So what is etiquette anyway? Well, we’d say that basically it’s having good manners and consideration for others.
Here are our 10 top tips for making sure you don’t make an etiquette mistakes on your big day. And if you’ve have any to add, please leave a comment on our Facebook Page!
In a nutshell, the rule for wedding etiquette is to treat others as you would like to be treated yourself. Follow our tips and you’ll be well on the way to ensuring that your guests talk about your wedding afterwards for all the right reasons!
Image of bride and groom by Nicki Feltham Photography.
Think about your guest list when choosing your wedding venue
Consider what budget people will have for travel and hotels. If you’re having a wedding abroad somewhere exotic, not everybody will be able to take the time off work or afford to come. So if it’s important that all your nearest and dearest attend your nuptials, you’ll either have to foot the transport and accommodation bills or marry somewhere more accessible.
Gift lists – beware!
With many couples living together beforehand, they’re likely to have most of what they need already. It’s tempting to ask for money towards a honeymoon or your mortgage. In fact, you should never ask for a particular wedding gift. Guests should be free to give you whatever they want – even if you don’t particularly like what you receive. If you do have a gift list, you can draw attention to it by including a discreet slip along with your wedding invitations and details for any websites that should be visited.
Send gift thank you cards promptly
It’s crucial that you say thank you for all your wedding presents and as quickly as possible.It’s a good idea to try and send a thank you note out as soon as you receive the gift – it doesn’t have to be long – a simple postcard will do. A text or e mail won’t. This is the one time when you’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way with stamps and an envelope.
Speeches can be a bit risqué, funny but make sure that they are not embarrassing
The Best Man really doesn’t have to do his best to totally humiliate the groom. There are grannies, bosses and kids about. So fun but clean please.
Think about having a chill-out room for kids
It doesn’t have to be enormous, just somewhere quiet to watch DVDs would be fine. If the kids are occupied, the parents will have a good time too. And that’s all part of the etiquette of keeping your guests happy.
Avoid a wedding breakfast menu with items like shellfish
It’s also a good idea to keep nuts off the menu (even pine nuts can be a problem to some). Try and choose a dish acceptable to all – fish is usually a safe bet – and when you send out your invitations, you might like to include a slip about food asking people if they’re vegetarian or have allergies.
Don’t be vague in your invitations
If you really don’t want to spend your budget on entertaining vague boyfriends or girlfriends then make it clear on the invitation that it’s for the invitee only. Although if a couple is established, living together or engaged then of course they should both be invited.
Send over 16’s their own invtiation
Teenagers and young adults over 16 will appreciate receiving their own invitation – it’s a nice touch. In fact, anybody over 16 shouldn’t really be included on a family invitation.
Think about sitting areas
If you’re having a DJ or live music and will be clearing tables away from the front of the room to create a dancefloor then you’ll need to provide somewhere for those people to sit. Also remember that not everybody will want to dance – weddings are a great time to catch up and chat, a chill out room or a warm and cosy spot at your wedding venue (maybe by a fireplace in winter) where tea and coffee is served would work well.
Make sure you feed your guests properly
Don’t skimp on food and drink. If you’re set on getting married around noon and want to carry on until midnight, then you’re looking at feeding your guests twice – with a substantial snack in between. Which can be expensive. It might be better to get married as late in the day as possible and just have one meal. Keep it simple. A buffet is fine. And if you’re marrying early afternoon and not having an evening party then you don’t need to have a sit down dinner. An amazing afternoon tea with fizz would go down a treat.