Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Etiquette of Wedding Invitations via SMS
Wedding invitations via SMS is now becoming one of the options. Invitation using SMS is quite the kind of invitation that is not formal, because by using the printed invitation letter is something more formal and polite of course.

The development of technology today is easier for a person in doing of a thing. With mobile phones it is possible to communicate with each other, and can inform the other things that are important, either by calling or by using SMS.

Wedding invitations using SMS delivery, you should use only to your close friends whose location is not only affordable, in other words, the location of his home away from your home so it does not allow you to send invitations printed. In this case, we also need to consider the ethics and manners in sending wedding invitations via SMS.

Efficiency Invitation via SMS

Invitation using SMS is simpler and faster, much when compared with the invitations printed and then distributed to your friends. Great how? Here's the explanation.

By using this SMS you can just type in the words that essentially invite your friends or colleagues to attend your wedding. After you type it in, you only need a few seconds to send. You just choose the name of the name you wish to send the SMS wedding invitations on the contact list on your phone, and then is sent. In a few seconds you are able to send invitations pretty much, obviously this is different from the printed invitation. In this case, the excess wedding invitation through SMS is clearly more practical.

Advantages vs. Disadvantages of SMS Invitation

Although the wedding invitation through SMS is more effective, as well as your savings will not pay, but certainly the impression that the printed wedding invitations are very different. For those of you who want to invite someone better to use printed invitations, if the location of your friends was not affordable, then you can use the wedding invitation through SMS.

Using SMS may be more effective, rapid, brief, and does not incur a cost, but if you want to use it again deserve see whether or not you send a wedding invitation using a text message to the person you send it. Because until now there are many people who will feel very appreciated if invited to use printed invitations. Moreover, if the invitation is a unique wedding invitation. Moreover, to get a unique wedding invitations is not difficult now. Simply open the website of the manufacturer of unique wedding invitations, we've been able to book a wedding invitation without ever leaving home. Similarly, earlier reviews regarding wedding invitation SMS, which is sometimes useful if it is in place.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Marriage is an important moment for every couple. As a couple you have to know how to behave when attending the wedding event. Listen ethics when present at a friend's wedding and relatives as quoted below from Yahoo Shine.

Waiting for the announcement
You already know the date your best friend will be married. But do not rush to spread the news before his friend and partner announce the good news to all people.

Wedding Plans
If you are planning a wedding are invited acquaintances, be careful when discussing it. Do not carelessly discuss the plan in social media. Because who knows there are people who are not invited and read your post. If it were so, the atmosphere is sure to be awkward.

Share photos
It was great when friends are married and there are many moments that can be captured. But you should not divide their pictures to the public, unless the friend was already allow you to do so.

Leave the phone
You've been invited to a sacred event, so you should respect the person who invited you to follow a series of events well. Do not just sit in the corner and looked at the phone screen while posting how boring event you attended.

Rules invitations
Whether it's an invitation in the form of print, SMS, email, or message via Facebook, follow the rules written in it. For example, mention that you will attend alone or with a friend, bring a current invitation to the event, or even can not come at all.

That's the ethical thing to do when attending a wedding ceremony. Do you want to add another rule?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Tradition and etiquette dictates that second weddings should be simple and casual instead of being formal and extravagant. However, the number of second or encore wedding is sharply growing each year. Such ceremony is designed to celebrate two people who want to embark on a new marriage with different partners.

Etiquette In Announcing Your Engagement

The immediate concern in planning a second wedding is how to announce this to you children. The children should always be the first be notified of your decision to remarry, as this will combine two already-established families. Expect you children to be stressed by your move and they will need a certain amount of time to accept the situation.

The bride and groom’s parents should be the next to be informed and then the respective ex’s. The ex-wife or ex-husband should make an effort to appease the children and reassure them about their roles in the new family.

Engagement rings from the past should not be worn anymore based on second wedding etiquette. All signs of previous relationships should be taken away once planning for the wedding and announcements are made.

A second marriage can be announced informally such as advertising it in the newspaper, making e-mails and phone calls. Under second wedding etiquette, the couple does not have to host an engagement party but a small gathering can be organized where you can make that important announcement.

Who’s Going?

Just about anybody can attend your second wedding. However, in observance of second wedding etiquette ex-spouses and former in-laws should not be invited even if you are in speaking terms to avoid awkwardness among the other guests.

The bride and groom should calculate a realistic budget for the wedding. This is a rare chance to again have the wedding of your dreams, it could be elegant, extravagant and intimate.

Vows and Ceremonies

Second wedding are normally made in civil ceremonies but can also be done in a religious ceremony. They are many ways to make the ceremony fell very intimate and special. Writing vows is common among second wedding and there is an abundance of books written about it. The children can be assigned to do an important part of the ceremony in order to foster unity. They can escort you while walking the aisle, read passages from the bible or serve as attendants in the event.

The closest family members and friends of the new couple can walk down the aisle or no one at all.

  • Are Bridal Showers Needed?
  • Bridal showers for encore brides are normally but this need to adhere with second etiquette rules.

Only guests should be invited

Club, Office and school showers can also be done and can be attende by other not on the official guest list. However, those that attended the bride’s first wedding should not participate.

Wedding Gifts and Registry

Guest should make they register. Some guests will have the uncontrollable urge to give something even if the couple does not want gifts.  It’s also acceptable for encore couples to sign in the gift registry.

Wedding Gift Ideas for Second Marriages
  • Gift certificates—restaurants, spas, stores
  • DVD player and DVDs
  • Charity Donatios
  • Coffee maker, pasta maker, cook books

Wedding Receptions and Parties
The reception of a second wedding may be extravagant or simple depending on the taste of the couple. The bride and gross will be first at the line and followed by their children. The traditional garter and bridal bouquet toss are optional.

Not Necessary In A Second Marriage
  • Rehearsal Dinner
  • Attendants
  • Accompanying the bride down the aisle
  • Procession

  • Make a gift registry even if you don’t want gifts.
  • The children should have responsibilities in the ceremony.
  • Customize and personalize the wedding and reception.

Please Avoid
  • Doing the same things in like your first wedding.
  • Wearing a similar wedding dress.
  • Marry in the exact spot of your first wedding.
  • Use old rings from a past marriage.
  • Criticizing former spouses

  • Showers
  • Engagement Party
  • Announcement in the newspaper
  • Rehearsal Dinner
  • A laving wedding with attendants
  • Parents walking down the aisle
  • A different color for the wedding dress instead of white

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Save-the-Date Wedding Etiquette

In response to our increasingly overscheduled lives, a fairly new practice has burst onto the scene of wedding planning: Save-the-date cards are now being used to give prospective guests a heads-up about the impending nuptials that they may need in order to attend. As this practice has emerged, so too have some etiquette guidelines surrounding it.


    A fairly new invention in wedding stationery, the save-the-date card is a sort of announcement to your invitees that you will be getting married. It effectively serves two functions: It lets your friends and family know that you will be getting married, if they did not already know. It also gives them a heads-up about the date and location of the event, so they can start planning their schedule accordingly. Although wedding invitations are sent out well in advance of the event, the traditional six to eight weeks may not be enough time to let all of your guests make arrangements to attend.


    Originally it was only couples who were planning destination weddings or who lived far away from all family members who would use a save-the-date card. Common sense dictated that if you lived in California and would be wed in Ireland, you had to give people ample notice if you wanted them to join you. Today, however, there is an increasing trend toward sending these cards out even for domestic affairs. People's increasingly complicated schedules have made the advance notice a helpful tool and a courtesy for all guests. Knowing well in advance gives your guests time to schedule child care, arrange for time off from work and book their travel.
    Save-the-date cards are especially important if you are planning to get married around a holiday, or in a location that gets seasonally busy.


    The rule of thumb for save-the-date cards is that anyone who receives one must receive an invitation to the wedding. While you may think that only guests who live out of town or who have children need the additional heads-up, the truth is that most of your potential guests will appreciate the extra-early warning. If your budget will allow it, it is a good idea to send a save-the-date card to everyone whom you intend to invite.


