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: Chelsea, ECC
When planning a wedding it is very easy for the bride to become overwhelmed with all the details, so it becomes common for a bride to forget some of the smallest things when it comes to her big day. As someone who has read the countless blogs of top items a bride can forget, yes it is very true, but I am also the person that is there by the bride’s side on her big day and I see everything firsthand. I have worked with so many types of brides, from the care-free bride to the organized to every detail bride and there is always that one thing, if not more, that every bride forgets.
In my opinion there is no important order to any of these. Every bride is different and while some brides may think one thing is the most important of the whole day, another may not. So keep in mind not everyone of these may be for you, but I guarantee you will come across one that you will not want to forget when it comes to your wedding day! So let’s start with some of the important details:
- Legal documents- The whole reason you have been planning up to this big day is to be married, so don’t forget your marriage license. It is also to nice while you have your photographer to get some pictures of everyone signing it.
- Tell family about reserved seating- If you have any family that will be sitting in the front for the ceremony or at a certain table for the reception, make sure you let them know because you don’t want them to get there and be confused or not take advantage of it. Make reserved signs and have your coordinator put them on the tables you’d like reserved on the Friday before.
- Extra cash-Throughout the day you will have people waiting on you, hand and foot. Such as hair and make-up, transportation, bell hop at the hotel or you may plan on going out with friends even after your reception, so having that extra cash for whatever you need, can really come in handy! Plus, if anything goes awry, you wont have to stop at an ATM. We’ve had brides and grooms that went over on their time for their limo and had to pay out of pocket right on the spot and it always helps having that extra cash on hand.
- Someone to take your things home- Now it is very important to designate someone to collect any items you brought to the reception and all your gifts to take home. Whether you’re going out afterward, to the airport, or just to a hotel, you do not want to worry about all of your belongings you will not need, so make sure to assign a few people you trust to take of those things.
- Bags for dollar dance- Not everyone has a dollar dance, but if you are, almost every couple forgets to bring some kind of bag for the maid of honor and best man to hold to collect the money. You do not want them to just have it out in the open! If you do forget one, make sure you put the money in a safe place, like Mom’s purse or your overnight bag.
- Wear in your wedding day shoes- Most every bride gets a new pair of shoes for her wedding. Now you do not want to be uncomfortable or get blisters, so make sure you take the time to wear them in around the house so they are perfect for your big day (just don’t scuff them up too much before hand!)
- EAT- So many brides and grooms are so busy greeting everyone and taking photos they forget to sit down and enjoy their own food and wedding. Make sure you get a chance to sit and relax and eat dinner! (And dessert too!)
- How to bustle your wedding gown- I see it more often than not that the bride does not practice bustling her dress beforehand. And when it comes time to do it, it takes a very long time taking away time you could be enjoying. Make sure you and your maid of honor or someone of your choice practices this, so when it comes time you are in and out and don’t have to have everyone waiting for that first dance.
- Over Night Bag- If you plan on staying at a hotel, don’t forget that overnight bag! It is a great idea to already have it in your getaway vehicle, so when you are leaving you don’t have to worry about a thing!
Now for some of the fun things you may not want to forget. Some of these are great for photo opportunities or just great extra memories for you and your new husband or just that extra thing that can help your whole day go better:
- Snacks and beverages while getting ready- You may not want to eat a full meal before your ceremony, so don’t forget to either make or order some small snacks for you and your girls (and don’t forget about your fiancé and the guys) to munch on beforehand. The last thing you want is a growling stomach during the ceremony. Plus, if you are having a drink or two before the ceremony, you don’t want to be light headed and you’ll want to remember the whole thing too
- A special hanger for the dress- Most brides want that traditional picture of their wedding gown on the hanger before they put it on. You don’t want your beautiful gown on an ugly old hanger, so make sure to get one making that photo extra special. Here is a link to an etsy search for wedding hangers: http://www.etsy.com/search?q=personalized+wedding+hanger&view_type=gallery&ship_to=US
- Thank you speech- Lots of couples send their thank you notes out, letting their guests know how appreciative they are for them celebrating this day with them. But now day’s a lot of couples are writing a thank you speech to say that night!
- Emergency kit- You never know what can go wrong on the day of your wedding, such as hair can mess up, a run in your panty hose, or even maybe a headache. So an emergency kit can sometimes be a life saver. Most them include things like; mints, bobby pins, lotion, sewing kit, deodorant, clear nail polish, aspirin, band aids, and tissue. Feel free to add whatever you want.
- Unique photos- Every couple wants those photos with their bridal party and family, but it always nice to get come unique photos to have as well. The internet is great for this; you can just search photos and make sure to let your photographer know what you want so you can make time for them on your wedding day. You can even bring props for photos for your “Thank You” card after the wedding.
Remember, even with a list it will be hard to remember all of these items. That’s why you have a maid of honor, bridesmaids and family. They are there to help you and make your day easier, so use the! Assign each person to certain things. One last thing that can be hard to remember comes with a quote, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” This is a great tradition for every bride to have and this is one of my favorite quotes to help you remember! Now whether you forget nothing or everything, just remember to breathe and that this is your day, you are there to celebrate you and your new husband and a long lasting love, so just make sure you do that!
Until next time, happy planning!