Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Beach Wedding Etiquette
Many couples choose beach weddings because they can still have a full ceremony in a more intimate and casual setting. Hosts should provide a few amenities to make guests comfortable, and guests should still uphold general wedding etiquette.

Attire

    Most beach weddings are somewhat casual, allowing for khakis, sandals and dress shirts for men and modest but sleeveless dresses or casual pant suits for women. Unlike an indoor wedding, it's often permissible for guests to wear hats and sunglasses if necessary.

During the Ceremony

    Beach wedding guests should do what is polite in an indoor wedding--such as stand when the bride walks down the aisle and wait for row dismissal if applicable.

Staying Cool

    Water and snacks are traditionally reserved for receptions, but if it is warm, the hosts should provide water to keep guests hydrated and comfortable. Guests should drink water and use a fan if necessary.

Timeframe

    Because beach weddings seem more casual and parking is more of an issue, some guests may arrive late. However, guests should strive to arrive on time.

General Advice

    When in doubt about beach wedding etiquette, guests should do what is proper at an indoor wedding ceremony.

    Monday, December 30, 2013


    Even though weddings are a very joyous occasion, the event can be very expensive as well. In order to make the wedding and surrounding rituals particularly enjoyable and to avoid awkwardness, it's important for all parties involved to adhere to wedding cost etiquette.

    Bride's Expenses

      Traditionally, the bride is responsible for purchasing the groom's wedding ring. She also buys a wedding gift for the groom that is presented to him on the day of the wedding. According to etiquette, the bride should also purchase gifts for her bridesmaids as a token of appreciation. Some brides also purchase their own wedding dresses and accessories, but this has historically been the responsibility of the bride's family, particularly her parents.

    Groom's Expenses

      The groom pays for the bride's engagement and wedding rings and buys her bouquet. It is tradition for him to purchase the marriage license as well. He is also responsible for paying the wedding officiant and buying gifts for his groomsmen. Grooms also purchase their own boutonnieres, as well as the boutonnieres for the groomsmen and ushers. Corsages for the mothers of the bride and groom are also handled by the groom, as well as small gifts for the ushers.

    Parents of the Bride

      Wedding invitations and announcements, as well as the programs for the ceremony, are paid for by the bride's parents. The parents of the bride traditionally cover the cost of the wedding location and hire the musicians who will lend their talents to the ceremony. The mother and father of the bride also rent the reception space and buy the flowers and additional decorations for the wedding reception. The bride's family is responsible for purchasing the bouquets or flowers for the bridesmaids as well.

    Parents of the Groom

      The groom's mother and father take care of the costs associated with the wedding rehearsal dinner, including the dinner location (if at a restaurant or banquet hall), food and beverages. The parents of the groom also pay for the groom's cake, which is a small cake of the groom's choice that is served at the wedding reception. In some cases, the groom's family will partner with the bride's parents to take care of additional wedding expenses, such as rented wedding altars or reception catering services.

    Wedding Party

      The bridesmaids are expected to pay for their dresses, shoes and accessories, and groomsmen are responsible for purchasing or renting their own formal wear. The bridesmaids pay for the bride's bachelorette party, and the groomsmen cover the expenses for the groom's bachelor party. Ushers purchase their own formal attire for the wedding; if there are children in the wedding party (i.e. flower girls, miniature bride and groom, ring bearer), the parents of the children purchase all necessary clothing and accessories for their children.

      Sunday, December 29, 2013


      Wedding Showers Etiquette

      According to Emily Post, the wedding shower tradition dates back to an 18th century bride whose father did not like her choice of husband and refused to give her a dowry. The citizens of the groom's town, grateful for his unusual generosity, joined together and "showered" the bride with their own assets, creating enough of a dowry to make the marriage possible. The wedding shower tradition has evolved and, over time, certain etiquette rules have become standard.

      Hosting

        The bride's maid of honor is the customary hostess for a wedding shower, but any bridesmaid, friend of the bride's mother, friend of the groom's mother or distant relative of the bride is an appropriate hostess. Traditionally, members of the bride's immediate family do not host a wedding shower to avoid the appearance of requesting gifts on the bride's behalf. Members of the bride's family can help to organize the shower, but their names should not appear on the shower invitation. This logic extends, to a lesser degree, to members of the groom's family because the groom will also be using the gifts the bride receives at the shower. Etiquette rules dictate that a bride should not, under any circumstances, throw a shower for herself because she will be seen as merely asking for gifts.
        According to theknot.com, involvement of the bride's family is becoming increasingly acceptable because geographical distance among members of the bride's wedding party may make planning (or even attending) pre-wedding events impractical.

      Themes

        Emily Post notes that a wedding shower theme is not necessary; rather, a shower simply celebrates the upcoming marriage of the couple. Customary wedding shower themes, however, often center on the gifts guests bring to the shower, such as a lingerie shower, spa shower or a kitchen shower.
        Wedding showers involving both the bride and the groom, often called "Jack and Jill" showers, are becoming more common. Themes for couples' showers should appeal to both genders, such as a "stock the bar" party or a tools and gadgets shower. Couples' showers have no strict rules, so an informal barbecue or a cocktail party is also appropriate.

      Traditions

        Wedding showers, like weddings, are laced with traditions. Strictly speaking, grooms do not attend wedding showers. However, one typical wedding shower tradition is for the groom to appear, with flowers, just before the bride opens the gifts. Other traditions include making a bouquet out of the ribbons and bows from shower gifts for the bride to use at the wedding rehearsal and collecting items for the bride's "something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue."

      Guests

        Etiquette rules, in general, focus on avoiding the appearance of fishing for gifts. Accordingly, only guests invited to the wedding should be invited to a shower. Emily Post notes one exception to this rule--not all guests at a workplace shower need to be invited to the wedding.
        It is customary for the mother of the groom, and any sisters of either the bride or the groom, to be invited to all wedding showers, but inviting every female who is invited to the wedding is not necessary. According to Brides.com, sending invitations to guests who cannot attend the shower is not rude (but, rather, a nice gesture).

