When it comes to wedding planning, there are so many rules brides are told to follow. Although some of these rules can help avoid unnecessary drama, a bride shouldn’t base every decision just to make everyone else happy for the sake of “wedding etiquette.”
What is wedding etiquette? Wedding etiquette refers to a specific set of rules or standards which are normally expected at a wedding, from what you wear to how you treat your guests.
Here are 10 wedding planning do’s and don’ts to help you determine which wedding etiquette rules should be followed and which are worth breaking.
#1) Wedding etiquette says...Spend at least 2 months’ salary on the engagement ring.
Julia says...Nope! The amount someone spends on an engagement ring does not equate to how important you are to them. Because there are lab created diamonds, moissanite, and other beautiful stones that are more cost effective, you don’t have to spend an insane amount of money to get a beautiful, sparkly ring. An engagement ring is a beautiful symbol of your commitment to each other so the price tag should be irrelevant.
#2) Wedding etiquette says...Don’t uninvite guests.
Julia says...YES. It is incredibly rude to uninvite wedding guests, so choose your guest list wisely! After COVID-19, the wedding etiquette on this has shifted and allowed for many polite ways to uninvite someone if you have an extenuating circumstance. But unless you are in a global pandemic, you should avoid uninviting someone unless you are prepared to dissolve that relationship.
#3) Wedding etiquette says...Don’t invite someone to a bridal shower if they are not invited to the wedding.
Julia says...YES, or any wedding-related event for that matter. But again, there may be exceptions. Due to extenuating circumstances like the pandemic, you may need to significantly cut back the guest list. In this case, feel free to invite your original guest list to wedding-related activities, as long as you express you’d like to celebrate together in lieu of the big wedding.
#4) Wedding etiquette says...Do wear white, unless it’s your second wedding.
Julia says...HELL NO. All eyes will be on you and your beautiful dress as you walk down the aisle... but the color you decide to wear should be completely up to you, regardless of how many weddings you’ve had. Whether it’s white, ivory, or a rainbow dress with a colorful feather train, go for it! It’s your wedding, so you’re allowed to wear whatever makes you feel yourself.
#5) Wedding etiquette says…Provide an open bar for your guests.
Julia says...Nope! If you want your guests to have a great time at your wedding reception, it’s very common to offer an open bar. But this isn’t the only option! If you are on a tight budget, you can make wine or beer complimentary and cocktails cash. This way you are still providing your wedding reception guests with unlimited drinks, while saving money. There also may be a very personal reason why you do not want to provide alcohol at your wedding. If alcohol is a complete no-go, there are many ways to make mock-tails super fun. Unfortunately, since an open bar is the norm, you should let your guests know ahead of time so they know what to expect at your wedding.
#6) Wedding etiquette says...Do give your vendor tips.
Julia says...Don’t feel obligated. As a wedding vendor, it’s great to receive tips from clients. While tips are always appreciated, a rave review or a referral from a client that can gain your wedding vendor additional business can also go a long way. A tip is not something your vendors should be expecting, so don’t feel obligated. But if you have the financial means to do so, and want to thank your vendors for going above and beyond it’s always a nice gesture.
#7) Wedding etiquette says...Do provide a mailed invitation with postage for RSVP.
Julia says...times are changing! Printed invitations are still a great keepsake, but weddings are expensive and you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on postage, DOUBLE if you are sending postage with RSVPS. Digital is the future, so this wedding etiquette rule is worth breaking. I would not be surprised if digital invitations become the new norm as more and more people are forgoing printed invitations altogether. Just be cognizant of your guest list. Do you have elderly guests who will not be able to receive an invitation or RSVP online? Make an exception for them. But if you are generally accepting RSVPs online, there is no need to provide return postage.
#8) Wedding etiquette says...Don’t provide your registry information on your invites.
Julia says...agreed! It is definitely not necessary to include your registry information on the invite. This implies your guests are invited solely for the gifts. Instead, include the registry information on your wedding website and then include your website on the invitation. People who want to send a gift will either look at your wedding website, or ask. So there is really no need to provide a direct link on the invitation.
#9) Wedding etiquette says...Do send thank you notes.
Julia says...YES! Of course you’re spending a lot of money to have a wedding, but if a guest comes to support you or sends a gift, sending a thank you note is a wedding etiquette rule you should follow. And don’t wait too long! Try to spend some time writing them when you get back from your honeymoon and send them out as soon as you can.
Finally...and most importantly...
#10) Don’t follow wedding planning do’s and don’ts for the sake of wedding etiquette.
Follow your own morals and what you believe makes sense for your wedding and guests. If you find yourself having to break a rule or two, then so be it! Everyone’s wedding is different and only you should decide which wedding etiquette rules are worth following.