Over the weekend, I did some research on wedding etiquette. And I was a little shocked to find out that some things that I have seen other people and/or was considering doing are deemed poor etiquette. I figured I would share this information because a lot of brides are doing the wedding planning thing for the very first time so most etiquette mistakes are made because the bride didn’t know better, not because she was trying to be rude.
I’ll admit that this was something that I was seriously considering doing at my ceremony. I thought the cute little signs about being present and putting the phones away until the reception were cute. But apparently, they are extremely passive aggressive and snooty. It’s a wedding, not a classroom. So your guests shouldn’t feel like they are being treated like children. That being said, this trend of “unplugging” has risen due to brides (and grooms) “need” to say something that they shouldn’t have to say. If that makes sense…
Specifying the Attire
Even though you may want to give people a reminder of the suggested attire for your event, it’s rude to do so for two reasons. Number one: you shouldn’t be telling other adults what to wear. Number two: you don’t want to make people feel like they must go out and buy a whole new ensemble just for your wedding. If you want your event to be formal, make it an evening affair and hope for the best. Trust your guests to make the right decision about their attire.
People who have cash bars at their wedding clearly don’t do so to be rude. Usually cash bars are a budget thing and I completely understand that. It’s considered to be in poor taste because the reception is supposed to be a “thank you” to your wedding guests who have traveled to see you, bought you a gift, etc. So ideally, you wouldn’t want to make them pay for something else once they’ve arrived to the ceremony/reception. This isn’t something that I consider to be rude because sometimes it’s necessary for your budget. You may want to provide alcohol for the guests who drink without breaking the bank. An open bar is definitely a welcomed feature but I don’t judge people who have cash bars instead.
Registry info on or with the invitation
This is one etiquette faux pas that I actually blame retailers for. When you register at stores, they will give you a whole bunch of “registry announcement cards” and they literally tell you that they are to be put into the envelope with your invitations. For a first-time bride, that sounds pretty logical. But apparently, sending out unsolicited registry information with the invitation makes it seem like you are expecting gifts. And when people feel like you expect them to give you things, it makes them not want to give you things. Registry information should be put on the wedding website or passed around by word of mouth when it is solicited. Most people who want to give you a gift will seek out your registry information on their own.
Adults only wedding
Generally speaking, it’s not in good taste to note who is NOT invited to the wedding on the invitation or wedding website. If you don’t want children at your wedding, be very specific about who’s names are written on the invitations and how many seats are reserved. If someone does happen to write their child’s name in when they RSVP, you will have to call them and politely say that your invitation was only for the people it was addressed to.
All of the etiquette faux pas that I mentioned are typically done accidentally. No bride or groom plans a wedding thinking “how can I offend my guests?” And quite a few of the etiquette mistakes that I listed happen when a bride/groom is trying to give out information that they think guests need to know (attire/no kids/registry). These are things that I consider to be miscommunications. But as a bride/host of a wedding, it’s your job to think about the perception of your actions regardless of your intent.