When it comes to wedding etiquette, some rules are common sense while others are “traditional” rules that can be modernized or broken. There are however, rules that you should always follow. No the etiquette police are not going to come and arrest you, but you may deeply offend your guests or send them home with a very negative feeling.
8. Not serving enough food.
Do not let your guests go home hungry. While most wedding meals have numerous courses, some people choose to do cocktail food instead. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with a cocktail reception instead of a big meal, but ensure that there is enough to fill everyone up! Although it is traditionally finger food served, these are being served as the main meal, not the appetizer course. Also, make sure that if you are a super adventurous eater, you still provide your guests with some classics. For example, even though you are a vegan, it doesn’t mean you should only serve vegan food to all of your guests.
7. Having a Cash Bar
This is a really common mistake. We understand that you are on a budget, but a cash bar is absolutely unacceptable. You are inviting your guests to celebrate with you, and as the hosts, you should never expect your guests to pay for anything while they are there. Would you host a dinner party at your house and expect them to pay you for the drinks? Treat a wedding the same way.
6. Treating Your Wedding Like a Fundraiser
Your wedding is a celebration. It is NOT a fundraiser to see what you can get. It is nice to receive gifts, but don’t nickel and dime yourguests. This photo is from Pinterest, a honeymoon fund jar placed on the bar at the wedding reception. It’s appalling to me that people would ask for MORE money to be given to them. First off you have a wedding shower, around here it is common to have a stag and doe, and you receive a wedding gift… how does anyone feel right asking for more money after that?
5. Not Providing a Cocktail Hour
If you have your wedding ceremony and reception at the same venue, you need to provide a cocktail hour for your guests while you take an hour or two for photos. Your guests will not want to travel anywhere if they don’t have to. You especially have to provide this when your venue is more then 15 minutes from where the majority of your guests live. 2 hours is a long time to sit around and do nothing but wait for the coupe to return…
4. Not Providing a Hand-Written Thank-You Card
I don’t know about you, but when I give a gift, I spend a lot of time picking it out. Yes I usually pick something off of the registry, but I spend a lot of time deciding which gift to get. Not receiving a thank you card is a kick in the face. You should always hand write your thank you cards and tell each guest how you are going to use their gift. You received the beautiful china you had on your registry that you really wanted but will probably never use? “Meagan, Thank you so much for the beautiful china set. Husband and I are going to cook a big meal for our parents to thank them for the wedding and we can’t wait to serve it on the china set you gave us. Love Wife and Husband.”
3. Asking For a Specific Type of Gift
Never ask for “cash only” gifts or expect guests to only get you something off of the registry. A gift is a gift and it is up to the guest what they give you. You should always accept it graciously.
2. Having a Second Guest-List
This is becoming really popular these days. “Oh we are on a budget so we could only invite ____ people, but you’re welcome to come after dinner. I’m sorry but I am not okay with that. If I’m not important enough to come for dinner, why should I be there afterwards? If they aren’t important enough for you to invite them to have dinner with you, then don’t invite them at all. If you really do want them there but it’s a money thing, serve less for dinner, try a cocktail reception for example.
And the Number 1 Do-Not-DO of All Time….
Ask people to pay for their wedding meals!!! Yes, this has happened. Thankfully not at any of the weddings I’ve been to, but there have been Couples who have either included in the invitation the cost of the wedding meal they had to pay, or that have just unexpectedly handed their guests dinner bills at the end of the night. THIS IS NOT OKAY!!
Please remember, although this is your wedding, your guests are important people. Treat them right, be a good host, and you will have a wedding that no one forgets(in a good way).