Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wedding Etiquette for the Bride and Groom [10 Tips]


Last week I wrote Ten Tips for Wedding Guests, but there are definitely some rules for the bride and groom, too!  Here are the top ten things we've tried to follow while wedding planning...


1. The Guest List: This is your wedding.  The usual questions to ask yourself when creating a guest list are: Is this person close family? Will it cause a problem I care about if I do not invite them? If you answered yes to either question, then you probably should invite them. 

2. "And Guest": Typically, "and guest" is reserved for couples that have been together for at least a year at the time when the invitations are sent.  There might be exceptions, but this is an easy way not to hurt feelings or have an out for that inevitable RSVP card that comes back with an "and guest." 

3. No RSVPers: If your venue or caterer tells you they need a final headcount by a certain date, make sure that you put your "RSVP by" date two weeks earlier than that.  You will have people that do not RSVP.  It is the job of the Mother of the Bride or Maid of Honor to call or write a hand-written note to these people, specifically stating that they have not yet received a response, and if they do not receive one by XX date, they will assume that you will not be attending the wedding.  You do not want unexpected people at your wedding!  

4. The Registry: Register with at least two places, for a wide variety of things, and at a variety of different prices.  People tend to buy what they want.  They will be set on one thing to give you, whether it's kitchen-related, for the bathroom, frames and wall hangings, or even candles, so give them a little of everything from which to choose.  I like this comprehensive list from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  Register for enough things and don't say, "well, I already have one of those."  It's time to upgrade and get matching things!  Finally, do not put where you're registered on your wedding invitation - it looks like you're asking for gifts.  These places will be on your shower invites as well as circulated by the bridal party and mothers.  

5. Showers and Engagement Parties: Don't invite anyone to either that you will not be inviting to the wedding.  Also, if you're having more than one shower, try not to invite the same people to more than one. 

6. Bridal Party Gifts: Even if you are trying to cut costs, it's very important to get your attendants, readers, and parents something.  It doesn't have to be extravagant!  It can be something for them to wear on your special day: jewelry, cuff links, or even a bottle of wine.  Make sure it includes a personalized "thank you" card because these people have put in a lot of time for your special day!

7. Receiving Line: I know the traditional receiving line outside the church isn't done too much anymore, but it is crucial that you thank every single guest for coming in person.  One of the following two things is absolutely necessary: a short receiving line with just bride, groom, and their parents outside the church or bride and groom going table to table during dinner.  You cannot just count on "running into people" at the bar or on the dance floor.

8. Meals for Vendors: You need to feed them!  Photographers, videographers, hair and makeup stylists [only if they're sticking around all day for touch ups], and the DJ or the band are with you all day and need to be fed.

9. Wedding Vendor Tips: I believe that you should tip everyone, whether or not you have a contract with them.  Obviously, if a tip is included in the price, you do not have to tip on top, but remember tips for: officiant, ceremony musicians, photographer, videographer, limo driver, DJ or band, and wedding planner.  I really like this list from The Knot with amount ideas.  Also, create the tip envelopes the night before and have the best man distribute them after the wedding so that it's one less thing for you to think about! 

10. Thank You Notes: Thank yous should be sent out as soon as possible after the wedding, but 3 months is the absolute latest.  Additionally, they should all be hand written with no pre-printed messages. 

Linking up for a couple of Wedding Wednesdays with Mary and Meredith&Jordon!

11 comments:

Kristin said...

I wrote our thank-you notes while we were moving into our house in Alaska, within 3 weeks of our wedding. My opinion is that if I could do it, anyone can!

Julie said...

I had to hound people for their RSVPs and man did people get mad at me for that. One of them was Keith's coworker and how was I supposed to know she was having marriage issues (only married 1 year) and she was jealous we were celebrating a happy time while she might be getting a divorce? I told Keith to tell her to just RSVP 2 and if the guy didn't show no biggie. Oh she was furious with me, and of course Keith is like in the middle...all over an RSVP!

I also think thank you notes are very important for everything. I dislike when I take my time, money and effort to celebrate someone and they don't say thank you. I have a few friends who don't think they need to write them but for sure will get mad at you if you don't gift them. They've both done it for wedding stuff and baby stuff.

Megan @ Chicago Girl said...

Great tips!

Rebecca Jo said...

THANK YOU for #8 - I can't tell you how many times people have not invited us for food or let us know there wasn't enough for us. I've gone a full day on sneaking 3 blocks of cheese before - not even joking!!!!

Sweet Love and Ginger said...

Rebecca Jo that drives me nuts, there should be more than enough food for everyone, and just in cases. I absolutely hate when people skimp out on something like that!

Also I think the guest list is a bit wide range, weddings these days are far from the simple affairs they used to be, and most people cannot afford to invite everyone. What I think is that there needs to be a system of set lines to help you sort out your guest list.

Nichole @ casadecrews.com said...

Great tips! Though don't forget to tip the wedding planner if you have one :) I have been to a few weddings now, and did not receive a card. People seem to not make the time, and that makes me so sad!

Jen said...

These are all great tips!!! :)

Mary said...

These are all great! We followed all except the in-person thanking part. The timeline got out of whack and we didn't have time left to go to every table. We tried our best but gosh that was tough!! Still working on my hand-written notes, but it will be done well before three months. I thought two months was etiquette, but if it's three then I'm doing great! haha

K. @ Life's an Adventure said...

Oh, the thank-yous! My husband and I got a thank-you note from his cousins *six months* after their wedding... at that point I was like "What did we get them again?" After our wedding I also made sure to send thank-yous to all of our vendors, especially since they all did an exceptional job and made our day super special.

My dad's family and my FIL's family are both huge, so we made a general rule of no parents' cousins to cut back on our guest list. My MIL's one cousin and his family were apparently so offended by this that they have stopped attending family events. Fortunately, the rest of the family seems kind of grateful about that. Oops!

Patty said...

Good list! Especially number 5 :p

Lisa { Showered With Design } said...

This is great! I just did a post about wedding etiquette recently, but not the bride and grooms point of view! Love this!

I wanted to let you know I am hosting a giveaway on my blog today and thought you'd be interested :)
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