      Gifts

        Gifts are a focal point of a wedding shower. According to Martha Stewart Weddings, including the couple's registry information on the shower invitation is acceptable. The bride should open all shower gifts at the shower, and etiquette rules dictate that the bride should send handwritten thank you notes to each gift-giver (even if the bride thanked the gift-giver in person) and to the shower hostess. Guests should not be asked to address their own thank-you notes.
        If multiple showers are thrown for the bride, guests attending more than one shower need only give one gift. Also, a hostess does not need to give the bride a gift (the shower is a gift by itself), and it is appropriate for the bride to thank the hostess for throwing the shower while opening her gifts. Finally, a guest who cannot attend a shower should not feel obligated to send a gift.

        Saturday, December 28, 2013


        Wedding Glove Etiquette

        Your wedding is the perfect time for you to sheath your hands in a pair of attractive and elegant wedding gloves. Bridal gloves not only give you the right amount of charm, grace and elegance but they also make your hands look even more attractive. There are numerous varieties of bridal gloves for you to choose from. The market offers a wide range of wedding gloves in stunning designs, styles, patterns and colors. Selecting the perfect pair of wedding gloves is as important as practicing wedding glove etiquette.

        The Style

          Long gloves go well with sleeveless wedding gowns, while short gloves can be worn with long as well as short sleeves. Normally, the traditional color for bridal gloves is white, but your wedding gloves need not necessarily be white. Colored gloves can also be worn if they complement or match your wedding attire. It is also important to ensure that your wedding gloves match your wedding attire in terms of fabric as well as texture.

        Basic Etiquette

          Wedding glove etiquette is an essential part of culture and tradition. You must keep your gloves on while you are greeting guests, dancing or posing for photographs. Jewelry should never be worn over your gloves with the exception of bracelets, which are specifically designed to be worn over wedding gloves. One of the cardinal rules about wedding glove etiquette is to take off your gloves while eating. You would not want to get them soiled and stained with food or drink.

        The Wedding Ceremony

          Tradition demands that you should wear gloves during the entire wedding ceremony, though you will find that this can be a bit cumbersome. If you are wearing short gloves, you could remove them and give them to your attendant or bridesmaid just before you exchange rings. However, if you are wearing long elbow-length gloves, it would be very difficult and embarrassing to remove them in front of the whole wedding gathering. One alternative is to opt for fingerless gloves, which cover just the arms and hand, but stop at the fingers. You may also opt for ring finger wedding gloves, which have a slit on the ring finger that allows you to slide the ring finger out just before exchanging rings.

        Practicing

          You do not want to look awkward while struggling to take your gloves off, so keep practicing everyday until you are able to take your gloves off your hand in a swift, graceful and neat stroke. Even if you opt for a wedding glove with a slit on the ring finger, you would still need to remove your gloves during eating.

        The Reception Party

          You should continue wearing your gloves even after the wedding, until the reception party is over. Remember, unlike men, women should never remove their gloves when shaking hands and greeting guests. An important aspect of wedding glove etiquette is that the bride continues to wear her wedding gloves during dancing at the wedding reception. It adds an element of grace and elegance to your poise if you dance with your gloves on.

          Friday, December 27, 2013


          Japanese Wedding Etiquette

          Japanese weddings are rich with tradition. Many people of Japanese descent have chosen to combine both American and Japanese traditions so as to have a ceremony that reflects both cultures. When working in the traditional realm of Japanese, there is much symbolism to be incorporated.

          Ceremony

            Most Japanese ceremonies take place in Shinto Shrines. This is a shrine built to protect sacred objects, not for worship. It is thought to protect the marriage by the ceremony taking place there. The bride is painted pure white from head to toe to declare her maiden status to the gods. The bride also wears a white kimono and ornate headpiece decorated with ornaments inviting good luck to the couple. A white hood is attached to wear like a veil in order to hide her "horns of jealousy," which of course do not really exist, from her future mother-in-law. In the fabled version there would be actual horns growing out of her head, as in the phrase "turning green with envy."
            Sake is also a part of the ceremony. The end is marked by the sharing of the drink from flat cups stacked on top of each other. Both the bride and groom take sips from each cup and then offer it to the families.

          Guest Etiquette

            Etiquette for the guests of the wedding include how they sit during the ceremony. The families face each other, not the couple, as they get married. During the reception, the guests take part in games, skits and karaoke. Another tradition is that of the festive envelope bearing money, presented to the bride and groom either before or after the ceremony by each of the guests.

          Honoring the Parents

            Usually during the wedding or reception, the couple will take time to honor their parents. The acknowledgment can be as simple as a bouquet of flowers or toast. Sometimes the bride and groom will opt to deliver a personal letter of love and thanks to the parents of both sides.

          Reception

            At the reception, the bride will arrive in a brightly colored kimono, usually red. Each part of the meal at the reception is symbolic, wishing the couple different things in their marriage such as happiness, prosperity and long life. Lobster is often served because of the red color, which means luck. The number of courses never equals a multiple of four, as the word for four is too close in sound to the word for death.

          Symbolism

            The white of the wedding kimono represents both a new beginning and an end as the daughter "dies" as her father's daughter. She is then reborn as a member of her husband's family. The red kimono is the end of her unmarried life. These types of garments are typically worn by young, unmarried women and this will be the last time she wears such a bright, patterned kimono. The color purple is the color of love in Japan, thereby making irises a favored flower.
            Another symbolic tradition is that of folding 1,001 gold origami cranes. These are meant to bring good luck, good fortune, longevity, fidelity and peace to the marriage. The bride and her family do the folding the night before the wedding.

            Thursday, December 26, 2013


            Wedding Etiquette for the Mother of the Bride

            If your daughter is getting married, youre probably wondering about your role. A daughters wedding is a very exciting time in a moms life, but it can also be stressful with all of the many details to think about, and the politics of planning an event with family. Many mothers need a little bit of guidance at some point during the process.

            Attire

              If your family is very traditional, you might want to follow the mother of the bride custom of outfit picking. Traditionally, the mother of the bride chooses her outfit first, then informs the mother of the groom of her choice. This is not often done nowadays, but it is always a good idea to communicate with the mother of your soon-to-be son-in-law before the wedding. It is also always wise to simply ask your daughter about her thoughts regarding your attire. She may have very specific ideas about what she wants you to wear.

