have playing during my ceremony and reception for guests who don’t know each other well but want to dance with others they’ve just met? These are all questions that come up before, during, and after a bride and groom’s big day. In this blog post we’ll address some common etiquette questions when it comes to weddings.
Wedding Guests and Plus Ones
You may be thinking, “it’s not really that big of a deal.” But in this situation it is. In order to have the best time with your friends and family, you must set some ground rules for who can bring dates or guests. Some people think they are cool enough to just show up without telling anyone beforehand but in reality those types never make good wedding guests. So decide what type of invitation party it will be–whether everyone can bring someone or they can’t-and stick with it!
When you’re talking to friends about the wedding, be upfront. If they can’t bring a plus one, let them know that either a) your budget is tight b) there’s not enough space at the venue and leave it at that.
Inviting People from Work
The guest list etiquette can be tricky. You don’t want to invite too many people, but you also don’t want a weird situation at work. It might be rude to only include some of them without inviting others at work who may get left out of all this wedding talk.
A big part of it will depend on how many people you work with. If it’s a small group, invite them all. If you work in a place with a ton of people, you can get away with not inviting everyone.
Inviting People that Invited you to Their Wedding
When someone gives you a gift, do you automatically feel like you need to return the favor? That’s totally normal and can be an issue with weddings. Do you have to invite people that invited you to their wedding? It really will depend on a few things. First, how big is your wedding compared to theirs? If they had a huge wedding and invited everyone but you are having a small wedding, you can get away with not inviting them. It will also depend on how long ago their wedding was and your current relationship with them. If their wedding was 10 years ago and you haven’t talked since, don’t worry about inviting them.
Everyone has a camera with them these days, and it seems like they want to take photos of everything, including your wedding. This is a big issue, and you can learn more about an unplugged wedding, but in general, make it clear what you want. Put out a sign and have the officiant make an announcement or you can even have a private conversation with the known offenders. In the end, you can’t control everyone, but most people will follow the rules.
Feeding Guests with Certain Dietary Restrictions
It seems like there are hundreds of different diets these days. Don’t worry if there might be some “picky” eaters among your guest list-they’ll probably have similar problems anywhere they go! I’m sure you want their needs taken care of as much as possible, so for most situations they just need information ahead of time. Tell them what you will be serving, so they can decide earlier if it will work or if something else needs to be done.
Serving Alcohol at your Wedding
Alcohol is one of those subjects that people have pretty strong opinions about. What if you don’t drink any alcohol? Does that mean you shouldn’t have it at the wedding? What if a relative is really against alcohol? Those are tough questions.
You want to make your guests feel as comfortable as possible, but you still want people to have a good time. If some people are against serving alcohol consider serving wine or beer instead of hard liquor. Wine is the safest bet for those who are not much into drinking but still would like their guests to have a good time!
It seems these days that there aren’t perfect rules and etiquette for everything. Things definitely will depend on your situation, but you can still use some of the tips. In the end when thinking about wedding etiquette, I suggest you put yourself in other people’s shoes. Ask yourself how you would feel. Do your best to treat everyone like you would want to be treated and you should be fine.