Posts tagged Wedding Etiquette
Posts tagged Wedding Etiquette
What are you waiting for? Registering for wedding gifts should be one of the first tasks you tackle when you get engaged. Friends and relatives will be looking to buy wedding gifts as soon as he pops the question. Really! Take the guesswork out of gift buying by making sure they know what you want. You don’t need to complete your list just yet, but at least have a selection for guests to browse
Hitting the stores together is essential. After all, the gifts are for both of you. To decide what you need, take inventory of the things you already have and see where the gaps are. Talk about the style of home you’d both like, and split up the final say (you could alternate items) to make it fair. (Maybe he gets to make final decisions on electronics, while you get to choose the kitchen stuff since you’re the chef.)
Don’t feel like you just need to register for china and flatware. Many stores have wedding registries now, so feel free to include whatever it is that will make your new house a home, be it electronics, appliances, or even camping equipment.
Try to avoid filling your list with things you’re never going to use. If you two aren’t the formal party types, then you probably won’t need a crystal punch bowl, as compelling as it may seem when you walk by with that registry scanner. Also, be extra-sure before you register for anything that’s monogrammed. Once your name is on it, you probably won’t be able to return it.
It’s always a good idea to inquire about a store’s exchange/return policies. The great thing is many wedding registry retailers have amazing customer service to accommodate to-be-weds’ needs (for example, you might suddenly realize that you don’t really have room for 24 chargers and want to return, say, eight of them). That said, being aware of the store’s return and exchange timelines will help you better plan and manage your registry.
As much as you may be hankering for that gorgeous $350-a-place-setting silver, be sure to register for items in a wide range of price points: under $50, under $75, under $100, under $200, and beyond, so all of your guests can choose gifts they can afford. You don’t want your college friend feeling overwhelmed by the fact that he can’t find a single gift; and on the opposite side, you don’t want your parents’ closest friends to have to buy you a multitude of smaller items to give you a generous gift.
At least one (and preferably all) of your registries should be available online. Guests should also be able to place their orders in person, over the phone, or by fax. If you’ve registered at a boutique retailer that doesn’t offer online services, you should be okay, as long as that’s not the only place you’ve registered. We live in a hectic world and you want to let guests be able to order you a gift — even if it’s 2 a.m.!
When a guest buys a gift for you, your registry should automatically update, allowing other guests to see what’s been purchased (and allowing you to see what’s on its way!). Make sure to revisit your registry often (trust us, you’ll be visiting several times a day once the wedding day nears), and update it with additional selections as products are purchased so that guests always have a variety of things to choose from. Aim to have at least twice as many items on your list as guests at your wedding.
Sure, some couples love receiving cash, but asking for it is not exactly Future Mr. and Mrs. Manners-approved. A more etiquette-friendly option? Try gift cards. Many stores allow you to register for them and you can use them to buy the things you want and need…later. If you are anxious for cash gifts, ask one or two close friends and immediate family members to politely spread the word.
Be gracious — let your guests know their gifts have arrived — promptly. Thank-you notes for gifts received before the wedding should be sent within two weeks of their arrival. Notes for gifts received on or after the wedding day should be sent within a month of your return from the honeymoon. In all notes, be sure to mention the gift by name.
Q. I am planning a destination wedding on the beach in the Caribbean and I am not sure what type of dress to wear. I want to go barefoot but also want to have a sophisticated look…any ideas how I can pull this off?
There’s nothing sexier than hosting a wedding barefoot in the sand, and a destination wedding dress should follow suit. Skip the heavy, overly bejeweled ballgown in favor of comfortable, lightweight silks that graze your skin, a loose, flowy silhouette, and perhaps just a hint of beading to mirror the sparkling ocean.
Here are some of my favorite breezy, lightweight gowns from Island Bridal which would be great for a casual to semi-formal wedding in the sand.