            Colors

              It is traditional to avoid white, cream, champagne and ecru so that your outfit doesnt compete with your daughter's. Additionally, black and red are usually frowned upon as slightly inappropriate color choices, according to the website The Knot. That said, it is always possible to buck the trend with just the right outfit. If you are particularly fashion-conscious, you may want to experiment. Just be sure to run your choices by your daughter.

            Budget

              Tradition states that the brides family should be the one to pay for the wedding. Just as with many marriage traditions, this rule is not hard and fast. These days it is common for both sides of the family to contribute financially to weddings. When your daughter starts the process of planning the wedding, sit down with her and discuss how much you are able and willing to contribute. This will help her figure out how much she needs from other family members and how much she will need to contribute herself, according to the website Our Marriage.

            Responsibilities

              Your number one responsibility as the mother of the bride is to make the wedding planning as easy as you can for your daughter. Planning a wedding can be a complex, stressful and difficult process with some pretty high stakes. Be willing to do the busy work, like assembling favors and organizing guest lists, and offer to take one or two parts of the planning entirely on your shoulders, like the flowers or music (with your daughter's input, of course). Try to make yourself as available as possible to help out and remember: Whatever stress you feel, your daughter feels more.

            Getting Ready

              One of the most cherished parts of a wedding for the mother of the bride is the getting ready. It is a good idea to prepare for this by figuring out where it will take place, according to Cheap Chic Weddings. If your daughters wedding is in a hotel, book a large room so you have plenty of space. If the wedding is outdoors, make sure you have an indoor space with plenty of mirrors ready to go.

              Tuesday, December 24, 2013


              Wedding etiquette is complicated enough during the most traditional of circumstances. Add parents who are exes, stepparents and battling checkbooks, and this special occasion can soon become a recipe for disaster. In order to avoid chaos, it is important to understand etiquette and most importantly for everyone involved in the wedding process to enjoy the celebration and play nice.

              Invitations

                Deciding what to write on wedding invitations can be a tricky decision when parents are divorced. According to mymarriage.com, if both parents are financially contributing to the wedding, it is customary for both names to be on the invitations, even if both sides are not contributing equally. If neither parent is paying for the big day, it is perfectly acceptable to send invitations announcing the marriage without including either family's name.

              Seating

                Knowing where to sit at a child's wedding after a divorce is a common issue. If both parents are single, it is a good sign of camaraderie to sit together in the first row. This shows that both parents wish their child happiness and success, says bridalguide.com. If one party is remarried, it is normally proper for the mother and her guest to sit in the first row and the father and his escort to sit behind them in the second row.

              Down the Aisle

                Although walking a child down the aisle is often a rite of passage for the biological father, it is still a decision the bride ultimately makes. If she prefers a step-parent to escort her, biological parents should respect that decision, says ourmarriage.com. With traditional rules being abandoned in favor of comfort, it is now customary for a bride to choose to walk down the aisle however she prefers; either alone, with her groom, with both biological parents or with a special friend.

              Stepparents

                Stepparents can feel awkward at their stepchildren's weddings. They may feel unsure of what role to play or question if they should even be present. Other stepparents who have played more active roles in their children's lives may feel resentful that a biological parent is receiving all the attention and credit. Stepparents should be respectful toward biological parents during ceremonies, says mywedding.com, but they should also know they have a right to attend these functions and should feel comfortable doing so.

              Payment

                With many couples waiting longer and longer to marry, it is becoming less important for their families to pay for their weddings. When children are older and have the financial means to pay for their own weddings, parents and stepparents can offer whatever financial support they desire. However, when the financial obligation falls on the parents, it is customary for all parties paying for the wedding to negotiate what they feel is fair. Bridalguide.com stresses that wedding contributions should not be made to make oneself appear better or to belittle another party. All resources should be provided with grace, including the nonfinancial ones like support, help with decision making and attendance.
                Weddings & Divorce Etiquette
                The purpose of etiquette is to create codes of behavior that enable people to know what to do and say in social situations. Among social situations, weddings can sometimes be difficult when there are divorced family members involved. It might not be possible to please everyone, but by following some basic guidelines of wedding etiquette for divorced family members it is possible to make appropriate decisions that avoid offending anyone.

                Wedding Invitations

                  The wedding invitations are the responsibility of those who are hosting the wedding, and this is traditionally the bride's parents. A wedding invitation typically reads: "John and Jane Doe invite you to the celebration of marriage between their daughter..." If John and Jane Doe are no longer married but are still hosting the wedding, their names are listed separately: "John Doe and Jane Doe invite you ..." If the parents are remarried, their names and the names of their respective spouses are listed separately: "Jane and Bob Smith and John and Cindy Doe invite you..." The wording should be similar for the groom. The final decision about how to word the invitations should be based on who is hosting the wedding.

                Seating Arrangements

                  In the case of divorced parents, the bride's and groom's mothers should be seated in the front pews. If they are remarried, their spouses should be seated with them. The fathers and their new spouses should be seated in the second row during the ceremony. If the divorced parents are comfortable sitting together, it is also appropriate to seat them and any new spouses in the front row together. During the reception, the bride's parents (and any respective spouses) should be seated next to her--with whatever arrangements the families find most comfortable--and similarly with the groom's parents.

                Walking Down the Aisle

                  Typically, the bride's father walks her down the aisle during the ceremony. If the bride is closer to a stepfather, or if the stepfather assumed the responsibility of raising the bride, the bride may ask her stepfather to walk her down the aisle, although the bride should discuss this with her father to avoid offending him. In some cases, the bride may have both her father and her stepfather walk her down the aisle.

                Photographs

                  The bride and groom should discuss photographs in advance with their families to ensure that no complications arise when the big day arrives. There is no required etiquette for wedding photographs, although tradition indicates that the bride's family should be photographed next to her and the groom's family next to him. How the bride's and groom's families choose to arrange themselves--and whether divorced parents are willing to be photographed together--is up to them and their situation.

