We are talking manners today! The Dandelion Patch hosted a wedding etiquette tea, an event for brides-to-be and their mothers and bridesmaids. This contemporary high tea (sliders and English Breakfast Tea anyone?) was focused on making wedding etiquette fun and practical rather than stuffy and particular. Anna Post, etiquette guru, and great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, said that etiquette is all about warmth and graciousness. She is also the author of the book Wedding Etiquette: The Definitive Guide to Your Wedding Experience. Although today things are a lot more flexible, it’s still important to be thoughtful of your wedding guests and their experience! Here are a few important highlights that I took away from the event:
Customs and Traditions
Today’s popular wedding traditions have evolved over time, but regardless of the tradition itself, Anna Post says that it’s about what is real and meaningful to you and your significant other’s life. At the same time, it’s also important to think about the comfort of your audience. For example, while choosing a white wedding gown is the conventional choice, many options for color and style are available for today’s bride. However, if you know that a tradition (or lack thereof) threatens to cause a family rift, just forgo it all together!
Save the Dates and Invitations
Wedding invitations should be sent 8 – 10 weeks prior to your wedding date, while save the date cards should be sent to close family and friends as soon as possible. For those favoring traditional invitation wording to fit their family situations (i.e. sharing costs with parents, divorced parents, or having a remarried or deceased parent) your stationer can assist you in choosing the appropriate invitation wording. But, Anna said that it’s perfectly OK to have an invite that reads “Howdy, ya’ll come on down!” (a phrase suggested by Heidi Kallett, owner of The Dandelion Patch), it’s whatever suites you and your wedding!
While registries are recommended, there should be no mention of gifts or gift registries on your invitation. This information is best saved for a wedding website or to be passed among your guests by word of mouth. It’s also acceptable to ask for cash or nontraditional gifts (i.e. money towards a house down payment, a honeymoon, a charity, etc.).
Children at Weddings
If you didn’t plan on inviting children, or younger children (under the age of 5), to your wedding, it should be clearly indicated on the inner envelope of the invitation or address the invitation with specific names of the invited guests. The only exception to this rule would be the children of the bride and/or groom, but no other exceptions should be made as to avoid causing a rift among guests.
Wedding Day Do’s and Don’ts
- DON’T have a cash bar. Opt for a completely open bar or only serve beer and wine. You are there to be the hostess/host.
- DO be mindful of timing. Avoid having too long of a time gap between the ceremony and reception. Keep the energy from the ceremony going! Be sure to serve dessert/cake at a reasonable time, so that guests know it’s OK to leave.
- DON’T have any surprises on your wedding day. Keep your family, wedding party and guests aware and updated of your wedding day agenda.
- DO be sure to take the time to thank each guest for coming. Whether you have a receiving line or not, be sure that you and your spouse make your way around the room to stop and say “hello.”
Whatever your wedding planning and wedding day brings your way, Anna Post said to remember to enjoy your day and make sure guests are comfortable because it’s your attitude that sets the tone!
Don’t forget to check out more of Anna Post’s wedding etiquette advice in her book Wedding Etiquette: The Definitive Guide to Your Wedding Experience.
Editors Note: Say “hello” to Ally, our intern. She attended this event and then wrote this lovely wedding etiquette post. Ally helps us keep things running smoothly on the blog. Stay tuned for more fun posts from Ally!