Wedding etiquette tips...
- The engagement party...may be hosted by the couple or either set of parents. It can be cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at your home, or dinner at a restaurant. In any case, don’t expect a gift at this party.
- Make sure to announce your engagement to your family, children, and close friends before posting on any social media sites like facebook or Twitter.
- Invitations...Don't ask for cash only as a gift on the invitation, or your wedding website. It's acceptable to let everyone know (by word of mouth) that you'll accept cash gifts. It's ok to ask for gift cards on your registry.
- The standard rule for inviting children is: include each name of family member that you want as a guest. Never include the words “no kids” on the invitation.
- Traditionally the bride's family paid for the wedding, and the groom's family paid for the honeymoon. Times have changed, bride and grooms often pay for their own, but the traditions still stand in some families.
- The wedding...The wedding party can include all ages, and genders. Want your best girlfriend as your best man? Your best guy friend can be in the bridal party. Your flower girl can be your Grandma..It''s o.k., whatever your comfortable with! Also, many brides and grooms include their pets in the ceremony.
- If either of you have children, by all means include them in the wedding. One way is to let them give you away. Make them feel special, and include them however you can!
- Where there are more than two sets of parents (stepparents), depending on the family dynamics, it can sometimes be uncomfortable. Come to an agreement beforehand about seating at the wedding and reception, and who stands where in the receiving line.
- Speaking of receiving lines, it is not necessary at a small and informal wedding. You can just mingle and introduce people.
- Wedding attire...If it’s your first time around it’s o.k. to wear a color, and if it’s your second time around, it’s alright to wear white.
- The groom’s mother should consult with the bride’s mother about what she should wear.
- The reception...Everyone should feel comfortable. Use place cards at the tables, so that guests will be with others that they are compatible with. Have a seating chart where they enter so that they don’t have to search for their table.
- Your thank-you notes should be sent out within two to four weeks after the wedding. Don’t forget to mention the specific gift and how you plan to use it.
- For guests...Make sure to get permission before posting pictures of the ceremony or the reception on any social media outlet.
- A year used to be the acceptable time to give a wedding gift, 3 months is the new time frame.
- The average spent on a wedding gift is around $80.00. But, there is no rule..it's whatever fits into your budget.
Remember that wedding etiquette is about common sense, civility, decency and good behavior.