                Toasts and Dances

                  The bride's father is traditionally invited to offer a speech, although this might be a challenge if the bride's parents are divorced. If the bride's mother is uncomfortable with being included in the toast, she may offer a toast of her own, or the bride's stepfather may offer a toast. A parents' dance is also a tradition during a reception, although this may be eliminated if it makes the parents uncomfortable. The bride and groom should inform the DJ in advance about the marriages to avoid awkwardness when the parents are announced.

                  Monday, December 23, 2013

                  Once the wedding and honeymoon are over, there is still one wedding task that must be attended to. The thank you cards must be sent out to every person that graciously sent you a gift for your showers, parties and the actual wedding itself. There are some myths out there on proper etiquette for wedding thank you cards that should be avoided so you don't seem ill-mannered or disrespectful.

                  Time Frame for Sending Thank You Cards

                    Any gifts received for the engagement party or bridal shower should have thank you cards sent within 1 to 2 weeks. Every other aspect of these thank you notes follows the same guidelines as the actual wedding gifts. Gifts that are received before the wedding should be acknowledged immediately. Send out the thank you cards for these gifts within 2 to 5 days of receiving the gift.
                    For gifts that you receive on the day of your wedding, the thank you cards should be sent out within 2 to 4 weeks of returning home from your honeymoon. If you have a large number of thank you's to wriite, try writing 10 percent of them each day for 10 days. That way, you'll be able to send them all out within the proper time frame and it won't be such a burden, like writing 100 thank you cards at once.

                  The Actual Thank You Cards

                    Preprinted, generic thank you cards must never be sent for wedding gifts. Each card should be written entirely by hand. This also means verbal thank you's are not enough. Emails and websites or blog posts are not proper either. Many invitation companies offer thank you cards with the invitations. While it is not required that the cards match your invitations, it does keep things simpler and cleaner looking.
                    While colored ink is available and interesting, black or dark blue ink is the best to use for wedding thank you cards. It looks more elegant and is usually easier on the eyes. Address and stamp the envelopes by hand, just as you did the actual invitations. These little personal details on each thank you card let your guests know that their time and generosity are truly appreciated. Make sure you add your return address, especially if your address has changed since the wedding.
                    While certain timelines are deemed appropriate, go ahead and send out your thank you cards even if you're late. It is better to receive a late thank you card than none at all.

                  Wording for Thank You Cards

                    Thank you cards should be addressed in a formal manner for people you aren't very close to, such as "Dear Mr. and Mrs. Jones," for married couples; or "Dear Ms. Smith" for a single person. For close family or friends, "Dearest Aunt June" is fine.
                    In the body of your card, use the words "I" and "we" as little as possible, and try to focus all of the attention on the recipient. Also, mention the gift that was given and what it will be used for. In the event you don't like it or intend to exchange it, never mention that. If the person also attended your wedding, be sure to mention that you appreciate and enjoyed their attendance. For example, if you enjoy the gift, you could write:
                    "Dear Mr. and Mrs. Jones,
                    Thank you so much for the silverware. It looks so lovely at our place settings. Each time we entertain guests, you will be thought of. Thank you for celebrating our special day with us.
                    Sincerely,
                    Jon and Jane Smith"
                    For a gift that you don't particularly care for, you could write:
                    "Dear Mr. Peters,
                    Thank you so much for the stemware. Each time we use it you will be thought of. Thank you for taking part in our special day.
                    Sincerely,
                    Jon and Jane Smith"
                    For monetary gifts, whether it is in the form of cash, checks, savings deposits or donations, you should always thank the gift giver. Refrain from using the terms money or checks, and it is better to stay away from mentioning dollar amounts. Instead, write something like:
                    "Dearest Uncle Joe and Aunt Doris,
                    Thank you so much for your generous gift. That helps us get much closer to our savings goal for a down payment on a new house. We'll be sure to invite you to the house warming. Thank you for celebrating our wedding with us.
                    Love Always,
                    Jon and Jane Smith"
                    For anyone you receive multiple gifts from, send a separate thank you card for each gift. Acknowledge other family members in the body of your card if more than just the couple was involved or attended your wedding. Even if someone didn't give you a gift, you should graciously thank them for attending your wedding.

                  Who Should Receive Thank You Cards

                    Anyone that sent you a gift should obviously receive a thank you card. However, there are quite a few others that can be overlooked but really deserve to know they are appreciated. Your parents, or anyone who helped to plan and host your wedding should get a card of gratitude. Anyone who hosted a party or dinner or shower in your honor should receive a thank you card. Vendors and attendants that helped make your day should be acknowledged as well. Do not forget to thank your attendants, parents and everyone else that dedicated their time and effort to make the day special for you and your spouse.
                    When sending a thank you card for the hostess of your bridal shower, you can also use the same card to thank her for her gift. Likewise with the hosts of other events, one card outlining your appreciation for each specific thing you are thankful for is appropriate.

                    Saturday, December 21, 2013


                    Wedding Etiquette for Widowed Parents

                    To honor and include widowed parents in wedding planning and the big day, follow a few simple rules of etiquette and discuss your ideas with them. Consider their changed situations when determining your budget and deciding on the roles they'll play during your ceremony and reception. Your wedding day will go smoothly and your parents will be happy with their part in making it a success

                    Invitations and Announcements

                      When a parent of the bride or groom is widowed, use the surviving parent's name on the invitation or announcement. If she hasn't remarried, a widow uses her married name, just as she did when her husband was living. For example, Mrs. John Smith is still Mrs.John Smith, not Mrs. Mary Smith. If a widow has remarried, she has the option of using her first husband's name along with her current husband's name. For example, if Mrs. John Smith marries Mr. Robert Jones, she may call herself Mrs. Robert Jones or Mrs. Smith Jones.

                    Ceremony Planning

                      When a parent is widowed, the role that the spouse would have played in the ceremony can be conferred on a close relative. For example, if the bride's father is deceased, she might ask a brother, uncle or cousin to escort her. If the widowed parent has remarried or has a significant other with whom you have a close relationship, honor him with a role in your ceremony.

