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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wedding Etiquette Do's and Don'ts

What you are about to read are things to do and not to do at your wedding. Some of the information comes from professional etiquette guides and other information comes from what we've learned through the years. So if you want to pull this day off the PROPER way keep reading. If you don't fancy etiquette rules, FB has given you a few suggestions.


If you don't want children at your wedding, you have 2 options:

When addressing your invitations, leave the children's names off it and also don't mention them in the invitation.

Have friends and family pass the word around that you don't want children there.

How many people know or understand etiquette. In some cases you have to cut straight to the chase and say what you mean. We suggest adding one of these phrases to the bottom of your reply card:

Adult Reception

We hope that the (# of) of you will be able to join us

(# of) seats have been reserved in your names

Other invitation stuff:

If someone hasn't responded to your invitation, 1 week past the "Reply by" date, call him or her and confirm over the phone.

Children over the age of 16 get their own invitations.
Your officiant and their better half get an invitation

Send your parents and wedding party invitations, as a keepsake. They don't have to reply.

You have to put return postage on your RSVP's.



It is considered rude to put "cash only gifts", or other wording meaning the same thing on the invitation.

You're not supposed to put registry information on your wedding invitation. It's left up to friends and family to inform everyone. However, you can put gift information on an insert in your bridal shower invitations. FB Says: If you have a personal wedding website with info for bridal party and guests (and gift registry info), you can include an insert with the link to your website in your wedding invitation.

You're not required to open your gifts at the reception or in front of anyone.


You're supposed to return the engagement ring (now that's hilarious!!!)

You have to send back all the gifts with a brief explanation why it was cancelled. (So don't use anything until you say, "I do".)

It's written that if a gift is engraved or personalized, you don't have to return it.

Don't speak poorly of your ex because somewhere down the line you might get back together. (Darsi added this one all by herself.)

You should inform out-of-town guests first so that they can change or cancel their travel and lodging arrangements.

If you're postponing your wedding, of course every guest has to be contacted. Etiquette pros say that you have to send another invitation with the new date.


If you've been married before or have children it's perfectly acceptable to wear white.

If you've been married before or have children you're not supposed to wear a veil or have a train attached to your dress or carry orange blossoms. (Must be a sign of purity or virginity thing).

The second time around, your parents are not obligated to pay for anything.

If you get along with your ex-husband and his family and it's fine with your fiancé, then it's acceptable to invite them to the wedding. (why you'd want to is another story)



Don't seat battling relatives together.

So that everyone has a good time, seat teens together, aunts and uncles together, etc. Try seating groups either by their relationship to you or by their ages.

As for the head table, the rule has changed so often that there isn't one anymore. You and your better half can sit at a raised table with your wedding party below you. You can have your own table with a table on either side of you with your wedding party. You and your husband in the middle of a long table with men on one side and women on the other, or boy, girl, boy, girl. Parents and grandparents at the table or not, it's up to you.

Stick to table numbers. Famous couples, places you've been, etc., are hard to see from across the room. We've heard many complaints by guests at weddings, when they have to search for their tables.

Reserved tables are all you need. Why put yourself through the extra work of having a reserved chair for each guest? It just gives people something else to complain about.

It's a good idea to have a "Reserved" card at the parents seats. They are the only ones that need preferred seating.



Gloves give your wedding attire such an elegant look. You can take them off sometime before you put on your wedding ring and hand them to your maid of honour. She'll give them back to you at an appropriate time.  It's appropriate to wear your gloves in the receiving line and the first dance. When it comes time to eat and party, the gloves come off.


Don't assume that the couple knows you're coming to their wedding. You must send back your reply card before the "Reply by" date.

If you have declined an invitation, you are not expected to send a gift.

If you arrive at the church during the procession, you should wait until the bride has gone down the aisle before entering. Also, don't peek through the doors to watch because you'll be in her photos.

If you are late for the ceremony, you should walk down an outside aisle and find a seat quickly and quietly.

If you are of a different faith, you are not required to participate in the rituals, but if you want to that's fine.

You have to buy the couple a gift.

The gift should be something that they can both use.

If you have sent a wedding gift through the mail, then you don't have to bring another one to the reception.

It's wise to give a cash gift to couples that are getting married out-of-town because they will have to ship everything back home and that's an added cost to them.

Many couples that have lived together for awhile will not register for gifts. That's because they already have everything they need. In this case, cash in a wedding card is appropriate.

Guests pay for their own transportation and lodgings.


Bride's Family

All Reception Costs
Church Fees
Groom's Rings
Flowers for Church, Bridesmaids and Reception
Music for Ceremony
Transportation for Bridal Party
Gifts for Bridal Party
Groom's Gift
Lodging for Bridesmaids, if necessary

Bridal Party

Your Attire
The Shower
If you're from out-of-town, Transportation to the Town the wedding is in
Gift for the Couple
The advice above is traditional. We realize that things have changed in the past 50 years.

Groom's Family

Bride's Ring
Clergy Fees
Bride's Bouquet, Corsages and Boutonnieres
Rehearsal Dinner
Transportation for Groomsmen
Gifts for Groomsmen
Bride's Gift
Lodging for Groomsmen, if necessary


Your Attire
The Stag
If you're from out-of-town, Transportation to the Town the wedding is in
Gift for the Couple



1st Anniversary - Paper
2nd Anniversary - Cotton
3rd Anniversary - Leather
4th Anniversary - Linen
5th Anniversary - Wood
6th Anniversary - Iron
7th Anniversary - Copper or Brass
8th Anniversary - Bronze or Electrical Appliance
9th Anniversary - Pottery
10th Anniversary - Tin or Aluminium
11th Anniversary - Steel
12th Anniversary - Silk 13th Anniversary - Lace
14th Anniversary - Ivory
15th Anniversary - Crystal
20th Anniversary - China
25th Anniversary - Silver
30th Anniversary - Pearls
35th Anniversary - Coral or Jade
40th Anniversary - Rubies or Garnets
45th Anniversary - Sapphires
50th Anniversary - Gold
55th Anniversary - Emeralds
60th Anniversary - Diamonds

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