    The good news is that a save-the-date card does not need to be as formal as your wedding invitation. The wording can be more relaxed, the numbers do not have to be spelled out and you have a little freedom to have some fun with it. However, bear in mind that for many, this first correspondence about your wedding will be the first indication of how fancy your wedding will be. If you are planning a black-tie gala, a cutesy cartoon or photo of the two of you frolicking on the beach may give the wrong impression.


    Your save-the-date card should inform your guests of who is getting married, where and when they are getting married and who exactly is being invited in the guests' household. Be sure to include the proper names of each person you will be inviting. If children are welcome at your wedding, make sure to include their names on the card. If you would like to encourage your single cousin to bring along a date, write "and guest."
    It is also a smart idea to include any information about local hotels or rooms that you have at a discounted rate with the save-the-date card.

Time Frame

    Mail the save-the-date cards six months in advance of the wedding, which will give your guests plenty of time to make arrangements. However, if you are getting married somewhere to which it is notoriously costly to fly, or if you are getting married on a holiday, you may want to consider sending your save-the-date card as much as a year in advance. This will ensure that your guests have enough time to budget for the trip. The more notice your guests have, the more likely they will be to show up on your big day.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Wedding Etiquette for an RSVP Deadline

RSVP is short for the French term "rpondez s'il vous plat," meaning "please respond." RSVP deadlines for weddings need to combine sufficient notice to guests with the planning needs of the couple getting married. Proper wedding etiquette dictates specific rules for both the bride and groom, or hosts of the wedding, and for the invited guests.

Mailing the Invitation

    Most people mail out their wedding invitations six to eight weeks before the wedding. Consider the time of year -- summer and holidays are usually busy times for many people. You should also take into account the distance people will have to travel and the cost associated with this. If family or friends are coming from a great distance to your wedding, or if you are having a wedding on a beach in a tropical resort, you need to provide people with extensive notice. This can be done by sending a "save the date" notice -- even by email -- with basic details about the wedding.

Response Cards

    It is traditional to include a response card in the wedding invitation. Often, self-addressed, stamped envelopes are also included. This makes it easier for your invited guests to quickly send their response. You may choose to provide a phone number, email address or even wedding website address as options for guests when sending their RSVP to your wedding.

RSVP Deadline

    The date of your RSVP deadline should be determined by your planning needs. If the caterer or event venue needs a final headcount two weeks before the wedding, that is your absolute cut-off date. However, to allow you time to follow up with people who haven't responded, you may want to state a date three weeks before the wedding. If you didn't receive a response, you may call your invited guest to inquire about her intentions. Don't assume that a lack of response means she isn't coming.

Guest Etiquette

    As a guest, you must also follow proper etiquette for RSVPs. Notify the couple as promptly as possible about your decision. If you were invited to bring a guest, be sure to confirm whether you will be coming alone or with someone. If you misplace or forget to mail the invitation, call the couple and let them know about your decision. Try not to wait until the last minute, as it makes planning more challenging.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Etiquette for Wrapping a Wedding Gift

If you have been invited to a wedding, then you are required to bring a gift. You should select a gift from the bride and groom's official registry, if possible, and spend an amount of money within your budget. Gift wrap and presentation of the gift is important, as well, and there is an etiquette that you should follow.

Box Selection

    Select a box that fits the wedding gift. Often you can get these from the store where you purchase the gift. Do not place a very small gift in a huge box. A wedding usually is not an event where you play practical jokes on the bride and groom. A snug-fitting box also helps to protect fragile items because they have less room to move.

Tissue Paper

    Line your gift box with tissue paper. Avoid bold colors. Stick with white or pastel-colored tissue paper. Select a shade that you know matches the bride's colors for her wedding.

Store Gift Wrap

    When possible, use the wrapping paper of the store where you bought the gift, if they provide complimentary wrapping. You will want to do this especially if the store is high-end one. This lets the bride, groom and other guests know that you shopped from the bride's registry.

Alternate Gift Wrap

    Select solid-colored gift wrap in white or silver or a wedding-themed paper that is not obnoxious. If the wedding is less formal, then you can venture into bolder colors. For example, it would be appropriate to wrap a gift in brown paper, twine and an artificial sunflower if the wedding is outside at the beach or at a park. "Know the bride's favorite colors? Dress up your gift accordingly, using fine ribbon and faux flowers as accents," advises The Knot.

Greeting Card

    Include a greeting card with your gift. Use a small piece of transparent tape to secure the card on the front of the gift. You can hide the tape by covering it with a pretty fabric or paper bow. The greeting card is important because it lets the bride and groom know you sent them a wedding gift and gives them the information they need to know so that they can write appropriate thank you cards.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Wedding Processional Etiquette for the Maid & Matron of Honor

The processional is the part of the ceremony when all members of the bridal party walk down the aisle to the altar where the bride and groom are married by the officiant. When including both a maid and matron of honor in your ceremony, there are a few etiquette items to consider. The processional responsibilities of the maid and matron of honor are almost identical and when including both, they can work together to complete the expected obligations.

Processional Order

    After the mothers of the bride and groom are seated and the officiant, groomsmen and groom walk down the aisle to take their positions, the bride's attendants begin their trip down the center path toward the altar. The bridesmaids begin their walk first, either one at a time or in pairs but the maid and matron of honor walk alone. If including both in your ceremony, the matron of honor walks the aisle first followed by the maid of honor, who stands closest to the bride during the ceremony. The flower girl and ring bearer follow the maid of honor before the bride makes her appearance.

Processional Preparation

    Prior to the processional, the maid and matron of honor straighten and fluff the bride's veil and train. Each check her hair for falling pins and her teeth for stray lipstick. The maid of honor signs the marriage certificate as the witness and both the maid and matron of honor assist the bridesmaids in the timing for walking down the aisle to ensure even spacing between them in the absence of a wedding coordinator.


    Commonly, the maid and matron of honor carry a floral bouquet, floral stem or floral pomander, which should be carried at waist level, keeping the elbows in toward the body. While walking very slowly down the aisle, the maid and matron of honor can adapt their steps to the beat of the processional music or count by 1,000s (1-1,000, 2-1,000, 3-1,000) to avoid getting too close to the last bridesmaid. When approaching the altar, the maid and matron of honor take their place directly to the left of the altar with the remaining bridesmaids, but closest to the bride.

Before the Ceremony

    Just before the ceremony begins, the maid of honor is asked to hold the bride's bouquet and the groom's wedding ring. When including both a maid and matron of honor, only the maid of honor, who stands closest to the bride during her nuptials, is obligated to perform these tasks. Oftentimes, the maid of honor holds a tissue, or two, for the bride in case she needs it.

After the Ceremony

    When the ceremony is complete and the bride and groom are announced as husband and wife, the maid and matron of honor are responsible for arranging the bridal veil and the bride's train in preparation for the recessional. She hands the bouquet back to the bride to begin her walk back up the aisle as a married woman. During the ceremony photography, the maid and matron of honor adjust the bride's hair, veil and train to assist the photographer and organizes the bridesmaids and flower girl for photographs.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Groom Dances With Mother Etiquette

The traditional mother/groom dance is one that is steeped in emotion. The groom dances with his mother and the bride's mother at a pre-determined time during the reception. There are times when special circumstances must be considered, including when the mother is not present or in the case of blended families.


    According to The First Dance, one of the reasons for the first dance is to present the married couple in their new union. The subsequent dancing with the parents and in-laws are to celebrate the bittersweet moment of a parent acknowledging their child's new status and the two families becoming one.

Order of Events

    Diane Warner's book "Contemporary Guide to Wedding Etiquette" notes the parents' dances should take place after the traditional bride and groom's first dance. After the couple dances to "their song" the bride's father usually cuts in to dance with his daughter and the groom dances with his mother.