                    Ceremony Seating

                      Traditionally, the groom's parents and the bride's mother are seated after everyone else. The groom's parents take their seats in the first row to the right of the aisle. The bride's mother is then escorted by an usher or groomsman to her seat in the first row to the left of the aisle. If the groom's mother is widowed, she should be escorted to her seat by an usher or groomsman. If the groom's father is a widower, he may walk to his seat unescorted.
                      Sometimes the bride asks both parents to walk down the aisle with her. If her father is deceased, she may ask her mother to escort her. In that case, the bride's mother would walk with her and then take her seat in the first row.

                    Reception

                      The reception usually features a first dance led by the bride and groom, followed by the bride dancing with her father, the groom with his mother, then the parents of both the bride and groom dancing together. If a parent is widowed, hasn't remarried and isn't in a relationship, ask what he or she would prefer to do in this situation. The widowed parent might prefer to sit out the dance entirely, or to dance with the person who stood in for her deceased spouse during the ceremony.

                    Financial Details

                      In the past, the parents of the bride were expected to pay for most of the wedding expenses. The groom's parents were responsible for the rehearsal dinner, and the groom paid the officiant and picked up the tab for the groomsmen's incidental expenses.
                      Today, many couples pay at least part of their own wedding expenses and, depending on their financial health and their parents' situations, might pay for all of the costs of their wedding. If you're depending on your parents for help with expenses, be sensitive to the altered financial situation of a widowed parent. Although he might want to help, it could be a strain to do so. Don't insist on following outdated rules if they don't make sense for those involved. Discuss the wedding budget with all of the parents and work out a plan that's fair for everyone.
                      When using table cards for a wedding reception, it's important to know the proper etiquette for labeling and positioning the cards. Proper table card presentation will serve as just another element that makes the day even more elegant.

                      Where to Present Cards

                        The table cards can be positioned at each table before reception guests arrive, according to A Wedding Reception. One card is placed in front of every chair, so every guest receives one and can see the information on the card before sitting down. Table cards also can be placed on a table outside the reception area, so guests can pick up a card with their name and table number. A decorative tree with table cards hanging from the branches can also be placed at the reception site so guests can take a card before being seated.

                      Style and Presentation

                        The style of table cards should coordinate with the formality of the reception. At formal events, quality paper (perhaps the same kind used for the invitations) can be used for table cards, accompanied by a gold or silver border. Fonts can be creative but should be bold print and easy for guests to read. Certified special events professional Tracy Bloom Schwartz says that table cards can also be an object that coordinates with the wedding theme, such as a flower or small gift. Just remember to make sure guests can read their names clearly on the item.

                      Wording

                        For formal weddings, it is appropriate for table cards to include a prefix, as well as the guest's full name, i.e. Mr. John Smith. When seating married couples together, you can use either "Mrs. John Smith" or the woman's name, i.e. "Mrs. Jane Smith." For informal receptions, simply using the guests' first and last names for the table cards is acceptable. Some couples even choose to use first names only for the place cards. If there are two guests with the same first name, use the first initial of the guest's last name to help avoid confusion.

                      Guest's Dates

                        It's a nice gesture to find out the name(s) of any dates guests will be bringing to the wedding or reception. If you're having a large event, write out your guest's table card, and place a card that says "guest of (name of your guest)" in front of the chair next to your friend or loved one's seat at the table. According to Schwartz, it is also acceptable to list your wedding guests and his or her date's name on the same table card. However, the woman's name should always be listed first. The same type of card and font style should be used for the date's table card.

                      Table Cards and Seating Arrangements

                        Since the table cards will be placed at each designated seat when guests arrive, you can arrange the guests' seating. In most instances, it's best to seat couples together, or to have several friends or family members at one table, especially if the wedding is fairly large and you know there are several people who have never met. For more intimate receptions where you want to encourage mingling, arrange place cards so couples or friends are not seated next to each other, but are at the same table. "In this case," says Schwartz, "guests should alternate, male and female."

                        Thursday, December 19, 2013


                        Etiquette for Addressing Wedding Invites to an Apartment

                        When considering the wording you use on your envelopes, keep in mind that a wedding is an extremely formal occasion. Unless you have sent out save-the-date cards, your invitation is the first impression people will have of your wedding, whether it is formal or casual, in a church or a friend's backyard.

                        General Rules

                          When addressing an envelope be sure to address the envelope by hand. If it seems overwhelming, enlist the help of bridesmaids and family who have nice handwriting. You may also want to consider hiring a professional calligraphy service. Do not ever use address labels. Try to avoid exceeding five lines when addressing envelopes.

                        Addressing to an Apartment

                          The first line of the address is where the names of the guests appear. Use formal first names, (for example Abigail as opposed to Abby). A second title line can be used for another guest name; otherwise it should have the street address or post office box. All words in the address should be spelled out, including single digit street numbers. A street name that is a number can be written two ways--123 East 3rd Street or 123 East Third Street. A sample address containing an apartment would look something like this:
                          Mr. And Mrs. John Doe
                          213 South Maple Street Apartment 3
                          Chino, California 91710

                        Addressing to an Apartment and Building

                          If addressing an envelope to a building and apartment, you may need to use two lines to fit the street address. The envelope may become complicated in the rare case that you have already used two lines for the name. An example address to an apartment and building is as follows:
                          Mr. And Mrs. John Doe
                          213 South Maple Street Building 4
                          Apartment 12
                          Chino, California 91710

                        Alternative Options

                          Always remember that if you do not follow the wedding etiquette rules for addressing an envelope to an apartment or building there are usually no serious repercussions (unless you upset the great aunt who is paying for the wedding). Feel free to change or adjust your envelope to suit your personal style and the formality of your wedding.

                        Other Etiquette

                          Send out your invitations six to eight weeks in advance to allow your guests enough time to clear their schedules and make travel arrangements. Save-the-date cards can be sent up to three months in advance, and the information for destination weddings may be sent up to six months in advance. Be sure your response card envelopes have stamps on them as an added courtesy to your guests.

                          Tuesday, December 17, 2013

                          Exhibiting the proper etiquette and wording in your wedding invitations when there are three sets of parents hosting your wedding prevents complications such as hurt feelings or leaving someone out. Determine the best invitation wording based on the formality of your wedding, who is paying for--or hosting--the wedding and the relationships you and your betrothed have with everyone involved.

