WEDDINGS - Etiquette

About the time I started thinking about this week's blog, a good friend of mine sent me an example of a wedding invitation she had received...via email. Yes, you read correctly, via email. Now don't get me wrong, I am all for using the internet whenever possible for things and Paperless Post is a great website when planning a party...as long as it's NOT your wedding. I realize that not all couples have money to spend on expensive invitations but with today's home printers and heavy cardstock and printing places like Staples, Office Depot/Office Max, Fedex Office and UPS, couples can create unique invitations at a low cost. And if you need help with your invitation designs, check out our DIY Suites option. So, now that I've ranted for you, let's talk about some of the top wedding etiquette do's and don'ts.

#1 - Don't Share your news on Social Media before telling your family. This is something I really never thought about until I started my research and started to talk to people. Once you have basked in the glow of saying yes, your first call or visit should be to your family and then your closest friends...NOT changing your status on Facebook. Save that for after you have told your family.

#2 - Don't put your Register information on your Wedding Invitation. As much as you want to make things easy for your guest, putting your register information on your invitation is just not done. In this case, word of mouth works very well and putting your registry information on a bridal shower invite is also a good idea. Websites for the engaged couple or wedding Facebook pages are also two other places where you can list your registries and even provide a link. In this day of social media, feel free to add a small card with your wedding website and any #hashtags created just for the wedding.

#3 - Wedding Invitation Timelines. Save-The-Date cards should be sent out four to six months prior to the wedding. Wedding Invitations should be sent out five to six weeks prior to the wedding and RSVP cards should be returned two to three weeks prior to the wedding. Make sure to check with your caterer or wedding venue before deciding on your RSVP date though.

#4 - Don't Invite someone to a Shower that isn't Invited to the Wedding. If you don't have room for them at your wedding, don't invite them to a shower just to get a present. There are generally only two exceptions to this.  One would be if you are having a work shower where everyone is invited and two would be if you have an age cutoff at the wedding and want to invite teenagers/children to the shower.

#5 - Don't make your guests Pay for their Own drinks. I am sure that several, if not half of you, may be saying - WHAT to this. After lots of research, it was pointed out to me that not all of your guests have the extra income to pay for several hours of a cash bar. Keep in mind, especially if most of your guests have traveled to the wedding that they are already incurring a lot of travel costs. If you are on a tight budget, think about offering just beer and wine or creating your own signature drinks that limits your amount of alcohol served. If the venue allows you to provide your own alcohol, you could also purchase it at a discount store and provide it for the reception. This can help you limit your costs as well.

#6 - Who gets a Plus One on their Invitation. This one was funny and I have one friend in particular that is probably laughing as she reads this. If you are inviting someone that is married, engaged or in a committed relationship, they should receive a plus one. If you know the guest's name, be sure to include it on the invitation. For example: John Anderson and Elizabeth Moore. If you don't know their partner's name but know they are in a relationship, address the envelope:  John Anderson and Guest.

#7 - Be Sure to Speak to All of your Guests. Lots of couples are forgoing the receiving lines these day but you need to find a way to speak to everyone before you leave the reception. If you are having a sit down dinner, think about visiting each table during the reception after you have cut the cake or after you've had your first dances.

#8 - And Finally - Don't wait a Year to send a Thank You Note.  According to Emily Post, All Wedding Thank You Notes should be sent within three months of receiving the gift. Try planning ahead and work with your stationery provider to get matching Thank You Notes at the same time you send out your invitations. That way, as you receive a gift, you can send back a thank you note.

Well, that's my eight. I'd love to hear some of your thoughts. Be sure to check back next week for the next edition of A Bride's Story and our Vendor Spotlight as we sit down with Summerfield Farms. Don’t forget to share your love on Facebook!