5 Wedding Etiquette Pitfalls, and How to Avoid Them

What does wedding etiquette mean to you? Unfortunately, what it means to you may not be what it means to another person! Wedding etiquette is a tricky subject, and it takes care and skill ensure that your friends and family walk away from your wedding feeling that they have been treated with consideration and respect.

Always make it clear who is invited and who is not. The general “plus-one” rule is that you must allow married, engaged, and cohabiting couples to attend together, even if you have never met the significant other. From there you must decide if you will allow plus-ones to be for anyone in a relationship, anyone over 18, or for anyone of the guest”s choosing. The key is to be consistent.

Always include the ceremony location on your save-the-date cards. If you and your fiancee live in the same place you grew up, it may seem inconsequential, but having everyone ask you where the wedding will be located is not fun for you, and is irritating for them. Many people opt for a destination wedding, so guests will need location information before making a decision on whether they can attend or not.

Always feed the vendors who work your reception. A laborer is worthy of his reward, the Bible says, and your DJ/band, photographer, and videographer should be fed. Many vendors state this in their contract, but even if they do not, it is in poor taste to leave them hungry. Your venue may offer a deal on vendors meals, so check to see if yours does.

Always greet each guest personally. Whether you have an old-fashioned receiving line (which never goes out of style) or you choose to make the rounds to each table, do not neglect greeting and thanking your guests face-to-face.

Always send thank-you notes as soon as possible. While the saying “It is better late than never” is true, do not take advantage of the supposed “one year rule” of thank-you notes. And do not forget to send a thank-you for non-material gifts too, such as a guest who helped serve cake, or kept the children entertained, or helped clean up after the reception. As Peggy Post says, they “might not have a little blue box, but all of these gifts are just as sterling as Tiffany silver.”

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