by: Chelsea, ECC
Depending on the formality of your wedding, it is very important to consider the proper etiquette for the event. If you are a laid back couple looking for a good ole’ Texas barbeque in beautiful back yard, you might be a little more lax and not
have to worry about these tips, but if you are planning a formal occasion, these are definitely guidelines to consider. As times changes and weddings evolve, the traditions of etiquette have changed as well.
So let’s get right to it. Every wedding is different and has its own style, so there is no specific order to any of these. The following items are wedding etiquette everyone should know and follow:
- Adult reception only- No kids, no kids, no kids! That is what an adult reception only means. Now we know if you have kids, it can be very hard to find a babysitter, especially on a Friday or Saturday night, but most of the time a adult reception is planned either because of spacing issues, budget, or the bride and groom would just like to have an evening with just adults. This is always mentioned in the invitation if they do not want children and we all know how obnoxious it can be to have a crying kid during a romantic ceremony, making other guests not be able to hear and enjoy the moment. So be respectful to the couple and do not bring children if it is an adult reception only. (For the bride and groom- make your decision to invite children or not and stick with it!)
- Gift-giving- Weddings are a perfect occasion for gift-giving, so here is some useful gift etiquette advise:
- Do not print registry information on the invitation
- Do not explicitly ask for cash; your family and close friends can inform guests of your preferences if asked.
- Don’t forget your thank you letters. It is good to send out a hand-written thank you not within two weeks of receiving your gift. (Depending on honey moon length)
- Price is always a hard point. The idea is that each gift should cost as much as one plate at the reception.
- For the gift givers- Always buy something that is on the registry, if you do not make sure you know it is something the couple does not already have and you know they want or need!
- Cash bars- YES, we know weddings are expensive! But when considering cash bar really think about it. Would you ever ask someone to pay for a beverage when coming to your home? People are still your guests even though it isnot taken place at your home, so think of the alternatives. Maybe only host beer and wine and have liquor available for cash. Or find a venue, like here at Plaza Lecea that allows you to bring in your own alcohol. (This is a great way to save!) Now for any bar, it is always ok to tip. Even if they do not have a tip jar out, and you would like to tip, it is good to credit the servers for their good work.
- Plus Ones- This can be one of the hardest choices for a couple. Who can bring a date and who cannot? It is always too important to invite family first, and then close friends. If you do have friends that are single, it has become they do not get to bring a date unless living with boyfriend/girlfriend or has been in a long-term relationship. You are on a budget so it is perfectly fine to let a single friend not bring a date. Would you want them to just invite anyone and you spend that extra money for the plus one you may not even know?
- Tipping Vendors- First of all, it is always important for the bride and groom to attend their wedding with some extra cash, whether it be for going over time on the limo,
having to pay for extra guests, or even just deciding to continue the after party and go out afterwards. But it is good to have that extra cash to tip your vendors. If you think you received the quality service you paid for and your vendors went above and beyond, it is good to show them they provided great work and made you and all your guests happy with a tip. Whether it be the bar tender, DJ,coordinator, caterer, or anyone else, it is proper to tip them, just as you would tip your servers at a restaurant.
Now you know when you’re planning your wedding or the next time you get invited to wedding the do’s and don’ts. So make sure to keep all of these things in mind so your special day is the best it can be. It is easy to get caught in wedding etiquette blunder, so remember there is no right or wrong way and every couple is different, but you want to be polite and courtesy at the same time!
by: Nancy, ECC
Once you have gotten over your initial euphoria of being asked, his relief of you accepting, and your awe and wonder at how pretty the ring is, you will probably think dates, dresses, cakes and flowers. The business end of all this happiness is the marriage license.
Marriage licenses are obtained from the clerk’s office in the county where you will marry. If you live in Harris County, but want to marry in Bexar County, then the Bexar County Clerk’s Office should be the one who issues the license. Point of fact, neither of you need be a resident of Texas to be married in Texas, but both must be 18 or older.
If you have been married before, you will need to wait 31 days from the date of the final decree to apply for a license, but luckily for those of us with a fear of needles, Texas does not require blood test.
There is a 3 day waiting period before you can use the license and it is only good for 30 days after it is obtained. There are exceptions for active duty military personnel, and those who have taken a together class. You will need to take to the county clerk’s office with a valid form of age and identity, such as: Driver’s license, US passport, military ID card, or certified copy of your birth certificate. You will also need to know your Social Security number.
The Bexar County Clerk’s Office is open during normal business hours: Monday – Friday / 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, and is located in the Paul Elizondo Tower at 101 W. Nueva, Suite #120 in San Antonio. As always, it is a good idea to call ahead to make sure they are open, 210.335.2216. The cost is $66.00 and be aware, they only take CASH.
So as you decide on the final date for you ceremony, give a quick thought to when you will get your license and put it on your calendar on your phone, in your office and at home so you don’t forget. Even make a day of it with your fiance–things will get pretty hectic in the final weeks before the big day, so spend the afternoon with each other before the madness ensues.
Until next time, happy planning!