    Next, the groom's father dances with the bride and the bride's mother dances with the groom. The dancing continues with the best man dancing with the bride and the groom dancing with the maid or matron of honor. The partner swapping continues until everyone in the bridal party has danced and the floor is officially open.

    Not all weddings follow the dance protocol through the entire wedding party; Our Marriage suggests the bride and groom may alter the schedule to fit their needs.


    First Dance suggests couple with blended families, deceased parents, etc., may substitute whom they dance with during the traditional parent's dance. They can chose to dance with a different relative or complete the dance with two partners, for example, in the case of a step-mother and mother or mother and close grandmother relationship. It is also stressed that the bride and groom work out any possible conflict before the wedding day.


    Bridal Guide suggests it is not necessary to have the mother/groom dance or any dancing at all. Wedding receptions eliminate the mother/groom dance for a variety of reasons. Some couples-to-be have complicated family backgrounds. Parents may not approve of the union, which would make the dance awkward. There may be parents who have divorced and remarried and both the step-parent and the biological parent are important to the couple. For the groom, picking which parent to dance with could cause emotional strife.

    Other couples simply want to eliminate the special dances to get to the open dancing portion of the reception. Whether the special dances are kept or eliminated is strictly up to the couple-to-be.

Song Choice

    When picking out a song for the mother/groom dance, it's important to pick a song the mother knows. The experts at Wedding Aces say because there is often so much going on during the wedding reception, if a surprise song is not one that the mother knows, she will probably not be able to comprehend the lyrics during the dance.

    Wedding Aces also advises that while asking the parent involved about a song choice is a nice gesture, the groom may end up with a song that isn't meaningful to him. When in doubt, ask your DJ or band leader for suggestions.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wedding Etiquette and Mother of the Bride Responsibilities

Your daughter has announced she is getting married. As the mother of the bride, you are considered the hostess of the grand affair, and you have many responsibilities. Your primary role is carrying out the wishes of the bride. Ideally, you should be able to sit back and relax this once-in-a-lifetime event, but the planning must get started right away. Sometimes the mother of the bride needs a little guidance on her specific role and the proper etiquette so that the wedding day goes off without a hitch.


    One of the important responsibilities as the mother of the bride is helping the bride pick out her wedding dress. Next, you must choose your mother of the bride gown. It is proper etiquette to call the mother of the groom and let her know what you are wearing so that you both coordinate in color and style. Your dress should coordinate with the style of the wedding, so if it is a beach wedding, it will be more casual than a black-tie affair.


    Your primary responsibility as the mother of the bride is to assist your daughter and future son-in-law in the planning, and you will take on the role of a wedding coordinator. Gather up the guest lists. Invitations should be sent out six to eight weeks before the wedding. Also, make reservations for any out-of-town guests. Keep in mind that it is your daughter's wedding, and try not to overstep your boundaries. You can act as an arbitrator when there are glitches in the planning, but you should not take control. Instead, help with wedding favors or decorating to lighten the burden off your daughter. Consult the maid or matron of honor for ideas and her help in the planning, because she also plays a significant role. A professional wedding planner may be needed if you need the assistance. Help your daughter with anything that is needed without getting in the way.


    Sit down with the bride and groom and his family immediately to discuss the budget of the wedding and your financial obligations. Traditionally, the bride's family pays for the wedding reception, and the groom's family pays for the rehearsal dinner. However, today's standards do not always follow yesterday's traditions. Most likely, the wedding costs will be equally divided between the families, and the bride and groom may make a considerable contribution themselves. Discuss with your daughter and future son-in-law what type of wedding they desire and what the budget entails.


    Give instructions for the ceremony to all members of the wedding party. This includes seating arrangements and any other details. The mother of the bride's role in the ceremony may include lighting the family candle with the mother of the groom.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wedding Favor Etiquette

Wedding favor etiquette dictates that, while not required, small tokens work well as a gesture of gratitude. Favors also provide each guest with a memento of your special day. Wedding favors range from keepsake items to edible favors. Whether you choose candles, coasters, almonds or fortune cookies, your wedding favors should reflect your wedding theme.


    Plan to offer at least one favor to each guest, including children. Order or make extra favors, in case one gets damaged before the reception. All the favors should be of equal value. Select different favors for men, women and children, or give everyone the same gift. If you have a small budget for favors, give one favor to each couple and include a label addressed to both guests. Opt for such simple favors as a single flower.

Favor Tags

    Whether your favors are elaborate items or inexpensive tokens, personalize them so they stand out. Always affix a small note to each favor with the date and the wedding couple's names. Add the recipient's name if you plan to set a wedding favor at each place setting. Leave off guests' names if your favors will be displayed together on a table.

Edible Favors

    Couples often give guests such edible wedding favors as chocolates, gourmet candy, cupcakes and personalized cookies. Order personalized candies in your wedding colors--include the name of the bride and groom, as well as the wedding date. Save money and make your own edible favors. Fill small pails with chocolate-covered fruits and nuts or give guests jam in small jars. Give tins with mints, small boxes of tea or coffee, or cellophane bags filled with hard or fruity candies and closed with a ribbon. Choose boxes, containers and ribbons that reflect your wedding theme.


    Presentation is just as important as the favor itself. Favors should be elegant in appearance. Place flower favors in a pot or a small decorative cardboard box wrapped with a ribbon. Wrap stemmed flowers in cones of white parchment and secure them with ribbons. Use decorative boxes with complementary ribbons. Use ribbons and cellophane to wrap such odd-shaped favors as small garden pails or teacups filled with candy.


    Traditional favor etiquette calls for placing favors in the center of each plate setting, at the head of the place setting or on each chair. However, as long as the favor gets to the guest, you can set the favors anywhere. For instance, if you will have valet parking, ask the valet to leave a favor inside each guest's car. Place favors inside large decorative bowls in the center of each table. For a buffet-style reception, pile the favors on a table near the exit for the guests to take on their way out. For a beach wedding, provide a table of flip-flops at the guest entrance to the beach.


    Incorporate your wedding theme and colors into your favors. For instance, if you are planning a garden wedding, select small, individually potted flowers or miniature plants. Choose items that reflect your wedding colors, such as small picture frames, candles, personalized soaps, lip balms and bath crystals. Tie a beach theme together--offer guests flip-flops in your wedding colors. Customize paper fans, luggage tags or miniature globes if you plan to hold a travel-themed wedding.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Wedding Etiquette for Distance Guests

If you've recently been invited to a wedding, but will have to travel out of town for the ceremony, it's best to keep etiquette in mind in the days leading up to the wedding and on the big day. A few courtesies can go a long way in ensuring that the wedding is as stress-free as possible for the bride and groom.

Bringing Children

    It is not appropriate etiquette to bring children to a wedding when the bride and groom have specifically stated that the event is for adults only. Guests who are coming from out of town are also expected to follow this rule, and they should make special arrangements for the children to stay at home with a trusted friend or family member. If a loved one in the town where the wedding will be taking place can keep the children during the ceremony and reception, this is acceptable as well.

Rehearsal Dinner

    According to traditional etiquette, the wedding rehearsal dinner is for the members of the wedding party and clergy. It is not polite for wedding guests who are visiting from another city or state to invite themselves to the dinner or to assume that they are permitted to attend. However, many couples make the wedding rehearsal dinner a time for friends and loved ones to catch up and socialize before the wedding, so it's essential to find out what type of rehearsal dinner will be held prior to solidifying travel arrangements.

Transportation and Lodging

    Out-of-town wedding guests are expected to pay for their own airline tickets or rental cars, as well as hotel lodging, once they arrive in the city where the ceremony will take place. It is best to assume that booking a hotel is necessary, unless the couple, parents of the bride and groom, or members of the wedding party have stated otherwise. To ensure that transportation and hotel rooms are secured for the wedding date, reserve these items immediately after returning the wedding ceremony RSVP.

