Bridezilla Leave! Wedding etiquette for the happy future couple

Wedding planning is extremely stressful. Don’t let near-constant choices, budget constraints, and the resulting heated emotions drive you into one of these common faux pas.

Invitation Protocol

Nothing screams “Tacky!” faster than putting your register information on the invite. It seems that you only invite them for the gift. Your guests will ask you where you are registered; if you’re really worried, however, spread the registry’s information via word of mouth.

Likewise, don’t ask in the fancy “money, not gifts” invitation script. If you’re trying to save for a first home or something equally important, the polite way to go is to sign up for a cash register. Let guests know they’re contributing something meaningful to you and your future spouse. Never make cash the only option, as some traditionalists prefer to give a tangible gift; respect that.

Generous releases

Weddings are expensive, and the bar bill is a big chunk of the reception budget. Don’t give in to the temptation of a cash bar. Guests have already spent money to attend your wedding (especially if it’s a destination wedding) and have likely purchased a great gift. Also, it disrupts the elegance of your event for guests who withdraw cash or credit cards throughout the reception.

Instead, consider serving beer, wine, and a signature cocktail to cut expenses; or you can limit the full bar to happy hour and have beer and wine during dinner. Other alternatives are to check if the venue will allow you to bring your own alcohol, or you can avoid hard liquor altogether.

The dreaded time gap

If your wedding and reception are at different locations, there will be a time gap. The ideal is to allow enough time for guests to get from place to place, without going hungry. A 60-minute (90-minute max) cocktail hour with small bites leaves plenty of time for wedding photos, etc.

If the church and reception venue schedule allows for a longer time gap, provide entertainment such as a map of the city for sightseeing, keeping in mind that your guests won’t want to soil their wedding clothes. Do your best to avoid this situation, or you might find your guests arriving at your reception full of the nearest restaurant.

Individual seats

Banish the socially awkward singles table. Your single guests are valued family and friends, otherwise you wouldn’t have invited them, so treat them with dignity. Have they met any of the party guests yet? If so, place them at the table with that person, even if it makes the number of tables unequal. If they don’t know anyone, they will have to sit with strangers; try placing them with people they have something in common with: college, neighborhood, career, even favorite sports team. You’re just looking for a conversation starter, and the fact that they all know you’ll take it from there.

Deferred Thank You Notes

While it’s traditional to save the top of the wedding cake to eat a year later for good luck and continued prosperity, you don’t have a year to send your “thank you notes” no matter what. someone could tell you.

For those who send their gifts early, including gifts purchased through your registry, take this opportunity to save yourself some writer’s cramp down the road and send the note now, keeping a list of who you’ve replied to. For gifts, cash or gift cards brought to the wedding, you have a window of two to three months, max.

And in case it needs to be said, all thank you cards should be handwritten and mailed. You’re welcome.

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