We are smack dab in the middle of wedding season and answering all sorts of etiquette questions from our couples. So I thought I’d share the most popular etiquette questions I get asked. I’ve listed the definition as listed on dictionary.com for reference, however I’m going share my personal definition which, simply put, means treating every person and situation with kindness. Again, this is my personal definition.
While someone may be breaking the actual rules for an occasion, you should still treat that person kindly. This doesn’t mean you have to put up with rude behaviour, you can address the situation head on with kindness, respect and love. Whether it is your mother, well-meaning friend or mother-in-law, because let’s face it, weddings have a way of bringing out all sorts of emotions. You just have to remember to treat every situation with kindness and by default you are following the rules of etiquette. Here’s a quick example, a few years ago I attended a wedding and was seated at a table where I knew no one except my boyfriend (now husband). The lady to the left decided to take my bf’s bread plate which is to his left and her right and proceeded to scold him that his plate was to his right. The rest of the table who she obviously knew agreed with her, we were shocked! Instead of pointing out that she and the entire table were wrong we just used the available plate and let it be. Some may disagree with this approach, but personally I don’t see the point of embarrassing someone when there is nothing at risk, well except my husband’s dignity 🙂
- Don’t invite someone to a pre-wedding party if you don’t plan on inviting them to the wedding. This can only lead to awkward interactions for everyone. If someone cannot attend your wedding and has made this known, you can still send the wedding invitation to them at which point they decline and can choose to attend a pre-wedding party. Otherwise, have a meal at an agreed upon time and offer to pay for it. If you value your relationship, you will ensure it is protected.
- Do not, I repeat do not include your registry information or any note about gifts on your invitation. It’s tacky. And while I’m on this, please do not use the term “make your money back” as it relates to your wedding. Your guests should not feel obligated to give you a gift if they cannot afford it, you should only invite people you truly want to celebrate with.
- If you send some a save the date, you must follow with an invitation. Even if you know that the person will not attend, you should still send the invitation. Not sending an invitation implies the person is no longer invited which is obviously not the case.
- If someone sends you a gift, you must send a thank you card. There is no way around this, whether you like the gift or not it must be done. A thoughtful handwritten note is best.
- Always feed your wedding vendors. I know the cost of full meals can be expensive, however anyone working during dinner must be fed. Your venue will have vendor meals available at a reduced cost. It’s a really thoughtful gesture and one I know all vendors appreciate.
I hope you find these tips useful. Next time I will tackle guest etiquette, stay tuned!