                          From the Parents

                            List each set of parents on the invitation if all of them are paying for the wedding or if it's important to you and your fiance. Formal weddings typically include at least the bride's parents' names. If the bride's parents are divorced and remarried and all of the parents are helping host, invitations could be worded like:
                            "Mr. and Mrs. Joe Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Steven Jenkins
                            and
                            Mr. and Mrs. Robert Jackson
                            request the honour of your presence
                            at the marriage of their children..."
                            The bride's mother is listed first, then her father, followed by the groom's parents. If the bride's divorced parents are co-hosting but you'd still like to include the groom's parents as well, you could use the following wording:
                            "Mr. and Mrs. Joe Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Steven Jenkins
                            request the honour of your presence
                            at the marriage of their daughter
                            Jennifer Marie Jenkins
                            and
                            Raymond Earl Jackson
                            son of
                            Mr. and Mrs. Robert Jackson..."
                            If the groom's parents are divorced and remarried, the groom's mother would be listed first, followed by his father, using the same format. If the bride's mother is unmarried, drop all of the titles and use her first, maiden and married name unless she has gone back to her maiden name, in which case you'd list her first and maiden name.
                            For a less formal wedding, or if you'd like to name each parent, list them as "Joe and Jacki Smith and Steven and Sarah Jenkins."

                          From the Couple

                            Using invitations that list only the bride and groom's names is another option if you are hosting your own wedding, don't want to exclude or include certain parents or stepparents or just want to cut down on too many names being mentioned to avoid confusing or overwhelming your guests.
                            If everyone is contributing to the cost of the wedding, you could use:
                            "Together with their parents,
                            Jennifer Marie Jenkins
                            and
                            Raymond Earl Jackson
                            request the honour of your presence
                            at their marriage..."
                            Or, simply issue the invitations from both of you:
                            "Jennifer Marie Jenkins
                            and
                            Raymond Earl Jackson
                            request the honour of your presence..."

                          Things to Consider

                            Marrying your fiance is supposed to bring your families together and create or strengthen relationships and bonds you both have with your families. If one of you has a new stepparent that you don't wish to include on the actual invitation, or worse, the other parent would be hurt by it, consider not mentioning any names on the invitations, but include the parents' names on your wedding program. Before ordering any of your wedding stationery, particularly your invitations, give each parent a copy of your plans to address any complaints or concerns. This way no one is surprised and you can adjust the wording if necessary.

                            Wedding Etiquette for Kids

                            Children often take part in weddings, serving as the ring bearer or flower girl. However, couples might not know how to handle children at their weddings beyond these basic roles. From how you extend invitations to children to how you keep them occupied at your reception, there are a number of considerations to make when including children at your wedding. Follow basic etiquette guidelines when inviting even the youngest of guests.

                            Invitations

                              If you are inviting children to your wedding, include their names on the invitation. On the outer envelope, list the children's names underneath the parents' names. Use first names only, such as "Jack, Jill and Jane." Include those names on the inner envelope as well, again under the parents' names.

                            Menu

                              If you expect to have a number of kids at your reception, consider offering a special kids' meal. This is especially important if you are having a plated reception, as you won't want to serve---or pay for---filet mignon for a six-year-old. Most venues and caterers can offer a kid-friendly meal that will please your younger guests and be light on your wallet.

                            Entertainment

                              Consider seating children together at a special kids' table. You can include coloring books and small toys at the table to keep kids occupied as they wait for dinner.

                            Babysitting

                              If you want to give parents a break and keep the kids entertained, consider hiring a babysitter for the reception. After the kids eat, they can relocate to a private room where they can watch movies or play with toys. This creates a more adult atmosphere for your reception and allows guests to let loose without worrying about their kids.

                            Adults-Only Reception

                              If you do not want children at your reception, clearly indicate this on your invitation. Super Weddings.com suggests including "Adults-Only Reception" or "Adult Reception" on the bottom of your invitation. Include this stipulation on all invitations, so that you do not single out parents.

                            Etiquette for Guests

                              If you receive a wedding invitation that states that the reception is for adults only, do not bring your children or ask for an exception. According to The Emily Post Institute, unless your children receive a separate invitation or have their names listed on your invitation, you can assume that they are not invited to the wedding.

                              Monday, December 16, 2013

                              Individuals of Italian heritage who are planning getting married will likely want to incorporate elements of the culture into their wedding ceremony and reception. It's important to be aware of some essential Italian wedding etiquette rules to make the ceremony especially sentimental.

                              Wedding Attire

                                Wedding guests should be dressed elegantly for an Italian wedding, but it is best to avoid outfits that are too gaudy or revealing. Women should not wear blouses or dresses with plunging necklines; dresses with excessive amounts of rhinestones or sequins should be avoided, as these articles of clothing garner too much attention, and the bride is to be the central focus of the celebration. Men should wear a dark suit (black or navy blue); however a navy blue sport coat and slacks is acceptable.

                              Etiquette for Groom

                                In northern Italy, it is customary for the groom to wait at the steps of the church for his bride to arrive, with a bouquet of flowers to present to her. In some parts of Italy, proper wedding etiquette suggests that the groom is responsible for walking the bride, along with the wedding party, to the church where the ceremony will take place. When the groom walks the bride up to the church doors, the two will often find a ribbon tied to some part of the door knob or handle, symbolizing the union the two are preparing to enter into.

                              Etiquette for Bride

                                The wearing of the bridal veil is a tradition that originated in Italy, according to Life in Italy.com. The veil represents the bride purity, and traditional veils cover the bride's entire face, so that she can be "revealed" at the end of the ceremony. While the bride and groom are greeting guests and thanking them for coming to the ceremony and reception, the bride is also responsible for handing out the Italian wedding favors, which are candy-coated almonds called "confetti." Each guests is given five almonds in a small decorated pouch to represent happiness, health, wealth, long life and fertility.

