Manners and etiquette are instilled into just about everyone from a young age. From following the golden rule of doing unto others as you would have done unto you to saying “please” and “thank you” often, there are general practices that are considered polite that virtually everybody knows about and seems to follow. It’s not always so easy to know what is and isn’t polite in every situation, though. For example, each country has different customs within their culture. Some, like tipping your waiter, may be normal in America; in other countries, they can be offensive.
Weddings are a common event that are full of tradition and come with rules of etiquette, but despite how common weddings are, it’s not always easy to know what all of them are. Sure, guests know that they shouldn’t wear white so that they don’t draw attention away from the bride, and couples know that the father of the bride traditionally walks her down the aisle, but is it okay for the bride spend time looking at short plus size dresses instead of something long, or for someone else to walk her down the aisle if her father isn’t available? While the bride is entitled to wear whatever style and color of dress she might like, there are certain rules of wedding etiquette that the bride and groom should follow. Here are just a few:
Call Close Family Members to Share News of Your Engagement Before You Post Online
It should go without saying that you need to call and tell your mom, grandma, brothers and sisters, dad, and other close family members about your engagement in person or over the phone before you start posting anything about it online, but it can be easy to get caught up in the moment and post without thinking twice about it. Posting without sharing the news with close family members and friends first, though, is considered rude and is something you should avoid.
Greet and Mingle with Your Guests
Wedding lines can be difficult for guests and the wedding party alike. It can be exhausting to stand there, letting guests come through and shake your hand or hug you, then chat with you for a bit. Then, the longer they stand there talking away, the chances of you getting some food before the end of the night get lower and lower. Luckily, wedding lines aren’t required!
While many couples choose to have a line to fulfill the etiquette of greeting and mingling with guests, there are a lot of other ways to make the rounds and let each guest know you appreciate them being there. By taking the time to visit each table, sharing dances with guests on the dance floor, or serving food at your wedding, you’ll get the chance to meet and greet without having to stand in a traditional line.
Create a Wedding Website
Wedding websites are a big part of modern-day weddings for good reason. They give guests the chance to get to know about you, as a couple, get details about the big day, find information about your registry, etc. It’s traditionally considered poor etiquette to put registry information and too much detail on your invitations, so a wedding website is the perfect place to make that available to guests. No matter what wedding website builder you use, creating a wedding website is good etiquette for you and your intended to follow.
Take it Easy on the Alcohol
Weddings are celebrations; there’s no reason you and your new spouse can’t enjoy a few drinks on your big day. It’s important to pace yourself and take it easy, though. Especially when guests are around. The day may be long, and you may be having fun, but you don’t want to get drunk and say or do things you won’t remember or will regret the next day.
Send Thank You Notes ASAP
Life is busy, and after you get married that busyness seems to double since you now have to balance the lives of two people instead of just your own. Amidst everything going on, it can be difficult to find the time to send out thank you notes to the guests who attended your wedding. While some couples may not feel rushed and will wait up to a year to send out thank yous to their guests, etiquette dictates that your thank you notes should go out no later than three months after your wedding day.
Get Things Started on Time
Another piece of etiquette that should go without saying is that you need to get things started on time. You shouldn’t leave your guests waiting around for the event to start, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. That will mean that you’ll have to keep yourself focused and on-schedule as you go about the day, but getting things started at the times you told guests you would is an important rule of wedding etiquette.
There are lots of traditions and rules of etiquette surrounding weddings. With so many, it can be hard to keep track of and know everything you’re expected to do, especially since some are outdated and no longer apply to modern-day weddings the same way that they used to. But by following the rules of etiquette outlined above and practicing other general rules of etiquette, you’ll be able to keep all of your guests happy and avoid causing any disruption or offense.
In your opinion, what is the most important rule of wedding etiquette?