Buying a Gift

    Friends and family members who have to travel to a loved one's wedding are still expected to bring a gift. If the wedding gift is mailed ahead of time to the parents of the bride or groom, it is not necessary to bring an additional gift to the reception. If the bride and groom are having the ceremony in a place other than their hometown, it is acceptable to give the couple a check as a gift, so that the bride and groom will not have to travel back home with heavy boxes.

Additional Activities

    Since the bride and groom will be very busy in the days leading up to the wedding, guests from out of town should not expect to be entertained by the couple. It is best to plan some sightseeing in the area or to enjoy the perks of the hotel to stay occupied until the ceremony. Some couples choose to have a brunch earlier on the wedding day for guests, or a breakfast the day after the wedding to express thanks and say goodbyes--it is considered proper etiquette to attend one or both events while in town.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Etiquette for a Wedding RSVP Card

Following proper etiquette when mailing out wedding response cards, also called RSVP cards, along with the invitations adds dignity to the special occasion. Proper etiquette covers things such as wording and timing.


    The wedding RSVP card allows guests to mail back their response. It is used only for weddings or receptions that require a head count.


    RSVP cards measure 5 inches by 3.5 inches, the smallest size card the postal service accepts.

Wording Etiquette

    As only those listed on the inside and outside envelopes are invited, RSVP cards do not have a line asking for how many people will be attending. An example of formal response wording is as follows:
    M ___ (The underline after the "M" must be long enough for the guest to write his or her full name, including "Mr.," "Mrs." or "Ms." If a number of doctors are invited, the "M" is omitted.)
    Saturday the twenty-eighth of August
    The Country Club
    Informal response wording may simply give an option for attending and another for not attending. Some response cards may also include a place for guests to choose among dinner choices.

Return Envelope Etiquette

    Wedding RSVP cards should be self-addressed and pre-stamped so guests can simply write their answer and mail it back. Guests should not be expected to provide the postage themselves.

Timing Etiquette

    RSVP cards are sent with the wedding invitations at least six weeks prior to the big day with an RSVP date two weeks prior to the big day. This is to give guests enough time to decide their plans while allowing the bride and groom time to finalize the number of attendees just before the wedding.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Etiquette for Wedding Anniversary Invitations

A milestone anniversarywhether its your first, 25th or 50this the perfect excuse to bring together your closest family and friends and celebrate like you did on your wedding day. Wedding anniversary party invitations should include details about the celebration and RSVP information. Following proper etiquette rules ensures that your guests know just what to expect. Likewise, party guests should respond within the given time frame so that the hosts have adequate time to prepare.


    It is important to send out your wedding anniversary party invitations with enough time that your guests can clear their schedules and prepare for the event. However, if you send it too early, guests might misplace the invitation or forget about the event altogether. The Emily Post Institute recommends that hosts send out wedding anniversary party invitations three to six weeks in advance of the event.


    The formality of your wording depends on the formality of the event. If youre hosting a formal, black-tie gala to celebrate your wedding anniversary, then use formal wording similar to your wedding invitation. Anniversary Ideas recommends formal wording to include third-person phrasing, spelled-out street names (for example, Road, Boulevard or Avenue) and spelled-out days, dates and times. If youre hosting a casual get-together, omit this formal wordingsecond person, abbreviations and numbers are acceptable.


    The content of your invitation should give guests an idea of what to expect. Include the hosts names (whether thats the anniversary couple or a family member or friend), anniversary year, event location and time. The invitation should also indicate what type of celebration will take place. For example, if the couple plans to renew their vows with a dinner and dancing reception to follow, then indicate Reception immediately following or Reception to follow on the invitation. It is also important to include RSVP information on the invitation.


    Formal etiquette guidelines indicate that you should not mention gifts on the invitation, even if you want to include a No gifts please comment. Of course, guests may choose to bring cards or gifts or make charitable donations in the couples honor, but it is best to exclude any gift information on the invitation.


    Once they receive the invitation, guests should promptly respond to the event. Follow the indications on the invitationthe hosts may ask that you call or email with your reply or return a reply card to them. Even if the invitation does not request a reply, the Emily Post Institute recommends calling the host to let them know if youre attending. It is best not to change your response, so reply only when you are certain of your plans. The Emily Post Institute states that changing a yes to a no is only acceptable on account of illness or injury, a death in the family or an unavoidable professional or business conflict.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Wedding Table Place Card Etiquette

Place cards indicate to wedding guests where they'll sit. While this isn't required etiquette, it's strongly encouraged. Using place cards ensures guests are seated with people whose company they enjoy, and also, that all guests have a place to sit, no matter what time they arrive.

Why Place Cards are Important

    Choosing seats for wedding guests requires a tactful approach. For example, feuding exes can ruin a happy occasion and should never sit at the same table, Likewise ex-friends who continuously snipe at each other. If certain guests can't be trusted to behave, it's best not to put them in a position where they can make others uncomfortable.

    If guests don't have assigned seating, it can also create a stampede once the reception area's doors open as they rush to find "good seats." Late arrivals may find themselves separated, as only single seats are left over. Having place cards ensures a harmonious event.

Table Cards vs. Seating Cards

    There are two different types of place cards. Seating cards, which are placed at every seat, and table cards, which only assign tables but allow guests to sit where they like. They each have their pros and cons, and both are a matter of preference.

    Table cards only indicate the guests' names and their assigned table. These cards are usually arranged on a small table set up just outside the reception area. Sometimes they're attached to a wedding favor. Guests appreciate this scenario because it allows them to sit where they like. It's also easier for the bride and groom to set cards upon one table than to place cards individually.

    Seating cards allow the happy couple to have complete control over where each guest will sit. This ensures guests who don't get along won't sit near each other, even at separate tables. It also helps to accommodate guests with special needs, for example if they need to be close to a bathroom, aisle or exit.

Escort Cards for Unnamed Guests

    Wedding invitations addressed to single guests might read "Mary Smith and Guest." This may work on an envelope, but how should the host address a place card if she doesn't know the guest's name? If a guest is bringing a friend, it's acceptable for the host to write out a place card also for "Mary Smith and Guest" and place it between both seats.

    Wedding place cards aren't mandatory but it's easy to see why they're a good idea. The last thing a bride and groom want is drama from tablemates who don't get along.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Etiquette for

There are times when a bride and groom may not want to receive gifts, such as in the case of a remarriage. Writing "No gifts, please" on an invitation is considered to be a breach in etiquette, since mentioning gifts at all indicates an expectation of one. This can also cause confusion, as guests might think you don't want presents, but want money instead. There are other ways a couple can handle this situation without offending or confusing guests.

Spread the word

    Instead of writing "No gifts, please" on the invitation, tell your family and friends about your wishes. Enlist the help of your parents of bridal party to spread the word as well. If a guest asks what you would like, tell them you have everything you need and request only their presence and well wishes.

Request a Charitable Donation

    If you'd rather help others than have guests give you money or gifts you don't need, The Knot suggests creating a charity registry. Set one up through The I Do Foundation or Just Give, where guests can make a donation to your requested charity through the website. Keep in mind that registry information of any kind should not be included on your wedding invitation. It would be appropriate to include the link to your charity registry on your wedding website, if you have one. Also, ask friends and family to tell others about your registry and/or mention the charity registry link in a bridal shower invitation.

Create a Small Registry

    Emily Post suggests creating a registry of a few inexpensive items, even if you would rather not receive gifts. Although guests should respect your wishes, there will be well-meaning family members who won't be able to accept the fact that you don't want anything, and traditionalists who insist on buying you a present anyway. If you'd rather not register, create a short list of gifts that you would like and share it with your bridal party and families. Ask them to spread the word that you don't need gifts, but if the guest insists on bringing one or won't give up the subject, to tell them you would appreciate a gift card to a certain store, hotel or restaurant.