                              Wedding Toasts

                                Proper etiquette indicates that the father of the bride is the first to make a toast at the reception. After this, the best man is in charge of giving the toast that will take place right before dinner, known as the "per cent'anni," which is a wish for the bride and groom to stay together for one hundred years. Other toasts can also be made throughout the night by friends and family members, including the "evviva gli sposi," which is a cheer for the new couple. The groom receives "demands" from the crowd to kiss his new bride, and guests also kiss the bride for good luck.

                              Reception Dances

                                Lively music is often played at Italian wedding receptions, particularly at celebrations in southern Italy. The bride and groom should be the first to dance, according to etiquette. After this, the bride shares a dance with her father, and the groom dances with his mother. Guests are also encouraged to dance with the bride and groom during the reception; male guests dance with the bride, and female guests dance with the groom. It is customary to give the couple money during this time as well; the bride often carries a purse or "bursa" with her while dancing. When money is collected, it is given to an older family member for safe keeping until after the reception.

                                Sunday, December 15, 2013


                                The Best Man Wedding Etiquette

                                A bachelor party, a toast, the rings--as the groom's closest friend--a best man has several duties and responsibilities. From helping pick out the tuxedos to even driving the couple to the hotel or the airport, a best man is someone the groom can count on to help make the wedding a success.

                                Weddings are dependent on tradition, and the best man is an important role. There are some dos and don'ts for the best man to remember.

                                Before the Wedding

                                  The best man is the groom's confidante. It's not enough just to show up. He needs to be there for support. If the groom is taking responsibility planning the honeymoon, ask if he needs help or offer suggestions.
                                  A bride and groom often decide together whether the wedding will be formal, dress or casual. A best man should coordinate with the groom and other groomsmen on either renting a tuxedo or buying a suit. This is one time when it's important for "the guys" to shop together. A best man traditionally pays for his own attire for the wedding, as do the other groomsmen.
                                  Act as a liaison rounding up the other groomsmen, so the groom doesn't have to make the calls. Then follow up and ensure that everyone has their suit or tux and know exactly where to be on the wedding day.

                                The Bachelor Party

                                  Wilder is not better when it comes to a bachelor party, especially if the party is the night before the wedding. It might be best to plan the event for a week before the big event. Remember to keep the bride in mind as you plan. "Mild and wild" is the best motto.
                                  After all, your best friend has found his lifelong partner and you don't want to be in the middle of a break up because of a party you planned. Another thing to remember is to keep the pictures and videos to a minimum and be discreet about the photos you do take.
                                  The best man and groomsmen plan and pay for the party.

                                At the Wedding

                                  The best man acts as a valet for the groom before the wedding. Be dressed early and ride with him to the church or wedding site as well as helping him get dressed.
                                  Make sure the groom has the marriage license with him. If the groom and bride are leaving for the honeymoon right after the reception, make sure the groom has the tickets, passports and identification they will need. Traditionally, the groomsmen and groom are ready and waiting for the bride. Bring some cards or a game system to help pass time before the ceremony. This might help a nervous groom relax.
                                  Remember to have the rings handy so you won't need to fumble around for them during the ceremony.

                                The Toast

                                  A best man's toast at the wedding reception is his most important role. It's okay to be funny, but remember this is not amateur night at the Improv. Don't bring up the groom's or brides's former flames and don't talk about the groom's sexual exploits before he met Mrs. Right.
                                  Keep the toast short and focus on the couple. Share a special story about the two of them together. Say something nice about the bride and toast the bridesmaids for their part in the wedding.
                                  Remember, the toast is about the bride and groom, not you. Don't wing it. If you need to write your speech or a few notes down, type it out and print it so that you can refer to it occasionally.
                                  Author John Bowden suggests including a memorable quote in the toast. And if you are really nervous about how it sounds, practice in front of a mirror or run it by one of the other groomsmen or the maid of honor if you know her well. It's OK to have a drink before you give the toast but it's not OK to be drunk.

                                After the Wedding

                                  The ceremony's over, but that doesn't mean the best man is off the hook. After the nuptials, he should sign the marriage license as a witness. Often the groom will entrust the best man with the money that is due to the minister.
                                  The best man should dance with the bride, both mothers and the bridesmaids at the reception. Traditionally, it is the best man and groomsmen who decorate the car the couple will use to depart the reception. The best man also bears the duty of "tasteful decorating," keeping the bride in mind.
                                  Check with the groom and arrange to help load any luggage into the vehicle before the ceremony.

                                Other Duties

                                  If the couple is leaving on a honeymoon, the best man should ensure the groom's tuxedo is returned to the rental store in a timely manner. Take these duties seriously. Being a best man is more than an honor. What you do as best man often sets the tone for your friendship with the groom after his marriage.

                                  Friday, December 13, 2013

                                  Every detail of a wedding during each step of the process has its own set of rules and proper etiquette guidelines. The rehearsal dinner invitations are no different. The person, or couple, hosting the rehearsal dinner needs to determine how formal it will be, where it will be, who to invite and how formal the invitations should be. The dinner and invitations should never outshine those for the wedding, but should rather complement the wedding. After the rehearsal dinner plans are made, it's time to choose invitations and send them off.

                                  Invitation Basics

                                    Invitations to the wedding rehearsal dinner can be simple hand-written notes or elegant engraved cards;however they should never be more formal or fancy than the wedding invitations. They can even be "informals," which are small fold-over cards with the names of the hosts (e.g., Mr. and Mrs. Mathews) engraved in black or navy ink centered on the front, or fill-in-the-blank invitations.
                                    The bride, groom, their parents, grandparents, the wedding party and their families should all be invited to the dinner. Inviting out-of-town guests is not require; however, it is a nice gesture.
                                    Send the invitations out two to four weeks before the dinner so everyone has time to coordinate and plan their schedule. Include RSVP information for a final head count.

                                  Addressing the Envelope

                                    Envelopes for the rehearsal dinner invitations should include the names of all invited guests. For instance, if the bride's father is a doctor and she has underage siblings at home, the envelope could be addressed to "Dr. and Mrs. James Smith and Family." However, if her underage brother is also in the wedding, he should receive his own invitation in which "Mr." could be used, or skipped.
                                    For children who are in the wedding party, consider addressing the family's invitation to the child and family, such as "Emily Smith and Family" which will make her feel honored and special.

