Timeless Wedding Etiquette
(a 7 min read)
Weddings are exciting celebrations most people enjoy. Who doesn't enjoy a special ceremony where the bride and groom wed followed by a great party? Weddings can simple and elegant or lavish and over the top. There is plenty of room from simple to lavish to find the perfect level of extravagance for the bride and groom.
Over the years of weddings, there have been rules of etiquette to accompany the event in order to help bride and groom as well as guests. Let’s look at timeless wedding etiquette for everyone involved in the special day.
1. Wedding invitation style and wording provides an indication of the formality of the wedding.
2. Proper addressing of the invitation indicates who is and who isn’t invited to attend the wedding.
3. Dress code should be noted on the invitation.
4. Return an RSVP on time.
5. Unless specifically requested, a wedding gift is appropriate and necessary.
6. Put your phone down unless explicitly allowed.
7. Don’t be a distraction.
Wedding invitation style and wording provides an indication of the formality of the wedding. The bride and groom should pay attention to the wording of their invitation and what it reflects to guests. Formal wording and even font choice reflect a more formal and even fancy occasion. An invitation that is more playful will indicate a more casual event. If as bride and groom you select playful wording and a more casual design, but you prefer everyone to dress a certain way, make that clear in the invitation to avoid confusion for guests.
Proper addressing of the invitation indicates who is and who isn’t invited to attend the wedding. If a guest is permitted, be sure to include wording that indicates “+ one” or “plus one” so that single guests know a date is permitted. If no “plus one” is indicated, a guest should assume that a date is not allowed (and not ask). Keep in mind that at a reception, the bride and groom are paying a dollar amount per guest for food and beverage. As a result, they get to decide who is invited and who is not. It may be uncomfortable to attend an event solo, but is not impossible. Chances are guests will find one or two other people they know or can visit with and have an enjoyable time. Bride and groom should also indicate on the envelope or the reply card if children are included in the invitation. Wording like “The Smith Family” or “Mr. & Mrs. James Smith and children” indicates that the whole family is included in the invitation.
If you’re unsure, call to ask the bride or groom for clarification only. It’s not rude to ask for clarity. It would be rude to assume and show up with guests that weren’t expected.
Dress code should be noted on the invitation. Even if a formal invitation and wording are selected, take it one step further and clarify the dress code. A simple note of what attire is expected is polite and helpful to guests who plan to attend. Make it obvious what is preferred and even specify what is not.
Return an RSVP on time. It may not seem like a big deal to not RSVP for a wedding. In a guests mind they think they’re only one guest out of 100, so why bother? When the bride and groom invite people to their royal affair, they’re making plans and spending money based on the number of people invited and RSVP’d. If a guest doesn't return the RSVP card, it can make for difficult planning. Should they assume they’re attending or assume they’re not? Money is involved so it’s polite and respectful to send in your RSVP card. Once a commitment of attendance is made, honor it. Unless you are ill and contagious, you have committed to attending.
Bring a gift. Unless specifically requested, a wedding gift is appropriate and necessary. Most wedding registries include items at all price points. Select something within your budget to honor the wedding couple. A gift card or cash is less taboo than it used to be. Select a nice card and slip the gift card or money inside. If you have already attended a wedding shower prior to the wedding, a second gift is not necessary.
Put your phone down unless explicitly allowed. There was a time when disposable cameras at wedding guest tables were a fun way for guests to document their experience at the wedding. Now everyone will grab their own cell phone and get the shots they want. It is rude and a distraction to hold your phone up in the way of the paid photographer who is trying to capture the shots they are paid to get. How many times have you seen an image of the bride walking down the aisle and in the middle of the shot, someone is holding a cell phone? Everyone wants a picture with the bride. Save it for later at the reception and snap one at the appropriate time. Additionally, it is respectful to refrain from posting wedding photos until after the bride and groom have posted their own candid shots from the evening. Imagine it is your special day and people start posting photos of your wedding before you get to? Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Don't be a distraction. Even if there is an open bar, pace alcohol consumption to avoid being a distraction to the event. The wedding and reception party are for the bride and groom. Avoid drawing attention away from them with any unruly or reckless behavior.
At Royal Affairs Ballroom, we assist our clients every step of the way as they plan their special day. We execute gorgeous events with attention to detail so that our clients can plan the day of their dreams. Call us today at 972-221-6565 and let us assist you in planning your most special day.