Accept Gifts

    No matter how many times you tell guests that you don't want gifts, there will be people who insist on bringing one. Accept the gift graciously, and make no mention of your "no gifts" request. Don't make the guest feel uncomfortable or awkward. Send a thank you note to acknowledge their present; this should be sent no later than three months after the wedding, according to Emily Post. Guests, however, should respect the couple's wishes and not a bring a gift if they know of this request in advance.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A post-wedding--otherwise known as farewell--brunch is a way for guests (and newlyweds) to catch their breath after the wedding and for the couple to say goodbye to their families before heading for their honeymoon. It is also a time to reflect upon the previous day's wedding and to thank the wedding party and guests for all that they contributed. But, like all wedding events, there are important details and etiquette that go along with the post-wedding brunch.

Who Hosts and Who's Invited?

    Nowadays, it seems like anything goes with weddings. But, traditionally, the bride's parents host the farewell brunch since the wedding typically takes place in their neck of the woods. Whoever hosts generally foots the bill, as well. However, it is especially thoughtful for the couple to host the brunch as a thank you to their parents and guests but, really, anyone can host--another person in the bride's family, someone from the wedding party or even the groom's parents. In some cases--if the brunch is at a restaurant where a bill is given, for example--guests can pay for themselves.
    Traditionally, the wedding party and immediate family are asked to attend the brunch. However, anyone can be invited--ranging from friends to family to children. This is also a good way to include anyone from out of town in another wedding event. But, the guest list can depend on budget and who is hosting. It is a good to note that the brunch is usually kept small so that the couple has a chance to talk to everyone individually. It is the host's choice to send invitations to attendees. The host can send separate invitations or, if it's planned early enough, slip a note about the brunch in with the formal wedding invitations. Invitations can also be spread by word of mouth or email. The invitation itself will reflect how formal or casual the brunch is.

Location, Location, Location

    Again, it's up to the host to choose where to have the brunch. The location is usually kept in close vicinity to where the wedding took place so that out-of-town guests can find it easily. The Knot suggests places like an old firehouse, a landmark diner or even the host's home. The venue reflects the how formal or casual the brunch is. If it's at a home, for example, it may be acceptable to dress casually and bring a dish or beverage. If it's at a restaurant, depending on the formality, it is wise to dress appropriately. Check the venue out beforehand if you're unsure or look at the venue's website. The Wedding Channel suggests holding the brunch at a home to add a personal touch.


    It is up to the host to decide if the brunch will be catered. If the brunch is at a home, it is appropriate for the food to be homemade. The Knot suggests a brunch menu of omelets, bagels, muffins and fruit for breakfast-like items and soup, sandwiches and pasta for lunch items. However, anything goes--the hosts should feel free to include whatever food they want. Cocktail brunches, which include things like specialty French toast and mimosas, are also popular and a less-expensive option. Remember to keep the food similar to what someone would typically eat at that time of day.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Outdoor Wedding Etiquette

If you're planning on having your wedding outdoors, several etiquette rules should be kept in mind so that the ceremony and reception will go smoothly. These regulations provide guidelines for wedding party members' roles, as well as suggestions for guest attire and behavior.

Informing Guests

    When the couple decides to have the wedding outside, this information should be included with the wedding invitations. This will give guests time to prepare or purchase the proper wedding attire. Additional information about the predicted weather for the day of the wedding can also accompany the invitation, but this is not required. The couple should also inform guests of the type of wedding ceremony that will take place; for example, formal, semi-formal, informal. This will further assist guests in wearing the appropriate outfit to the occasion (for example, a sundress would not be appropriate for a formal wedding, but a shawl may not be necessary for a semi-formal ceremony in warm weather).

Accommodating Guests

    It is up to the couple to provide certain items to guests at an outdoor wedding, especially if the ceremony is being held in an area where the weather is especially warm. Wedding hosts and hostesses should have water bottles and fans to pass out to guests upon request, and insect repellent and sunscreen should also be available. Wedding attendants should also have enough tissue to pass out to guests; while weddings are emotional events, those in attendance may also need tissues to cover sneezes and coughs associated with allergic reactions.

Backup Plan

    The couple should always have a backup location to hold the outdoor ceremony, in case weather prevents the wedding from taking place at the original site. A number of places that offer outdoor weddings require couples to have a "plan B" before finalizing their wedding plans. Indoor facilities available at the same site as the outdoor wedding are usually the best choice, but the bride and groom can also rent a large tent that will accommodate the guests. An additional tent large enough for food and tables for the reception if the reception is scheduled to be held outdoors is also necessary.

Sound System

    If the wedding is being held close to a body of water, or in a windy location, it can be difficult for guests to hear what is being said in the ceremony. The couple should arrange to use lapel microphones, and should provide one for the wedding officiant as well. These can usually be secured by the band playing for the wedding or the DJ, but some wedding facilities will provide these for rental.


    Proper etiquette suggests that elaborate decorations are not necessary for an outdoor wedding. Complementary colors should be used that will enhance the natural setting, so as not to compete with nature. For instance, if the wedding is being held on the beach, the bride may choose to have her bridesmaids dress in shades of blue to complement the water, or in subtle shades of pink or orange if the wedding will be held at sunset. If the wedding is being held at a garden, the bride's favorite flowers can be added to the natural decor to give the ceremony a personal touch.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Adults-Only Wedding Etiquette

Most will agree that weddings provide occasion to celebrate, rejoice and embrace the union of two individuals who ultimately join two families the moment they say "I do." However, it remains a matter of opinion whether children should make the final guest list. From an etiquette perspective, there is no definitive answer; therefore, the final decision belongs to the happy couple.

Careful Consideration

    Before having your wedding invitations printed, carefully consider whether to include children. Consider your guests and weigh their family situations against your reasons for not wanting to include their children. If you opt to exclude them, remain firm in your decision and do not relent with some. Attendees who made childcare arrangements will certainly take offense to find some children present.

Invitation Wording

    Hosting an adults-only wedding does not fall into the etiquette faux pas category; however, blatantly announcing "No Children" on your invitation does. Traditionally, the accepted method to communicate an adults-only wedding is to address the invitation to the adults in the household. Example: "Mr. and Mrs. John and Lucy Smith" or "Mr. John Smith and Guest," not "Smith Family."

Backup Plan

    Since some guests can miss the subtlety of a traditionally-addressed invitation, a backup plan is in order. offers some tactful ways to convey the need to find alternate arrangements: using word-of-mouth or specific wording on the response cards like "Adult Reception."

Prepare Yourself

    Don't expect every parent on your guest list to gleefully accept your wishes on excluding children. Finding a sitter may prove difficult or costly for out-of-towners, while others firmly believe that weddings are family events. Whatever their opinion, prepare yourself to graciously handle anyone who must decline your invitation based on the "Adults Only" stipulation.

Creative Alternative

    If having an adult wedding reception is a priority, but you do not want to preclude anyone from attending, see if your venue has an off-room you can use as a "children's room." Hire a sitter and equip her with coloring books, crafts and other inexpensive activities for the kids to enjoy. This will ensure that all parents on your guest list will be on hand.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Etiquette for Wedding Programs

When planning a wedding, there are lots of rules of etiquette to remember. Read on for some tips on the wedding program, and find out whether you need one and what to do if you are making one yourself.

Do you need a program?

    Not every wedding needs a program. If you're planning a very small wedding, a brief ceremony or a wedding where a judge will lead the ceremony, a program isn't necessary. Those trying to save additional wedding costs will also probably want to forgo the program.
    However, in some cases, a program is a helpful guide for guests. A few examples of weddings that might benefit from programs:
    Traditional weddings
    Weddings where the bride and groom are a different culture from many of their guests
    Weddings with many attendants that guests will not know
    Longer ceremonies that have songs and readings that require guest participation
    Weddings where the bride and groom want to use a program to thank people
    If a wedding fits into one of the above categories, a program is probably a good idea. It also serves as a lovely souvenir for your guests.

