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Wedding Etiquette

While wedding etiquette has relaxed over time, good common sense and a bit of basic etiquette is still essential during all the phases of your wedding planning.  It is best to familiarize yourself with some of the basic rules of wedding etiquette prior to beginning your wedding planning. That way you will be sure that everyone enjoys all your wedding festivities and no one is offended.  

wedding etiquette

When beginning the wedding planning process, the very first thing you will encounter that will require common sense and etiquette is your wedding guest list.  This can be an extremely stressful process.  Therefore, let etiquette (and your budget) get you through the process.  You should begin by making your budget.  Then stick to it!!  Next, before you have your master guest list, you and your fiance need to make a list of the people you would like to invite.  Both sets of parents needs to do the same thing.  Of course, this is where it will get a little hairy.  Once those lists are made, everyone needs to come together and work on the lists until you have the number of guests your budget can handle.  

An issue that always seems to come up when putting together your guest list is whether or not to include "plus one" on the invitation of single guests.  This is largely dependent upon your budget.  However, there is an exception.  If you are inviting someone that is in a long term relationship, you would invite their significant other by name just as if they were married.  

Now that you have your guest list pinned down, it's time to get on with the wedding invitations.  This is where etiquette really comes in handy. You want to make sure the wording on the invitation is correct as well as the way the invitations are addressed.  To begin with, whoever is hosting the wedding will have top billing on the invitation.  If you are having a black tie affair, everything should be spelled out, including numbers.  However, for any other type of wedding you can just use numbers.  

When addressing your invitations, all professional and military titles should be spelled out.  You can, however, use the abbreviations of Mr., Mrs. and Ms.  One very big rule is to never use nicknames.  For instance address the invitation to Mr. Michael Smith NOT Mr. Mike Smith.  

Two big no-no's are to never include gift registry information on the invitations and to NEVER hand write anything on the invitations.  

Wedding gifts can be another sore spot when it comes to weddings.  Of course, as mentioned above, you should never include your registry information on your wedding invitation.  However, it is perfectly acceptable to have this information listed on your wedding website and naturally to get the information out by word of mouth.  

Be sure to have a wide variety of price ranges on your registry (or registries is you have more than one).  While it is perfectly acceptable to have a few higher priced items, you will want to make gift shopping easy for your guests by giving them a variety of items in different price ranges to choose from.  

You will also want to check your registries throughout your engagement and add items if necessary.  This is particularly true as your wedding day nears.  If you check your registry and nothing but the higher priced items remain, you may want to add some less expensive items to your list.  

The biggest thing you should remember when it comes to your wedding gifts is you should ALWAYS send a thank you card.  While you can get away with a pre-printed thank you, it is much more acceptable to send a hand written note mentioning the items you received and thanking the sender for their generosity.  

Tags: wedding guest list, wedding planning, rehearsal dinner, wedding invitations, bridal showers