Wedding Etiquette Tips
Before the Big Day
Sorry, but it simply isn't polite to include gift
registry information with your wedding
invitation. In fact, this information should never be
volunteered to your guests unless you are asked directly.
It's better to let your close family members know where you're
registered so that they're prepared to answer the question.
And, of course, you should certainly let anyone know who asks.
Donation Requests: Magnanimous as it may seem,
it also isn't proper wedding etiquette to request guests outright
to make a donation to your favorite charity in lieu of gifts.
Again, wedding etiquette dictates that this type of request
be made only if asked. The same goes for cash solicitations.
Gifts: It is important that both the bride and
groom remember their faithful attendants as the wedding day
approaches. Best men and maids of honor, especially, are expected
to shoulder a lot of responsibility before and during the
wedding. Express your thanks with tasteful and thoughtful
spa gift certificates
and spa-themed gift sets make lovely gifts for frazzled bridal
attendants, and it's fitting to give groomsmen an accessory
to wear during the ceremony, such as cufflinks or a nice wristwatch.
Wedding Etiquette During the Ceremony
Gender and Attire: You need not feel obligated
to have the same number of attendants on each side of the
bridal party. By the same token, nowhere is it written that
the bride may choose only female attendants and the groom
only male. It is proper wedding etiquette, however, to dress
members of the same gender correspondingly -- it just looks
odd to have the groom's best woman decked out in a penguin
suit. And need we explain what is appropriate male bridal
the Bride: In many Western cultures and religions,
it is traditional for the bride's father to "give her
away." While this may seem an antiquated notion in these
days of female independence, this tradition still holds sentimental
appeal for many. This isn't to say that the bride can't choose
to be escorted by someone else. If she was raised by her mother,
older sibling or grandparent, it is perfectly appropriate
for that person to walk her down the aisle.
Wedding Etiquette During the Reception
the Face: We're not sure why it became so popular
for the bride and groom to smash cake into each other's faces
during the cake-cutting ceremony. While it may seem like an
expression of youthful exuberance, many of your guests will
find it distasteful, and you may end up soiling your expensive
-- and possibly rented -- attire, not to mention ruining a
potentially expensive make-up job. So skip this bit of tomfoolery
and feed the cake to each other nicely.
Toss: Who decided it was appropriate wedding etiquette
to have the bride perform a burlesque show for all of her
friends and family on her wedding day? Having the groom remove
a garter from her thigh (some grooms even use their teeth),
may appeal to remarkably fit exhibitionists, but really isn't
appropriate behavior in front of all of your guests. Save
the shenanigans for the honeymoon.
Please send us any additional wedding etiquette tips you
think we should mention at firstname.lastname@example.org.