Modern wedding etiquette 101 – for the bride and groom


Wedding etiquette changes rapidly over the years, but in the modern world – etiquette is just as important as ever. There are many areas involved in wedding management, prep and the big day itself that leave many people confused – just what is and isn’t appropriate? Read on for our breakdown of wedding etiquette for the bride and groom.

Who pays for what when it comes to a wedding?

Bride’s family, or groom’s family – who pays for what? A Practical Wedding has an amusingly blunt take on matters of ‘who pays for what’ when it comes to the wedding:

“UGH YOU GUYS. I’m frustrated that we still have to deal with this question. Here is the dirt: back in the day the bride’s family paid for basically everything, because… giving your daughter away was an occasion to be celebrated. If you weren’t offering a dowry, you could at least offer a party that cost as much as a dowry. So unless you feel like your parents are unburdening themselves of an economic liability, then payment should be split equitably. From each according to their ability, if you will.”

Guest invites 101

Planning who to invite can sometimes seem like a minefield – you don’t want to offend anyone, cause drama, or leave a trail of hurt feelings in your (wedding planning) wake. At the same time, you don’t want to invite anyone that you know may potentially cause drama, or bring an air of discomfort to your wedding day – to either you, or your other guests.

When it comes to family, or friend, feuds – as adults, hopefully people can come together and peacefully co-exist for a day and a night, in order to celebrate your wedding. Obviously, arranging your seating plan well and giving people prior warning about potential run-ins with others they may find difficult, or have prior issues with, is a good way to mitigate any potential fallouts.

However, if you personally feel that someone’s presence would be a massive downer on your day – take the time to consider if it’s worth inviting them to your wedding. Could their presence cause unnecessary stress, or potentially ruin your wedding day? Consider whether it’s worth inviting them and how you could diplomatically deal with keeping them off of your invite list. You have to carefully balance your own needs and wishes with the feelings of others.

Other common questions of etiquette involve inviting people you aren’t close to. For example, should you invite the partners of friends or family members? It’s always appropriate to do so. Others wonder whether they ‘should’ invite their co-workers – it’s good form to invite coworkers that you work with on a regular basis (only if they don’t drive you completely crazy!), but there are no hard and fast rules – it wouldn’t be a massive faux pas to only invite your work friends, rather than the whole office.

BouquetWedding gifts

People often ask if it’s appropriate to ask for cash as a wedding present, while some guests may find this distasteful – you’re well within the rules of etiquette to ask for cash for the wedding gift. If you provide a note demonstrating what you’ll spend your money on, most guests will be more than happy to chip in for something that you’re saving up for.

In addition, when it comes to gifts – people aren’t required to bring one, or to stick strictly to your gift registry – so they wouldn’t be wildly rude to only come baring their hearty congratulations.

Are thank you notes mandatory?

If someone has spent the time to attend your wedding and has kindly bought you are a wedding gift, it’s important that you take the time to write them a small thank you note.

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