February 5, 2021
At Engaging Events, we are here to answer any questions that you may have about the wedding planning process! Some of the most common questions that come up during our planning meetings with clients are etiquette-related, and we’ve got the answers! As a luxury wedding planner, it’s important to know proper wedding etiquette, but in the end some etiquette decisions come down to personal preference. Always remember that etiquette is not a set of strict rules but rather your attempt at being considerate of others. Regardless, we’re here to guide you in the right direction to ensure that your special day is well received by all.
1. Who hosts the bridal shower?
Traditionally, the maid of honor hosts the bridal shower. However, these days many of us are thousands of miles apart. This sometimes results in more than one shower. Aunts, Moms and God Mothers host bridal showers quite often.
2. Who pays for things?
Traditionally the parents of the bride pay for the wedding and the parents of the groom pay for the rehearsal dinner. However, there are some additional expenses the groom’s family typically takes care of for the wedding: Officiant, Departure vehicle, Wedding night accommodations, the Bride’s bouquet, the boutineers, the Mothers and grandmothers flowers. There are also some regional customs as well: for example- in the north – the grooms family often pays for the bar expenses and/or the band; in the south sometimes the grooms family pays for the honeymoon. The best way to start the financial process is to talk to your parents and find out what their expectations are of their responsibilities. If they don’t know what is customary- then get your wedding planner’s input.
3. How do we word our wedding stationery?
We’ve written a whole blog post about this! Click here to check it out.
Your Save the Date announcement is NOT an invitation, so remember when addressing, that you don’t add “and guest.”
Invitations get mailed out 8 weeks before the wedding day for destination weddings, so that guests have enough time to make travel arrangements, if necessary. The “kindly reply by” date should be 3 – 4 weeks before the wedding date.
Your Save the Date should be mailed out 6 – 9 months before the wedding date, and should include the date, the city (don’t include the venue, that will be on the invitation), “invitation to follow,” and a link to your wedding website, if applicable. Remember, if you send a Save the Date to a guest, you HAVE to send them an invitation, so consider budget and personal preference when making your Save the Date address list!
Some things to consider when addressing Save the Dates and invitations: guests with titles such as Judge (the Honorable), Doctor, or military titles might appreciate their title included. When it comes to military titles especially, consider the guest on a personal level: how have they introduced themselves in the past? Have they ever sent you something in the mail that had their return address on it? How did they address themselves? Remember that some people want to be addressed as who they are, instead of as what they do! Take some time and consider their past preferences.
4. Do I send an invitation to someone who I know can’t attend?
There are people who you love and who you would love to have at your special day, but maybe it’s just not practical for them to attend. Just know that, in the end, your guests are adults and they will make the decision that they think is right. They’ll appreciate you thinking of them, and be honored to be invited! However, even if you think someone won’t be able to make it, ALWAYS plan for them to attend until you hear back otherwise.
5. How do I decide who gets a “plus one”?
Wedding etiquette requires that guests with spouses or long term partners are offered a plus one. As for your single guests, you’re welcome to offer a plus one if it fits into your budget and fits into the vision that you have of your day. Remember, that if you’ve been dreaming of a smaller, more intimate celebration, you shouldn’t feel pressured to offer a plus one to single guests “just because.”
6. Do we have to invite children of guests?
The short answer is “no.” Once again, you should make this decision with your partner based on what the two of you are comfortable with! If you’ve always imagined your bestie’s little one running around, be sure to invite them! If not, your friends and family will be happy to get a sitter and have a grown-up night out!
7. Do we have to create a wedding registry? We don’t want to seem selfish!
Creating a wedding registry is NOT selfish. If you don’t want to end up with three toasters, it’s a good idea to create a registry. It’s your special day, and your guests WANT to celebrate you by giving you a gift! Some guests will opt for cash gifts, and that’s always appreciated! If you still feel off about creating a registry, perhaps create a small one and then also offer an option to donate to your favorite charity, instead!
8. Can we ask for cash or an “adventure registry”?
Some couples prefer to ask for cash or donations toward a trip or experience; wedding etiquette says that’s okay! The only thing to consider is, just because you ask for cash, doesn’t mean you won’t get some physical gifts. If Grandma has treasured watching you open physical gifts ever since you were a kid, your wedding gift might come wrapped up with a bow, and that’s okay. Just remember to send thank you notes!
If any of these wedding etiquette tips have been helpful, let us know! There are so many facets to wedding etiquette, that we could write many more posts on the subject. If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers!
Direct Message us on Instagram, @engagingevents, with your wedding etiquette questions!