When it comes to planning a wedding there are some rules that are made to be broken (hello, wedding parties in all white!) and some timeless bits of etiquette that are here to stay. We love to see couples honoring their own desires and hopes for their wedding day and saying no to the things that don't suit them, but some things are timeless for a reason, and much of that comes down to proper etiquette that makes people walk away from your day as happy as possible. From wedding day to post-wedding we have a few of our top do's and don'ts of wedding etiquette for the couple!
DO Remember to Feed Your Vendors
It's easy to forget to count your vendors in your final catering count, but it's a bit of wedding day etiquette that can lead to a better experience for all. Many vendors even have this noted in their contract as well, so missing this would be highly frowned upon. Plus, a well-fed vendor is a happy vendor and a happy vendor goes above and beyond to create the best experience possible for you! Be sure to review all contracts prior to making a final count for the caterer and also be sure to identify where and when your vendors should eat (typically at the same time as the bride and groom).
DON'T Forget to Feed and Water Your Guests
Nothing kills the wedding day party vibe like hoards of hangry guests. In addition to providing drinks for cocktail hour, provide small bites with passed hors d'oeuvres to tide the guests over until the meal. This is especially important if you have a long window of photos between the ceremony and reception.
We also recommend adding things like fans and water stations for ceremonies where guests will be sitting in the heat and sun for a bit. Similarly, draping shawls over the backs of the chairs or having baskets of blankets for outdoor weddings in those in-between months where the temperatures can dip quickly is a great idea. Committing to an outdoor wedding regardless of temperatures is perfectly fine, as long as you take into consideration the needs of those who will be in attendance. These little touches show that you're thinking of your guests as they join you for your special day and will keep them from wilting before the party even gets started!
DO Look After Your Wedding Party
Everyone who has been in a wedding knows that it is a magical thing to stand by your loved one as they tie the knot, but it is also an expensive and time-consuming process. The wedding day is always a long one so including morning snacks and coffee is always a good idea to make sure your squad is well fed for the wedding day marathon. Prior to the wedding day, be open to offering variations to your wedding party. This may be something as simple as offering mix and match wedding day looks that accommodate different price points, or if there is specific jewelry or a certain accessory required, providing that for them as a thank you gift can be helpful.
For pre-wedding festivities, it's always great to have everyone with you, but in some cases, there may be an either-or situation. Letting folks know that they don't have to attend every single pre-wedding event (especially if travel is required for all!). For some, the financial burden of being in a wedding can be immense, so simply letting them know ahead of time that there's flexibility can go a long way. Taking care of your wedding party before and during the event shows that you really do value them.
DO Keep to the Timeline
Nothing sends vendors and guests into a tailspin faster than a timeline gone awry. We've all been to weddings where the ceremony starts long after the time on the invitation, and the tension in the space is tangible. Aside from keeping your guests from getting antsy, the timeline you've created for the wedding day has been carefully mapped out so that your vendors can deliver their services in the way you have contracted them to. In order to get all that you've paid for it's super crucial to keep fairly close to your pre-planned timeline. Additionally, hiccups with the timeline can lead to awkward downtime or things like rushed meals for your guests. It's always good to expect the unexpected, so build a few little buffer zones into the timeline where you can push things around if absolutely necessary without causing much chaos.
DON'T Forget to Write Thank You Notes
When the wedding day has come to a close and the honeymoon bags are unpacked it's time to start the post-wedding admin work. We know, it's not the most glamorous part of it, but it's very important. Writing thank you notes is a crucial part of the whole wedding package.
Perks of writing wedding notes include an opportunity to share some of your wedding photos with your guests, a cute little date night for you and your new spouse, and happy family and friends who can't believe you took the time to thank them. Companies like Artifact Uprising and Minted offer great photo card options that will allow you to share a sweet snap from the wedding day on the front of the card, with blank space on the back or interior for a personal message. Brides created a perfect breakdown of what to include on the note and even some templates to get you started. Believe us when we say, this is a tradition that will never go out of style and one that will be worth its weight in gold as far as your friends and family go. Crack open a bottle of wine, pop on a favorite Netflix series, order a pizza and get those thank you notes written up and sent out the door!
While some bits of etiquette are a thing of the past, there are still a handful of time tested pieces of etiquette that are here for the long haul. From providing meals and snacks to fight off wedding day hunger to keeping to a timeline, these bits of wedding day etiquette ensure that your special day is a joyous experience for all. By maintaining these standards of etiquette your guests and vendors will hold you and your wedding in high regard for years to come!
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