What are common faux-pas of wedding planning?
Updated: Feb 3, 2021
Many brides call or email us asking if a choice they’ve made is an etiquette faux-pa. With the growing trend of customized weddings, we often find ourselves telling brides not to sweat the minor etiquette rules. Weddings these days are a platform for couples to showcase their style and personality. In order to accomplish this, some of the old traditions need to be tossed out the window. But there are some not-so-little etiquette rules that we're finding more and more brides overlooking when they should not be. Sure you want your wedding to be a modern, one-of-a-kind event, but not at the expense of your guests, friends, and family. Below are the top 5 etiquette rules that may seem old school, but still hold merit.
1. Not allowing parents to invite guests when they contribute financially
Don’t know your dad’s Golf Buddies? Aren’t sure of your mom’s Wine Club Gals? If your parents are dishing out pennies for you, they should be allowed to invite some of their friends to celebrate with. It doesn’t have to be an equal split if they’re not contributing an equal portion, though. Come up with a prorated amount of guests they can invite based on the percent of the overall budget they’re providing. If they want to invite more than what they’re allotted, be honest and tell them you can’t afford it. If they want to pay the extra bucks, they’re welcome to contribute more, which is what we call a win-win.
2. Inviting guests to a shower but not to the wedding
If you want her at the shower, then she absolutely must be invited to the wedding. Same is true for any pre-wedding party that celebrates your shiny new ring. If you aren’t able to fork out the extra dough for more guests to attend the wedding, then don’t invite them to any festivities. This is also true for family members. If your aunts want to host a shower for you, be sure to let them know if your grandma’s twin sister is not invited to the wedding.
The one time this rule is overlooked is if your colleagues want to host a shower at work one day for all of the women in the office. If everyone gets invited to cake in the break room via one mass email, this rule does not apply.
3. Including the registry on the invitation
This is one rule that has changed zero. This has always been frowned down upon and is still not a good idea. It comes across as though the gifts are a high enough priority that they must be next to the address of the reception. I hate to break it to you, but these two pieces of information are not of equal importance. There are a couple ways to let guests know where you’re registered. When you send your invites, there’s often a “detail card” that is included. This might have hotel block info, a link to the wedding website, directions, and you guessed it, the registry! If you’re not planning on sending detail cards with the invites, you can add your wedding website on the invite. Just make sure the site has more than links for your registry!
4. Opting out of giving favors
This is such a hot topic in this day and age. So many professionals talk about skipping it to cut costs. But almost all guests have to make some sort of sacrifice to watch you trade vows. Some had to get a babysitter, or had to travel, they passed up on plans with other friends, maybe they had to buy a new pair of shoes or earrings to complete their look. No matter how big or how small, they didn’t have to attend the wedding. The favors are about the gesture of recognizing their sacrifice, not about the actual item. If you want to cut corners, the favor is a great place to do it, but only by reducing cost, not eliminating it entirely.
5. Skipping the “receiving line”
This is probably the most commonly overlooked rule. For many brides, it doesn’t even cross their minds to stand at the back of the ceremony and say hello to 300+ guests. Not when they could be getting gorgeous golden hour photos! This is one of those things that can be done way more creatively than a line that all guests must wait in before leaving the ceremony. Because being held hostage is not fun for them either. Instead, have your wedding planner grab you a plate of food with 20 minutes left in the cocktail hour. This frees you up during dinner to walk around to each table to give greetings, smiles, and hugs. As a bonus, it also ensures that you have an uninterrupted meal! Prioritize tables with guests who you won't see on the dance floor. Or you can maximize on a line everyone is already standing in anyway - the buffet line. By standing at the end of the buffet line, you'll get to greet everyone but it shouldn't bottle neck because they'll be anxious to get back to their seats and eat anyway. Again the important thing is that guests feel like they were able to share in your day with you.