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A Few Wedding Etiquette Questions! What do I do?

September 3, 2014

 

Etiquette used to be so simple. Elbows off the table. Don't talk with your mouth full. Say please and thank you. You know, it was what our parents referred to as good manners.

 

 

Our wedding date is still two years away. When should we put our wedding announcement in the newspaper.

 

As a general rule, engagements should be published no more than a year and no less than six weeks from the date of the wedding.

 

We are planning a small wedding with less than 50 guests. We had planned to send wedding announcements to our friends who are not invited to the wedding, but we are afraid they will think that we are asking for gifts.

 

Wedding announcements are perfectly proper and not a request for gifts. Only the guests who attend the wedding and reception should feel obligated to send gifts. You should mail your announcements a couple of days after the wedding.

 

If people bring gifts to the reception, do we have to open them there?

 

Not only do you not have to, you should not. Find a safe, out of the way place for guests to leave gifts until you can open them later.

 

My family is much larger than my fiance's. Do we have to have a "bride's side" and a "groom's side?"

 

This is no longer the standard. Just have your ushers seat them without asking which side. Mothers and immediate family members should, however, be seated on the traditional sides.

 

We are planning a small wedding and a large reception. Do we need to send separate invitations for the wedding?

 

The invitation to the reception should be worded to invite guests to "the wedding reception of" rather than "the marriage of" the couple. You would also substitute "request the pleasure of your company" for "request the honor of your presence" Include a separate card in the invitations of guests who are invited to the wedding also.

 

Should my mother and my fiance's mother wear dresses of the same color as my bridesmaids' gowns?

 

Not unless the happen to like that color. The only rule for mother's dresses is that they be similar to each other in length and formality.  Usually the bride's mother chooses a dress in keeping with the formality of the wedding. The groom's mother consults the bride's mother and then chooses a comparable dress.

 

What do we do if one of our attendants gets ill and can not attend the wedding?

 

The wedding must go on. If there is time and you feel comfortable asking another friend to stand in, you can do that. 

Be sure to call your friend the morning of the wedding and let her know how much you will miss her.

 

How Do I Get My Guests to RSVP?

 

Give your guests at least 15 days between the invitation’s arrival and the RSVP deadline to figure out the logistics. Sending a pre-stamped enclosure card or allowing RSVP via email may also encourage guests to respond faster.

 

 

Can I Skip the Cake?

 

There are certain traditions, like cutting the cake, that are okay to omit. Instead of cake, you may opt for something that provides more variety such as a candy bar, cupcakes, cake pops or a selection of pies it is totally up to you.

 

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