Program guidelines

    Hand out your programs at the beginning of the wedding, when the guests are being seated. If ushers seat guests, give them the job of handing out programs. In this case, purchase one program for each guest. If programs will sit in a basket, allowing guests to take one, plan to have programs for about three-fourths of the guests.
    It is acceptable to put memorials in the program and is common to honor grandparents and other relatives that are not at the ceremony. A verse that reflects the bride and groom is also a nice way to close the program.

The ceremony

    The bulk of any wedding program describes what will happen in the ceremony. Work with your officiant to figure out the wording of the program. Be sure to include all the elements of the ceremony in the order they will occur and the names of all the members of the wedding party.

Monday, March 10, 2014

You agreed to have no more than 125 guests at your wedding. But you've just realized that between the two of you, you have 300 people you want to invite. Now what?


    1 Sit down with your intended and list everyone you can think of to invite.
    2 Use the one-year rule for friends: If you haven't had a meaningful conversation with this person within the last year, don't invite him or her.
    3 Ask your parents on both sides to help you cull people from the list.
    4 Avoid the "If I invite this cousin, I must invite all cousins" trap. And don't feel obligated to invite people who invited you to their wedding. Relationships change.
    5 Exclude children if possible. Suddenly a family of six is a manageable party of two.
    6 Address the invitations only to those you intend to invite. If your single friend rates an invitation and isn't seeing anyone seriously, you don't have to include "and guest."
    7 Keep the list limited to personal friends. Do you hang out with co-workers away from the office? If not, don't invite them.
    8 Make sure that the same number of people are invited from each side. This will prevent in-laws from feeling cheated.
    9 Keep in mind that on average, about 25 percent of your guests won't be able to make it.
    10 Make a first and second list. Put the absolutely-must-invites on the first list, and as the RSVPs come in, send an invitation from the second list for each regret.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Wedding Ring Etiquette for a Widow

In western culture, the wedding ring symbolizes a commitment to one's spouse. When a woman loses her spouse, the wedding ring can serve as a reminder of the relationship. Learning more about the wedding ring etiquette associated with widows can help a woman decide her own course after the death of a spouse.


    According to jewelry retailer Samara James, it was once traditional for a widow to place her wedding ring in the casket with her husband, but this practice is no longer common. Judith Martin, who writes the syndicated "Miss Manners" column, notes that the Victorians' only rule for wedding rings worn by widows was that the ring should not be worn on the morning of a wedding to another man.


    Wearing a wedding ring after the death of a spouse can allow a widow to maintain a sense of closeness with the deceased, and it can allow her to remember the good times in the relationship. It can also help prevent unwanted advances if the widow is simply not ready to be approached romantically for a time. Continuing to wear a wedding ring can provide a sense of normalcy in the time after the death, but it should be removed if wearing it is causing emotional pain through its presence.


    According to the Finding Our Way website, there is no specific etiquette as to whether a widow should wear her ring or stop wearing it or when it is appropriate to do so. However, there are several common options. A widow may choose to wear her own wedding ring and to wear her spouse's ring on a chain around her neck. She might choose to wear her wedding ring on the right hand. Some women choose to have the ring melted down and made into a new piece of jewelry, which keeps the memento close, but symbolizes a new phase in her life.

Passing the Ring On

    Wedding rings can also be passed on to someone who is important to the widow. Giving her ring to a child or to someone that she feels close to who is getting married can be an important part of moving on without forgetting the deceased. Wedding rings can become family heirlooms that are passed on to subsequent generations.


    Wearing a wedding ring on anything but the ring finger of the left hand can prompt questions. Plain gold wedding bands are a common sight, and people will notice them if they are displayed in an uncommon way. A widow who wears her wedding ring on a different finger or on her right hand should be prepared to face questions. Having an answer prepped can prevent the question from feeling like a shock or an ambush.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wedding Etiquette for Uninvited Guests

You might assume that something as black-or-white as your wedding guest list wouldnt leave much room for problems of etiquette to arise, but its not uncommon for your guests to want to include extras on the invitation you sent them. Some guests just don't realize that if a name is not on the envelope, or it doesn't state "and Guest," then a guest is not invited. If you handle these issues firmly and immediately, these errors in etiquette should cause less stress.

Be Firm

    Some of the finer points of etiquette evaporate when guests start pressuring you to expand their invitation to include others. Merely requesting an additional seat at a wedding or a reception is extremely rude, so dont worry about coming off as Miss Manners when dealing with the indiscretion. Be firm, but tell your guest it isnt possible to accommodate the request for a variety of reasons, many of which provide you a handy excuse to hide behind without appearing too unconvincing yourself.

A Matter of Planning

    Explain to your intrusive guest and his unwanted plus one that invitations were sent after careful planning, with seating charts and other arrangements already calculated before invitations were issued. Guests, and in the case of single guests, the option to bring a date were calculated when arriving at your headcount and seating chart. If space is limited at the church or reception hall dont be afraid to use that as an excuse as well.

A Matter of Budget

    Unless you're royalty, you have to plan your wedding around a fixed budget. Explain to your guest that his addition to the guest list will strain food and drink budgets. If you could afford it, everyone would be able to drag a few extras along to the reception, but you won't be able to accommodate the imposition on your budget for his guest.

A Matter of Scope

    At any wedding, there are a finite amount of spots on the guest list. You can gracefully deflect the request for an additional guest by telling your pushy guest that you've already had to pare the guest list down to the bare minimum, and have already had to exclude members of your extended family from the list, and the addition of someone not in your hand-picked, close-knit guest list may spark a minor family crisis.

Be Blunt

    The bottom line is you don't need to provide a reason to deny a request to add an uninvited guest into your planning. Because the request itself is the height of rudeness, as wedding planer, simply bluntly and courteously deny the request. Once you start allowing guests to expand your guest list, you're on a slippery slope: Where do you draw the line? Avoid those headaches by being firm and denying all requests to help nip that problem in the bud.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Etiquette on Wedding Gift Requests

One of the great perks of getting married, besides gaining a life partner and a host of new family members, is receiving wedding presents. Wedding presents originally were given to give newlyweds a proper start in life, often stocking their homes with household goods. Whether the couple already has their home life established or are starting fresh, the gift request process is fraught with etiquette rules many couples are not aware of or prepared to observe.

Wedding Registry

    WedNet lists the wedding registry as the best way for the couple to express their gift preferences to their wedding guests. There is no limit to what the couple can register for, however, couples should understand guests are not required to purchase from the registry.

    Traditional wedding etiquette dictates there should be no reference to wedding gifts listed on the wedding invitation. Previously, couples relied on friends and family to spread the registry information among guests. Modern couples and guests appreciate enclosure cards with registry information.

Cash Gifts

    Cash gifts are perfect for any wedding--the right size, color and shape, however, the Emily Post Institute along with other leading wedding etiquette experts at The Knot, Wedding Channel and Bride expressly forbid a couple from requesting cash in lieu of gifts on an invitation. This includes enclosure cards as well. Wed Net contends it's tacky to ask others to spread the cash preference, while The Emily Post Institute does allow a couple or their close family and friends to reveal their preference if directly asked.

Beyond First Wedding

    According to Wed Net, it is acceptable to register for gifts for a second, third or more wedding, but it is not required that a guest give a gift if they were present and gave a gift for the previous wedding.
    This couple should follow all the general gift request etiquette rules as a first-time married couple, including sending thank you cards and not putting gift information directly on the invitation.

Gift Price

    Engaged couples should have no qualms about registering for expensive gifts, say the experts at Brides. A wedding is a once in a lifetime event (hopefully) and registering for expensive gifts that will benefit a couple in the long-term is completely acceptable. Even if there aren't any wealthy guests invited, expensive gifts are often purchased as group gifts from friends, co-workers and other well wishers.

No Gifts

    It is acceptable to request that guest not bring gifts to a wedding though couples should expect some will bring gifts, cards or money anyway to express their happiness for the couple. The couple should send a thank you note for every gift they receive.

