Updated: Jun 2, 2021
I get it, you're busy! Wedding planning is no joke. Trust me, I know it. The last thing you want to hear is a list of don'ts, but hear me out..after years and years of puffing trains, and pining boutonnières, I have learned a thing or two.
Top 5 wedding Etiquette “I Don’ts
1. Don’t tell the entire world before telling Grandma!
I get it..that bling, the surroundings, the feels!! Instagram GOLD. Now as hard as it may be to keep your good news to yourself for a couple of minutes, think of how you would feel finding out your bestie is getting hitched by scrolling past in while binge-watching the latest episode of Grays Anatomy? Not so great. ‘Code white’ level not so good.
It might be hard but remember to share it directly with your family and loved ones before you update the world on social media, but make sure to tell your parents first (in person if you can), then your siblings and grandparents, from there, call or facetime your close circle of friends and share the news. If you are unsure of where to draw the line of phone calls, rule of thumb, if you have sent them a funny meme in the last month, they deserve an in-person announcement. Once your VIPs are in the know, then share that news with the world baby!! Bask in the likes, gloat in the glory of your shining moment! You deserve it, babe.
2. Don’t add your gift registry to the invites!
This is such a major faux-pas and unfortunately one that I don’t see changing soon. Your wedding invitations are a way to let your guests know you love them and want them to be there to witness your wedding vows—not a place to ask for gifts or money. Gifts should always be an option and not a requirement. Sure, slapping the URL on the bottom would be easy, but your guests know that you’ve registered somewhere, so play it cool. There are other ways to spread the word about your registry:
Word of mouth being the simplest. Make sure those closest to you (parents, grandparents, and your wedding party) know where you’re registered so they can send guests in the right direction if they get questions. And also remember to tell your guests to send gifts & Cards directly to your home and to NOT bring them to the ceremony/reception site. NO one wants to pack out a dozen or so heavy boxes at the end of the night or babysit 50 cards full of cash. I cannot stress this point enough...the number of forgotten gifts and cards my staff have had to babysit over my years of weddings would blow your minds!
3. Singles table? Please Don’t!
The jury is out on whether weddings are actually a great place to meet people, especially if you’re in the thick of wedding season and all of your friends are tying the knot, too. Instead of haphazardly putting all of your single friends at the same table (which can feel like a forced blind date, especially if they don’t actually have anything in common), seat any single friends just as you will the rest of your guests: Based on whether or not they’ll get along. Group friends and family members based on similar interests, whether your cousin and your college bestie work in similar fields or you know your old roommate will love your coworker’s toddler. As you and your betrothed know...if it’s meant to be, they will find each other on the dancefloor or across the buffet line.
4. Cash bar? Don't!
Yes, the bar bill is a scary expense you may not want to deal with, or you might not be able to afford hours upon hours of open-bar boozing, but there are ways to cut those costs without asking your guests to dig into their sequinned clutches to pony up. If budget is the main concern, try cutting costs somewhere else….don’t even get me started on wedding favours...
Serve Signature Cocktails
In addition to giving guests a taste of your personalities, signature cocktails cut back on how much booze you’ll buy by limiting it to specific recipes. Pair these with a few beers and wine offerings and do a tray service style instead of a walk-up bar. Full control of that bar bill baby!
Skip Hard Liquor Altogether
Mixed drinks really add up, since there are mixers, garnishes, bartending costs, and liquor involved. Instead, choose a few beers and wines that will pair well with your menu, and make those the evening’s only choices.
Have a Limited Open Bar
If you can’t imagine cutting the cocktails altogether, break the evening up into two parts. Have a full open bar during cocktail hour, then serve table-side beer and wine during dinner, while closing the main bar. Most guests will naturally make that switch anyway (you’ll see way more beers in hand on the dance floor than cocktails), and you’ll spend less on liquor. And then switch to cash bar to the afterparty around 10:00 PM and let cousin Chad get hammered on his own dime.
5. Don't forget to feed your Vendors!
These are the unsung heroes silently slipping around your guests unnoticed to capture every moment of your day. Most have been up for hours and will be up long hours into the night once you and your guests retire for the evening. Most vendors will outline in their contract that the client must provide a hot meal, but some may not. Newer vendors may feel like an obligation or may think the vending machine down the hall will be fully stocked.
Either way, make sure you or your planner are on top of your vendor counts and make sure the caterer knows how many people you’ll be feeding and what time. Most vendors prefer to eat before the main dinner, and some prefer after. Your caterer will also normally be happy to create something more vendor friendly for them as well….lets be honest, they don't have time to eat that 5 courses champagne paired masterpiece you and your guests will be serving...normally they would be fine with chicken fingers and fries. Some vendors to remember are your wedding planner, photographer, videographer, DJ or band, and any assistants. Don't worry, if you have a planner, just tell them to make sure this gets organized and that's a big check of your list!
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