When planning a wedding, brides (and grooms!) dream of their perfect wedding day. A day that celebrates their love and who they are as a couple.
One goal is to host a memorable event that leaves a lasting impression on your guests. However, no newlywed couple wants their guests whispering, “Can you believe they did that??”
Admittedly, the rules of wedding etiquette can sometimes feel vague and confusing. Caught up in the flurry of activity, many couples commit etiquette blunders without even realizing it. Here are some major etiquette mistakes you may have thought were acceptable but should really be avoided:
1. DO NOT Include Registry Info with Your Invitation.
Although you may have seen it, it’s never OK (and indeed tacky) to include registry information on or within an invitation to the wedding or reception or with any wedding announcement (even in small print on the back). Doing so shifts the emphasis from desiring the presence of your family and friends to asking for presents.
It is a well-known tradition that a wedding invitation implies that a wedding gift is sent to the couple. If a guest wants to know where you’re registered, you can rest assured that they will ask. Make sure your immediate family and bridal party know where you’re registered. You can also include it on your wedding website or suggest that your guests go to RegistryFinder.com, where they can easily find all your wedding registries in one convenient location.
It is, however, OK for your bridal shower host to share your gift registry information within a bridal shower invitation.
2. DO Make Sure Those Invited to Your Shower or Engagement Party are Invited to Your Wedding
Anyone you wish to invite to a pre-wedding party must also be included on the wedding guest list. If you care enough about someone (or feel obligated) to ask them to a party or shower, they are special enough to be included in your wedding guest list. Check out this post for helpful tips on creating your wedding guest list.
3. DO NOT Have a Cash Bar
Asking your guests to pay for their own drinks is simply unacceptable. Imagine hosting a dinner party in your home and asking your guests to pay for their pre-dinner cocktail or a glass of wine with dinner.
You would never dream of it! So consider your wedding reception a huge dinner party, and provide the drinks with the food!
If your budget doesn’t allow for an open bar, but you would like to serve alcohol at your wedding, there are other ways to do it. Serving beer and wine is a totally acceptable (budget-friendly) option! If you want to provide liquor, work with your caterer to create a few signature drinks for your guests.
Another option is to have an alcohol-free reception. You could have a morning or afternoon wedding with a simple reception that does not include alcohol. There are plenty of options to serve (or not serve) whatever you choose; just please don’t ask your guests to pay for it!
4. DO Greet Your Guests
Your guests have given a significant amount of their time (and probably money) to be there to celebrate your special day. So it’s simply common courtesy to be intentional about greeting your guests and thanking each of them for being there. Although the receiving line seems to be a thing of the past, it is the traditional way to ensure that every guest is greeted and no one is missed. Today, most couples choose to visit each table during the reception. It can be brief (especially if you have a lot of guests); just make sure it’s sincere and heartfelt.
However you decide to do it, remember these are clearly the most important people in your lives (the ones who made the cut onto that exclusive wedding guest list all those weeks ago!), so take the time to say hello to your coworker, express your gratitude to your out-of-town cousins, hug your grandma, and then hit the dance floor with your best girlfriends!
5. DO NOT Ask for Money
As in point number one, no mention of gifts or gift preferences is included on (or in) your invitation, including that you would like to receive cash instead of gifts.
Your attitude toward wedding gifts should be that you will be happy with whatever you receive (hard, I know, because we are tempted to try and control everything). Don’t lose perspective on the purpose of your wedding. It’s a celebration of your love and dedication to one another, not a personal fundraiser or charity event.
A wedding registry is designed to give suggestions, not mandate what guests will gift. A subtle way to guide your guests toward cash is to register with a registry provider offering cash options such as experiences or honeymoon funds.
This is the modern way for guests “to send a check.” It’s safe and easy for the giver (nothing gets lost in the mail) and comes to you as cash to use for your honeymoon or whatever you want. Honeyfund and Zola are popular options, and they provide a perfect mix of funds and products, so there is something for everyone on your wedding gift registry.
6. DO Watch Your Liquor Intake
An intoxicated bride or groom is embarrassing and creates an uncomfortable situation for the guests and family. Yes, this is a celebration, but nobody wants to see the bride or groom so inebriated that they lose their motor skills or get sick. You want to ensure you remember and enjoy the event you spent months planning. So, make time to eat some food and pace your alcohol consumption. Hint: have a glass of water in between each cocktail.
As long as there are weddings, there will be wedding hiccups. Do your best to manage the details people will remember long after your big day. But don’t stress! Manage what’s in your control, laugh off what you can’t control, and enjoy your special day.
2 thoughts on “Ask Cheryl: Wedding Faux Pas Couples Should Avoid (Top 6 DO’s & DON’Ts)”
Well I searched for the article title and found this,
never thought i’d find the answer
Kellie Jo Forbes
So I was married 40 years ago, but I get wedding invitations that include where the couple is registered with every (not kidding) wedding invitation or announcement that I’ve received over the past 15 or so years (maybe more), and I’ve always appreciated it. I guess my disagreement with you is that with so many places to register these days (and how the heck do you find the right one if they don’t tell you), and the purpose of a registry to make it easier on guests who are choosing a gift for the shower or wedding, why wouldn’t you? I think it is actually fine to include this info. Not on the invitation, but on a small card that is included with the invitation. Seems like it would almost be rude not to – wastes a lot of time for guests that all have busy lives. Hate to break it to you, but a wedding is not the center of anyone’s universe except the bride & groom, and possibly the parents of both. JMO, your mileage may vary.