    The Wedding Channel also points out that the "No Gifts Please" clause should not be included on the wedding invitation. An enclosure card may be used or the no gift preference should be spread by word of mouth via the wedding party and family.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Every couple has its own needs and desires, and yours may not include material wedding gifts from your guests. Think twice before you put a note about "no gifts" on your invitation. Telling your guests not to bring gifts on the invitation is just as tacky as including registry cards.

Reason for the Rule

    Etiquette dictates that there should be no mention of gifts anywhere on a wedding invitation because there should not be an expectation that guests will bring gifts. By refusing gifts or writing "in lieu of gifts . . ." you are indicating that without such a note, guests are compelled to give you a present. Guests give out of their own generosity, not because they have to under the rules of etiquette or tradition.

Spreading Your Request

    Guests who are interested in giving a present will seek out information related to registries or desired gifts. Emily Post suggests letting the information get out by word of mouth or through your wedding website. You can spread the word to close family and bridal party members that you do not desire gifts. When they are asked where you are registered, they can make your wishes known. Likewise, if you prefer your guests give to a charity in lieu of gifts, give this information to your inner circle or post it on your wedding website. Include a link or note on the side of your wedding page explaining that you respectfully request no gifts.

Careful Wording

    Do not directly say "no gifts, please" because many guests will want to give you gifts and will not appreciate being told not to do so. Carefully phrase your words so as not to offend. Consider the following examples: "Your presence is the only gift we request." "In lieu of gifts, we ask that you pray for our future together." "In lieu of gifts, we ask that you donate to a charity in our name." Use these phrases or make up your own to let guests know your wishes without sounding like guests are forbidden from giving a material or monetary gift if they please. Remember that all presents deserve thank-you cards. If guests give charitable donations in your name, you should acknowledging their gift with thanks.

Friday, February 28, 2014

If you've been asked to preside over a couple's wedding ceremony, it is very important to adhere to certain etiquette rules concerning the duties you are asked to perform. Displaying certain courtesies to the bride and groom will help to make their wedding day one of the most memorable experiences of their lives.

Communicating with the Couple

    The wedding officiant must communicate effectively with the bride and groom. For instance, if the couple email the officiant about logistical matters, such as potential date(s) for the wedding, she should return the email within 24 to 48 hours. The officiant should also return phone calls from the bride and groom as soon as possible, so that the couple can better plan for their ceremony.

Deposits and Payments

    The wedding officiant should communicate clearly with the couple concerning the rate that will be charged for his services. If the couple makes a deposit or two before the ceremony, it is proper etiquette for the officiant to acknowledge receipt of the deposits, especially if the money was collected by a church secretary or office assistant. If the wedding officiant prefers to have all the money paid up front before the ceremony, or wouldn't mind receiving full payment after the wedding, he should let the couple know this as soon as possible. The couple is not required to tip the person who performs the ceremony, but the gesture is appreciated, and 10 to 20 percent is standard.

Arrival Times

    It is very important for the officiant to arrive at the rehearsal and ceremony on time. If possible, the officiant should be 15 to 30 minutes early for both events, in order to address any concerns that the bride and groom may have, and to be notified of last-minute changes if necessary.

Emergencies and Replacements

    If the wedding officiant is not able to preside over the wedding because of unforeseen circumstances, it is up to him or her to find a replacement that the bride and groom will be satisfied with as soon as possible. Once the original officiant has agreed to perform the wedding, it is not the couple's responsibility to find a replacement.

Marriage License

    The wedding officiant is legally required to go over the marriage license before the actual ceremony, and should ask the bride and groom for the license if they have not already presented it. If the officiant has agreed to file the marriage license after the ceremony, this should be done no more than 10 days after the wedding.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wedding Rehearsal Invitation Etiquette

Due to the often hectic nature of wedding planning, the rehearsal is typically considered a minor detail in comparison to the "big day." However, the rehearsal is an important element of the wedding and helps to ensure there are no major hiccups on your wedding day. You want to make sure all of the key players for your ceremony are in attendance by properly informing them of the details of your rehearsal with an invitation.

Whether Invitations are Necessary

    The simple answer to this question is no. There is no formal etiquette that dictates an invitation is required to inform your wedding party of the wedding rehearsal; it is assumed your wedding party will be kept abreast of the planning via phone calls or meetings throughout your planning process. However, it is entirely likely that members of your wedding party will be traveling to your wedding from somewhere else. As such, an invitation to keep everyone in the loop and help them make their travel arrangements appropriately could be beneficial.

Who to Invite

    While there is no official guideline, the wedding rehearsal should only include those participating in the wedding ceremony--you, your groom, parents and grandparents (if they are part of the processional), your attendants, officiant, musicians, anyone doing readings and any children participating in the ceremony (their parents should also be in attendance). Your wedding coordinator should also be present, if you are using one.

What to Include in the Invitations

    The most important things to include in your rehearsal invitations are your names, the location of the rehearsal and the date/time. These may seem like obvious things for your invitees, but so many weddings take place from May to September that it is quite possible your wedding attendants are in more than one wedding. Ensuring that they know which rehearsal they are being invited to will be vital to your planning as well as their own. Also, while it is ideal that you would hold your wedding rehearsal in the same location as your wedding, this is often impossible due to things like weather and prior bookings; so make sure to include the location of the rehearsal in the invitations, as well as a separate sheet with concise directions to the rehearsal site. Other information to include would be the time and date of the rehearsal, as well as any dress code to follow (many churches still implement a dress code, even for wedding rehearsals).


    It is entirely up to you whether to spread the word of the rehearsal verbally or with a printed invitation. Many couples utilize e-mail and text-messaging trees to get information to their attendants, while others prefer hand mailing details, making phone calls or setting up meetings with the entire wedding party. There is no official etiquette involved when it comes to the formality and style of your wedding rehearsal invitations, which means you are open to follow any style or level of formality that you would like. You can choose to use the same degree of formality as your wedding invitations or go for something more casual.

When to Send

    If you are mailing out or e-mailing rehearsal invitations, it is best to do so as soon as you have your plans solidified. Doing this will give your attendants and other ceremony participants ample time to make arrangements so that they can be present for your rehearsal. The same guideline applies to verbal invitations and text messages--as soon as you know your plans, inform your participants to avoid frustration later on.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Parents of the Bride Wedding Etiquette

Applying traditional wedding etiquette for parents of the bride can help to ensure that the wedding process runs smoothly up to the day of the ceremony. By understanding the roles and responsibilities, applying a few basic manners and embracing elements of general kindness, etiquette for parents of the bride can help the wonderful yet stressful day go smoothly. Although there are a number of expectations in wedding etiquette for parents of the bride, they are time-tested ways aimed at carrying out a successful wedding.

Wedding Expenses

    Traditionally the bride's parents pay for the reception costs -- including the wedding cake, food, space rental and music -- as well as the wedding invitation packages and floral arrangements for ceremony and reception. The bride's parents also pay for the gift to the couple, which can be financial or material, the wedding dress, the bridal consultant or wedding planner, and the photographer and videographer. It is the bride's parents who are to initiate topics related to wedding finances. It is not proper etiquette for the bride and groom to inquire about the parents' intention to help with expenses.

Guest List Development

    Once the finances for the wedding have been decided upon and an itemized budget set, the development of the guest list can begin. It is important to specify the number of guests to be invited to attend the wedding. This is another area that requires sensitivity and some level of negotiation, because of family dynamics and limitations set by the budget. Working with the bride, the parents of the bride help decide whom to include on the guest list, beginning with immediate family members, aunts, and uncles on both the bride and groom's side. Then, friends of both sets of parents, acquaintances, and co-workers are added, with the last group being optional.

