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 & Stephanie, ECM
“I am getting married!” The words every girl would love to say! But then comes the planning. and with the planning comes the budget. When you are getting married, you want everything to be perfect and beautiful, but not every bride has the money to do everything she would love for her wedding day! Although there are many ways to have perfection and the things you want that can fit in your budget to make your wedding day everything you have always dreamed about.
Let’s start with the flowers. Flowers can be very pricy: You need a bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, and you may want flowers in your centerpieces. This can add up to hundreds of flowers. Any florist can supply you with these flowers and arrangements and give you the best deal they can, but a cheap and fantastic way is to do it yourself. You can either find a local florist and order them, or go to one of few floral warehouses here in San Antonio, like Travis Wholesale (www.traviswholesale.net) or Janal’s, Inc. (www.janalsa.com/store). Both of these vendors are very reputable in San Antonio. At both of these locations, you’ll find hundreds of different flowers to choose from. For a shabby chic look, you can purchase all different types of vases (purchase them from Ross, Home Goods, Marshall’s or even a Goodwill or thrift store). You can make a big impact on your table when you use 3 different, but small vases with a few of the same flowers in each. Add your own personal touches by adding ribbon and/or bling to the vases. As for your bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres, we strongly suggest you leave that up to the professionals, or do a practice run or two with real flowers. Working with real flowers are a completely different ballgame than with silk and you’ll need to know what you are doing. And engage your bridal party or any aunts, moms or grandmas that may have experience with floral arrangements. This is a great way to get all your girls together for some girl time before your big day! Make sure you do the flowers at least a day in advance and that you have a large enough cooler to keep them in. If you aren’t the DIYer, here are a couple reasonably priced florist we love:
Oakleaf Florist: www.oakleafflorist.com or 210-653.8180
San Antonio Floral Designs: www.sanantoniofloraldesigns.com or 210-834-6374
A great way to bring a romantic and elegant feeling to your wedding day is with candles. This is another item that can be purchased at any home-crafts store or even online in bulk. A great way to save some money is purchase the battery operated candles. That way you don’t have to spend money on vases, deal with was, and they will “burn” all night long, and last forever long! You can purchase these in large bundles so you can have them throughout your room making it look beautiful. Another way to bring light to your centerpieces is with the LED lights. These are really cool because you can order them in different colors and easy to just drop them in a vase with your flowers or some marbles so they shine through and bring a perfect touch of light to the tables and room! Or if you like the natural glow of candles you can do a candle scape centerpiece too. Just purchase 3-7 vases in different heights (make sure you hit up the Dollar Store and Walmart for these cylinder vases because they really do have great deals on them) and floating candles as well. You can even add a few drops of food coloring to the water to accent the colors of your wedding!
Lastly are the wedding favors you have for your guests. These can be very pricy because you want to make sure you get one for every guest and you want it to something special reminding them of your wedding day! There are many inexpensive ways to create a gift. For instance, a candy bar is a great option. Candy can be very cheap and bought in large amounts, but remember when purchasing candy just in the color of your wedding may get pricy. So if you are able to, offer a range of colors. Again, go to the discount retailers like Home Goods and Ross and find large (larger the better) vases in a variety of shapes. Make sure to pick up small scoops from Walmart of the Container Store if you have items like M&Ms or Skittles.
Another really cool idea is a C.D. with you and your fiancé’s favorite songs. All it takes are blank c.d. and maybe a print out of the two of you for the cover, a playlist, and then just time to burn them! This is a great idea because it is very cheap, unique, and something your guests can have forever that will remind them of your special day! Play this C.D. during your dinner service too and let people know they have the memories from the wedding to take with them!
So here are just a few ideas that can make your wedding day just the way you imagine but in your budget! And now with things like Pinterest (check out our page here with over 800 pins of different ideas for your wedding: www.pinterest.com/plazalecea), you can get many ideas and ways to create just what you want for your wedding day. So get your friends and family together and have a crafting day and save some money!