Wedding Etiquette

Planning a wedding involves a lot more than saying, “I do,” eating delicious wedding cake and dancing the night away. There are lots of things to think about, and one of them is etiquette. Here are some general wedding etiquette “rules” that are common questions asked.

*Disclaimer: Even though this is the traditional etiquette, it does not mean you and your groom have to follow it! Your wedding is your day, and you can choose what works best for the two of you.

  1. Announcing Your Engagement. In general, you want to let your closest family and friends know you’ve been engaged before announcing on social media. With social media being the way it is, your mom’s best friend could know before her and spill the beans to your mother instead of delivering the news yourself.
  2. Bridal Shower Hosts. The mother of the bride, mother of the groom, best friends, co-workers or anyone who is close to the bride, can host a shower for you. Shower guests should also be invited to the wedding. Don’t invite someone who you know you will not invite to the wedding “just to make him or her feel better.”
  3. Walking Down the Aisle. Traditionally, the bride’s father walks her down the aisle. However, you can have anyone important to you walk you down the aisle, whether that is your mom, brother, step-dad, dog or sister. It’s up to you!
  4. Rehearsal Dinner Hosts. Typically, the groom’s family pays for and hosts the rehearsal dinner. Make sure you give your in-laws a list of family members and out-of-town guests who you want to be invited. Don’t expect them to read your mind as to whom you want to invite. Communication is key here!
  5. Co-worker Guests. Try to make a dividing line between co-workers and friends. You do not have to invite all your co-workers just because you want to invite one or two! Make sure you mail invitations to their home and not work, and discuss the wedding outside of work, not at the water cooler. It’s never fun to hurt anyone’s feelings (especially if you work with them every single day).
  6. Casual Wedding Mentions: Don’t Do it. Talking about the wedding is okay, but don’t offer an invitation before you’ve had a chance to think about it. It’s easy to get excited and say, “of course you’ll be invited,” but when you sit down and start doing the guest list and realize they aren’t on the list, that’s when things can get messy.
  7. Registering for Gifts on Second or Third Marriage. This decision is completely up to you. If you feel uncomfortable registering for gifts when it’s your third marriage, register for a honeymoon fund or get creative.
  8. Tipping Wedding Vendors. General rule: if you have a contract, you do not need to tip. Some couples still feel the need to tip because the service provided was so outstanding, and that is completely up to you. You should give tips to non-contracted services (like musicians and servers).
  9. “Thank You” Note Timing. It’s best to get your “thank you” notes out as soon as possible. However, we know that’s not always easy. You have approximately three months to express thanks to your guests. To save time, have both the bride and groom write “thank you” notes (instead of just the bride). It’s actually even sweeter to see both bride and groom sign the bottom of the “thank you” note. They do not have to be long and can just be a few sentences of heartfelt appreciation for your guests coming to the wedding and their gifts.