Wedding etiquette can be tricky and complicated. Even if you think you’ve got all of your ducks in a row, the wedding professionals tell us it’s easy to overlook these less discussed — but still important — guidelines. Read more about wedding etiquette here.
You’re not including the wedding location on your save-the-date card. Even if you and your intended are from and are living still in the same town, there’s no guarantee that the wedding will take place in that same location. Destination wedding are becoming more and more popular. Read about some popular destination locations here. Avoid confusion by including the country or city and state on your save-the-date. There’s no need to put the actual venue on the card at this stage. Many of your guests will still have to travel and possibly book overnight accommodations so give them a heads up as a courtesy.
Your timing is less than convenient. As weddings have grown in cost, it’s not surprising that more couples are opting to get married on a Friday or Sunday rather than the more spendy Saturday. Destination weddings can save couples a lot of money, but the invite list will likely take a cut. That said, with Friday weddings, unless you’re choosing a destination venue, your guests need to take the day off work, leave work early, or skip your ceremony altogether. With Sunday weddings, unless it’s a holiday weekend, guests won’t be able to spend as much time as they’d like, and many will leave early to get a good night’s sleep before the work week begins again. If you choose Friday, start your ceremony later — maybe 7 or 8 p.m. And if you opt for Sunday, consider an afternoon ceremony with the reception ending by 9 or 10 p.m.
Who’s invited and who’s not. There is a lot to read about with regard to invitation etiquette. There are certain groups you generally can’t split when it comes to Save the Dates and invitations. There may be relatives that you see all the time and others not so much. You really should include all (or none) out of fairness. Regarding “plus ones,” the general rule is that couples who are married, engaged, or living together must be invited together, even if you haven’t met your friend’s significant other. After that, it gets a little less clear-cut. Some couples give a plus one to singles over 18. The exception is your bridal party members – if you can swing it, allow your single bridesmaids and groomsmen to invite dates if they choose to do so.
You’re sending an invitation to someone who already told you they can’t attend. After receiving your save-the-date, your friend tells you that she’s otherwise committed and can’t make it to your wedding. When it’s time to send your invitations, skip mailing one to this person. This rule confuses a lot of brides because you’re also not supposed to invite anyone to the engagement party or bridal shower who won’t be invited to the wedding.
You’re not feeding the band. Vendors who will be sticking around through your reception — band or DJ, photographer, and videographer will require feeding. Most vendors even state this in their contracts. Check if your venue offers a “vendor meal,” which typically cost about half as much as a guest’s dinner. Or you can sometimes provide subs, pizza, or another quick meal for your vendors. Ask them for their preferences beforehand. Also, encourage them to grab some food during the cocktail hour.
You’re not taking the time to greet each guest personally. As receiving lines have gone out of style, more and more couples visit each table during the reception instead. What you don’t know is that most couples never make it around to every table. Before you know it, it’s time to cut the cake and dash off to the honeymoon. Our advice: Have a receiving line, even if it feels outdated and takes away from photo time. And read about contemporary greeting practices here.
You have expectations for your gifts. We all secretly hope that we’ll receive those special and coveted items on our registries or that we’ll receive a significant amount of cash. Contrary to popular belief, wedding guests aren’t even required to give a gift. This means that you should not include registry information with your wedding invitation. You can, however, include it with your bridal shower invite, since the primary purpose of the event is to shower the bride with gifts! You can find some great suggestions for the best bridal registries here.
You’re skimping on bridal party gifts. Considering that the average bridesmaid spends around six hundred dollars between the dress, the bridal shower, the bachelorette, and attending the actual wedding, this isn’t a place where you should squeeze your budget. Plan on about $50-150 per bridesmaid if your budget allows. Also, don’t forget thank you gifts for your parents!
You’re using thank-you cards with pre-printed messages. Back in the 1950s, pre-printed thank-you cards were the norm. How and why did this change? Over the years, weddings have grown in size and cost; no longer do most of your guests live within walking distance to your venue. Guests are flying in from all over the world and spending quite a bit. Somewhere along the line, it was decided that guests deserve a more personal “thanks” for their time and effort spent on your behalf. Bear in mind, you don’t have a year to send out thank-you cards. You have three months, tops. And for gifts sent before the wedding, try to get your thank-you cards out within two weeks of receiving the gift.
Invitations by R Squared offers so many great choices for Save the Date cards, destination wedding invitations and more. Check back often to see what might come up on special and watch for our upcoming Give-Aways. Looking for an endless source of inspiration? Do fall by our Pinterest boards for a plethora of unique wedding ideas.