                                  Addressing Titles Within the Invitation

                                    The formality of the dinner will likely govern how formal the invitation wording is. For an elegant sit-down dinner, the invitations may be more formal with wording such as t
                                    "Mr. and Mrs. Johnson request your presence...."
                                    The bride and groom's names are usually listed using their first names only, even if the groom's parents, or whoever is hosting the dinner, chooses to use a formal approach to their own names. On the other hand, the hosts can opt to use their first names as well if that is how they'd like to be addressed at the rehearsal dinner. In other words, if you'd like to be on a first-name basis at the dinner, try such wording as "Eric and Janet Johnson request your presence at the Rehearsal Dinner honoring Laura and Kevin...."
                                    Choose straightforward wording to list pertinent information or try a cute poem to add to a lighthearted, relaxed atmosphere.

                                    Wednesday, December 11, 2013

                                    How to List Step Parents in a Wedding Program
                                    Wedding programs serve a couple of purposes. They let your guests know what to expect during the ceremony and enable them to follow along, even during cultural traditions or religious prayers they may not be familiar with. Programs make wonderful keepsakes from your wedding. They also serve to let guests know who's who, which is particularly helpful for a large wedding or when there are unconventional people you would like to include and introduce, such as step parents.

                                    If You're Close

                                      List step parents in a meaningful way, particularly if they are close to you or your fiance. For example, if the bride's mother remarried when she was young and she's close to her stepfather, he should be mentioned. Likewise, her father's current wife should be listed as well. If you're close to one, but not the other, you should still list them equally to avoid being disrespectful or causing hurt feelings. After all, the day should be about you getting married, not sniveling parents or step parents.
                                      Under the "parents" section of your program, list them like this:
                                      "Parents of the Bride
                                      Judy and John Smith (mom and step dad's name)
                                      and
                                      Billy and Brenda Brown (dad and step mom's name)"
                                      Avoid using the term "step" if possible because it may hurt someone's feelings. It may also be considered rude, unless you are naming a specific duty along with the title. The wording should ultimately include all parties without making any of them feel slighted.
                                      Another option is to include the step parents in some way. Perhaps your stepfather can be an usher or groomsman, and your stepmother can read a passage or poem. When you list their names alongside their roles, you can include "bride's stepfather" or whatever the proper title may be.

                                    If You Aren't Close

                                      When it comes to step parents that you aren't close to, or perhaps the groom's dad is on wife number six, you don't have to include them if you don't want to. However, if that would make your parents upset or if you are including one step parent because you are close, or friendly, it's only polite to include them all. For generic wording if you aren't particularly close to either, you could use:
                                      "Groom's Parents:
                                      Jenna Baker escorted by her husband Leo Baker
                                      and
                                      Adam Cobb escorted by his wife Leah Cobb"

                                    Other Ideas

                                      To avoid snubbing the parents, particularly if one parent has remarried while the other hasn't, try alternative ways of including the step parents. Perhaps only the biological parents could be listed under the "parents" section. However, differentiate between parents who are no longer married, even if they still share the same last name. For example:
                                      "Parents of the Bride
                                      Margaret Williams
                                      and
                                      Peter Williams
                                      Parents of the Groom:
                                      Sally Mason
                                      and
                                      Gene Smith"
                                      Then, create another section to add step parents, such as a "step parents" section or "other mentions" section. They could be listed as follows:
                                      "Bride's Stepmother
                                      Trisha Williams
                                      Groom's Step parents
                                      Michael Mason
                                      and
                                      Rita Smith"
                                      It is best if you can list the step parents names next to their spouse's names to avoid further confusion. In the case of an irritated parent not wanting the step parent under the "parents" section, use terms such as "bride's family" instead of "parents."

                                      Etiquette for Wedding Reception Times

                                      A wedding reception is an exciting event. It follows the wedding service and provides the bride and groom with a chance to relax a little after the ceremony and spend some time interacting with the guests. The reception also provides a way for the bride and groom to thank the guests for coming to the wedding by providing them with food and beverages. As with all parts of a wedding, there is etiquette to bear in mind with regard to wedding reception times, and brides and grooms should plan carefully in order to take the needs of guests into account and to ensure that everyone has the best possible time at the reception.

                                      After the Wedding

                                        Most brides and grooms plan for the photographs to be taken after the wedding ceremony is over but before the reception begins. The problem that arises, however, is when the photographs take too long and guests are waiting for the reception. The bride and groom should thus plan ahead to prevent the photographs from taking too long, even more so if they plan to have a receiving line to greet their guests. An acceptable time between the ceremony and the reception can be 30 to 45 minutes; when the wait time reaches upwards of an hour guests begin to get frustrated. The bride and groom should also make cocktails or some type of refreshment available during the wait.

                                      Length of Reception

                                        A standard wedding reception lasts anywhere from three to four hours, so the bride and groom should plan for guests to stay that long. The larger the guest list, however, the longer the potential for the reception to extend in time. There is nothing wrong with guests remaining at the reception after the bride and groom have left, however, so the wedding planners should be prepared to keep the food and beverages available for those who want to stay and continue the party.

                                      Time of Day

                                        Time of day is a factor to take into account for the length of the wedding reception. A morning wedding will have a shorter reception afterward, largely because guests might have other plans for the day. A wedding that is held in the late afternoon or evening, however, can have a reception that lasts well into the night. The wedding planners should consider the time of day during which the wedding and reception will be held in order to prepare for how long the reception needs to be.

                                      Cutting It Short

                                        While three to four hours is standard, wedding reception etiquette does allow for shorter receptions, particularly if there is a conflict at the venue. The reception should be at least one hour to one hour and a half, as long as the bride and groom use discretion in indicating time constraints to guests. The main goal, however, is that guests not be made to feel uncomfortable and the bride and groom be sure to welcome everyone and thank them for attending.

                                      Late Guests

                                        Wedding guests are, of course, encouraged to show up to the reception on time, particularly if the bride and groom plan a receiving line for greeting their guests. Some guests, however, will be unable to make it to the reception on time. Wedding etiquette discourages late guests at the ceremony, but the bride and groom should welcome late guests at the reception, since this is generally a more informal event.