When it comes to wedding advice, it seems like everyone has something to say. Here are some suggestions from those with a little bit of experience in the wedding etiquette department.
For those of us who are unsure of who pays for what when it comes to planning and financing a wedding, there are several guidelines out there. First of all, tradition holds that the bride’s family finances the wedding, while the groom’s family finances the rehearsal dinner, and the groom buys the ring.
However, tradition is only rooted to certain depth. In other words, in today’s world, this rule no longer holds. Parents and family members are no longer obligated to pay for a wedding, especially when the couple is well out of the house and supporting themselves financially. Many families will, of course, still contribute to wedding costs, however, more and more couples are financing their own weddings. Because of this reason, it is important for grooms to consider the cost of the ring as part of the overall wedding budget. Unfortunately, many grooms spend quite a lot on a ring, and are not realistically able to contribute to the wedding day itself.
Also, when it comes to the rehearsal dinner, the parents of the groom are not necessarily required to pay for the meal. In certain situations, the parents of the groom will agree to pay for a portion of the meal, or they will agree to pay for the immediate family and not the entire wedding party. This can be awkward for the happy couple, and it should be something that the bride and groom discuss with the groom’s parents well in advance.
Another unfortunate event in the planning of the wedding is the need for uninviting. There are times in the planning of a wedding that the stress seems too much, and that it would be easier to uninvite guests who may be causing much of the stress. However, it is always seen as rude to take back an invitation. It is best to make the list carefully, and deal with rudeness graciously.
Of course, it is also important to maintain open and honest communication.
In regards to the reception, it can be awkward to decide who will pay for the bill. Pressure is often put on the bride’s family, however, it is important to remember that parents are not obligated to pay for any of the wedding costs. It may be better to have a cash bar available for guests and discuss catering options with the parents. Also, as with all wedding planning-plan ahead. Discuss the budget, cost of reception and how much parents are willing to contribute to the overall cost.
Another etiquette rule concerning weddings involves the shower. It can be difficult to discern who to invite to a shower, and who to invite to a wedding. For example, the bride may want to invite everyone from work to a bridal shower, but may not want to invite everyone from work and their guest to the wedding because of the cost.
The proper way to handle this situation is to only invite wedding guests to the shower. It would be rude to expect a co-worker to give you a shower gift, and not invite them to celebrate the wedding itself. In some situations, this may be okay. For example, if it is a location wedding or if it is a family only wedding. However, if they are intimate enough to be invited to the shower, they should also be invited to the wedding.
Also, when it comes to co-workers, it can be awkward to know who to invite. A general rule of thumb is to invite those who you have a personal relationship with. Depending on the size of your office, it may be easier to simply invite each co-worker, knowing that there will be those who do not come. It is also recommended to not invite your boss only. This could be seen as apple-polishing, and your other co-workers would not appreciate it.
It is also not uncommon for wedding couples to invite one group of people to the wedding and have the guest list for the reception be either larger or smaller than the wedding ceremony itself. This can also be awkward for those invited for various reasons. It is considered appropriate to have the guest list for the reception larger than the ceremony. This is typically because churches may only seat a limited amount of people, while reception halls tend to have more room to work with.
It is not considered polite to have the reception smaller than the wedding ceremony though. Wedding guests should have the option of attending the reception, especially because many of them will have traveled to attend the wedding.
If the couple wants to have a more private reception, they should have a general dessert and drink reception immediately after the wedding. The smaller reception may take place an hour or so later at a more private place.