Etiquette: A Guide to Planning your Wedding

Posted on Feb 20 2019 - 9:00am by Samantha Clark
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We’ve previously touched on the expectations of guests attending a wedding but there are also a number of expectations that the bridal party should follow too.

We share some general etiquette tips to follow when preparing for your special day.

Invitations

wedding invite

When it comes to invitations there are certain protocols to be followed.

Never:

  • Do your invites through social media- you can always set up a page to allow guests to communicate nearer the time but even that is dicey; consider privacy and the lengthy communications you’ll have to deal with. Instead, set up a wedding website to help you manage the details
  • Outline gift requests on the invitation- this is actually uncouth. The way to let your gift requirements known is by word of mouth (when you’re asked) or you can add all other information pertaining to your wedding on a wedding website.

Do:

  • If you’re supplying an RSVP card, include postage so they can send it back. Otherwise, request other means for them to communicate this to you.
  • Be consistent- if they’re invited to your engagement party, hen party etc. they should be invited to the wedding.
  • Include the spouse or significant other of the person you’re inviting.
  • Be clear in your invite whether children are welcome, and whether guests have a plus one. The tone of your wedding should be set out in your invites. For lots of information, this can be added to your wedding website.

Paying for bridal party outfits

Bridesmaids

When you do a search on this one, the messages are mixed. Interestingly, when we ran a poll through our social channels the results determined that  78% think that the bride and groom to be should cover the cost.

For the most part, it is customary for the bridal party to pay for their own outfits.

But we think there are a few exceptions to this rule.

Remember, the role of the bridal party is to help the bride and groom with the planning of the wedding, the stag/hen parties/bridal showers and of course the actual day. Of course, it is an honour to be held in high esteem to the bride and groom but ultimately, they’re there to help your day go off without a hitch.

When should you have to pay?

If you’re wondering when you should pay for the bridal party outfits, we feel that any of the following circumstances would apply:

  • If you’re determining what they wear to fit in with your codes and guidelines. The chances are they would never wear it again so it’s something to be mindful of.
  • It’s hired: There is the argument that they would only be paying for an outfit anyway. However, in most cases, they’d have an outfit at home they could have worn instead- we can’t demand guests wear a new outfit. If you’re asking they hire something to fit in with a dress code, you should cover that cost.

Alternatively, you could off-set the cost of the outfits as a thank you gift, especially, as in most cases, they’ll be able to keep the outfit and accessories etc. Or you could ask the bridal party to contribute to the cost of their outfits.

Whatever you decide to do, make it very clear from the offset. This could well be a consideration for them if they want to accept or reject the offer of being involved in your bridal party.

Thank you’s

thank you note

Be sure to take the time to thank everyone involved in making your special day a dream come true:

At the wedding:

  • Give a special mention to family and close friends that have helped to execute your wedding in the speeches- give out gifts here if appropriate
  • Feed your vendors and suppliers. If you have people working with you throughout your day, it is customary to ensure a meal is prepared for them. If you would prefer they didn’t dine with your party, discuss with your venue about where they may be able to get a seat.

After the wedding:

  • Send out thank you notes to guests that gave gifts or made a special effort to be a part of your wedding promptly.
  • Shout about the amazing work your venue, vendors, suppliers and entertainers did. Do this via a written, personal review, a social media or Google review.

This is just a taste of some customs to be followed. Planning a wedding is a complex process and we’ll be sharing many suggestions to help make it a little clearer and easier for you. If you’ve any suggestions, we’d love to hear from you so be sure to give us a little comment below.

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