Proper Attire Selection

    Upon selection of the wedding colors by the bride, the tradition is for mother of the bride to choose her dress first, followed by the groom's mom. The colors should coordinate with the rest of the bridal party, but not be the same color or style, including avoiding white or similar colors. The dress selected by both mothers should be the same length and of complementary styles to one another. The father of the bride selects formal wear that coordinates with the other men in the wedding party. It is the father of the bride who informs the father of the groom whether or not a fitting is needed for the formal wear.

Ceremony and Reception Activity

    For the ceremony, the mother of the bride is escorted down the aisle and is traditionally the last person to be seated for the ceremony begins. The bride's mother is the first to be escorted out of the ceremony. At the reception, she is the often the first person in the receiving line. The father of the bride guides the bride down the aisle during the ceremony the sits beside his wife. At the reception, the bride's father serves as the host of the reception and makes his round, greeting guests. Making the toast to the new couple is also an honor given to the bride's father. In addition, the father of the bride is the last to leave the reception, making sure all loose ends are tied.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Informal weddings should follow certain etiquette just as formal weddings do. Usually there aren't so many "rules" to abide by and the atmosphere is more relaxed, but respectful and polite etiquette helps make the day special.

Planning Informal Weddings

    Many people associate informal weddings with small, intimate gatherings. This may be the case for you, however the two don't always go hand-in-hand. For example, some couples may wish to include all their friends and family for a beach wedding. Adventurous couples may opt to exchange vows in the bowling alley where they met, on their favorite ski slope or in the middle of their favorite camping grounds. These weddings would typically be informal, but can include everyone the couple knows, or just the two of them, the officiant and a couple of witnesses. Either way, the bride and groom should hold the type of wedding they want.
    Planning an informal wedding isn't always less work or stress than a formal one, and the need for proper etiquette remains the same. For instance, officiants should always be held with respect, and should always receive a "tip" even if they say their service is free of charge. If you are hosting your wedding in the backyard of the home of a friend or relative, you should be grateful and respectful of their home. Include your parents and the parents of your soon-to-be spouse whenever possible.

Invitations and Guest List

    Invitations should be printed on less formal, thinner card stock. The wording of your invitations should be less formal as well. For example, "(host's names) wish to invite you to celebrate the marriage of (bride and groom's names)" or something along those lines. Leave out the Mr. and Mrs. titles as well. Your invitation is the first clue for your guests as to the formality of your wedding, which they will use to plan their attire for the big day.
    Invite everyone who is near and dear to both of you. If your mother and stepmother don't get along, but you are close to both of them, make sure they are both in attendance. Perhaps you could give your mother a "special" honor or recognition, and you might also consider entrusting someone such as the maid of honor or best man to keep an eye out for potential trouble. It's your day, so invite everyone you wish to have there. Proper etiquette would be to calmly sit down with your mother before the wedding and explain that it is your day and the guest list is up to you.

Reception and Food

    A receiving line is not necessary at an informal wedding. In fact, it would probably be out of place. Keep the atmosphere more like a social party and encourage guests to chat and get to know one another. Music can come from a compilations CD with your favorite music, instead of a DJ or band. Forgo expensive flowers, and decorate in homemade arrangements or less expensive lanterns and candles. The food can be as simple or lavish as you want, although you should probably avoid multi-course sit-down meals since they are more formal. Offer a buffet or barbecue for a "full" meal, or serve hors d'oeuvres instead. Candy bars or dessert buffets are perfectly acceptable for informal weddings. As a matter of fact, cake and punch work, too. You can serve any drinks you'd like, such as limiting it to lemonade, punch and soft drinks, or supply a keg if you desire. Having a bartender on hand is likely overkill for an informal wedding.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Etiquette for Addressing Wedding Invitations to Single People

When considering the wording you would like to use to address your wedding invitations there are many factors to consider. Since a wedding is usually an extremely formal occasion, great care should be taken to be sure you are observing the rules of formal etiquette. If your occasion is less formal, feel free to convey that by using more creativity in your addresses.

Unmarried Woman

    When addressing an envelope to an unmarried woman over 18, or a divorced woman who maintains her maiden name, the outer envelope should be addressed to Miss (or Ms.) Jane Doe. The inner envelope should be addressed to Miss (or Ms.) Doe and Guest.

Divorced Woman

    If you are addressing an envelope to a divorced woman who is using her married name, address the outer envelope to Mrs. Jane Smith. The inner envelope should be addressed to Mrs. Smith and Guest.

Unmarried or Divorced Man

    An envelope that is addressed either to an unmarried or divorced man can be addressed in the same way. The outer envelope should read Mr. John Doe, while the inner envelope should be addressed to Mr. John Doe and Guest.

Unmarried Couples at the Same Address

    When sending an invitation to an unmarried couple that lives at the same address, list their names in alphabetical order by last name. The outer envelope should read Miss (or Ms. ) Jane Doe, Mr. John Smith, with each name being on a different line. The inner envelope should be addressed to Miss (or Ms.) Doe and Mr. Smith.

Unmarried Couples at a Different Address

    If you are sending an invitation to unmarried couples that do not share the same residence, send the invitation to the friend who is the closest to you as a couple. The outer envelope should be addressed to Miss (or Ms.) Jane Doe and the inner envelope should be addressed to Miss (or Ms.) Doe and Guest.

Same Gender Couples

    When sending an invitation to same gender couples, simply address them alphabetically by last name. The outer envelope should read Miss (or Ms.) Jane Doe, Miss (or Ms.) Susan Smith, with each name on a separate line. The inner envelope should be addressed to Miss (or Ms.) Doe and Miss (or Ms.) Smith.

Other Etiquette

    Always be sure to address the envelopes by hand. It may take a little extra time but it is a necessary part of wedding invitation etiquette. If you expect your guests to RSVP, stamp the return envelope as a courtesy to your guests. Send out your invitations six to eight weeks before your big day to allow your guests ample time to clear their schedules and make travel arrangements.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Wedding Etiquette for a Step-Grandmother

Family issues can be a stressful part of wedding planning, but wedding etiquette helps brides and grooms navigate otherwise difficult family situations. Part of wedding day etiquette is making sure step-parents and step-grandparents are acknowledged appropriately. With sensitivity, you can make sure that everyone, even your step-grandmother, feels special on your special day.

Blended Families

    Wedding etiquette is evolving all the time to accommodate ever-changing family units. Through divorce, separations, death and other unique situations, families grow to include step-relatives. A step-grandmother may come into a family when a grandfather remarries, or when a parent remarries, bringing a new set of relatives into the relationship. A step-grandmother's involvement in a wedding will depend partly on the couple's relationship with her.

Basic Etiquette

    While there are no set rules to follow for a step-grandmother in a wedding, the basic rules concerning grandparents apply. In traditional weddings, grandparents play only a small role. You generally don't need to include a step-grandmother's name in the wedding program, as grandparents are rarely listed. However, it is polite and perfectly acceptable to buy her a corsage and to include her in the wedding processional, as you would for other grandmothers. During the ceremony and reception, the step-grandmother should sit with her spouse. Seat a parental grandmother and a step-grandmother in separate rows or at different tables to avoid making anyone feel uncomfortable.


    At a wedding, grandparents represent family history, being among the eldest living relatives. That significance is noted by including them in the wedding processional. While processionals vary by denomination, it's common for the ushers to escort grandparents to and from their seats. According to, the grandmothers of the bride are seated first and then the grandmothers of the groom. If there is a step-grandmother on either side, she is seated after the parental grandmother.

Step-Grandmother's Role

    Etiquette also guides a step-grandmother's behavior at your wedding. Her role is to accompany her husband to your wedding, or to support her child who married into your family. Like all wedding guests, she should be respectful of you and your blood relatives.


    It's up to the couple to make the wedding etiquette decisions to ensure that everyone--including a step-grandmother--feels comfortable on the wedding day. Additionally, the wedding day provides an opportunity to open the door to a new relationship. If you have never been close to your step-grandmother, including her in the event in some small way may be the first step on the path to a closer relationship.