An elegant V-neck chiffon, with delicate shoulder bows covers you wherever life takes you. From the Calypso Collection
With it’s strategically placed lace appliques, this sheer dress offers a bride a seductive allure. From the Angel Collection
Runway meets the aisle, in this fun, yet sophisticated satin gown, that twirls with your every movement. From the Angel Collection
A golden touch of delicate appliques exudes a heavenly sense of luxury. From the Angel Collection
Q. I am getting married on the beach in San Diego next year. Since this will be a destination wedding for myself and most of my bridal party I want to keep things simple. I am planning to wear a short colorful knee length sundress but my future mom-in-law says I can’t as it isn’t dressy enough? This is my second marriage so I think a long white gown is too much. What do you think?
A. I think a knee length dress would be lovely for a casual beach wedding. How about something along the lines of this dress…..
This figure flattering dress has a swingy silhouette which makes it perfect for a wedding (even for your bridesmaids). This is the style dress you want to wear long after your wedding. From the Socialite Collection
Q. I am getting married in Hawaii. At first I planned to have four wedding attendants on each side. I agreed to pay the bridesmaids’ airfare if they paid for the hotel, but now I’m considering costs, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to. Should I just tell them we’ve decided to only have our maid of honor and best man, or should I ask them to pay for their trips?
A. Instead of telling them you’ve decided to exclude them without offering a reason — which is bound to hurt some feelings — honesty is the best policy. Sure, the added cost of getting to Hawaii may mean some or all of them won’t be able to make the trip, but it should be their decision. If you simply explain that you overestimated how much you were going to be able to contribute, that’s something they can understand and appreciate. If they’re doubtful of the cost but still really want to try to make it, help them look into discounted fares through a travel agent or an online broker. They may be able to get a good fare if they travel during off-hours, for example. It can be done, if you’re willing to do the research.
Q. I am getting married in Aruba next year and want to invite close friends and family. Are we obligated to pay for our guests or subsidize any portion of their trip?
A. If you are able to pay any portion of your guests’ way, it is a nice gesture and they will certainly appreciate it. Couples usually go this route when there aren’t many affordable lodging options near their site. In general, though, it is not required that you cover any of your guests’ expenses. But aim for harmony regardless and choose a location that offers accommodation options in all price points. You know your guests best, so keep in mind what you think they’ll be willing and able to spend when you select your location.
Q. My fiance and I want to have a ceremony in the Caribbean with just our parents as guests. We would like to have a big reception for our friends and family when we return home. How can we do this without hurting feelings?
A. Well, first you have to face the fact that you very well might hurt feelings regardless of your tact: Some friends and relatives will surprised that they were not included in the ceremony. But you should also remember that it’s your wedding, and if you want an intimate ceremony on a beach, who can blame you? Explain to those who ask that this is your wedding dream, and that you’re looking forward to a big, celebratory bash with all your nearest and dearest when you get home.
If your heart is set on an intimate ceremony, follow your plans and don’t worry too much. Then when you get home, send out invitations to a party “celebrating your marriage” where you can show slides or photos of your ceremony. It will be as if they had all been there with you after all
A. This situation isn’t too tough, believe it or not, but it’s still important that you handle it without hurting anyone’s feelings — after all, no one wants to know they’re on your B-list. The easiest way? Before you lick even one stamp, touch base with all the key players to see what their availability is on your wedding date. You can do this by talking to people in concentric circles of importance, if you will: immediate family members first, then the friends or family you plan on asking to be your attendants, then other family, then other friends, and so on. Barring unforeseen circumstances, you’ll be able to get a good idea of your attendance figures right away, which will allow you to better map out your guest list. You can still send invitations to those you would want to be there but whom you know can’t attend just so that they know how you feel. You can also extend invitations to your replacements right away, without them having to know that they weren’t part of your initial 50. If you find later that your response cards are pouring in with regrets, go ahead and invite some new folks — just don’t wait too long, since they’ll need time to make travel arrangements.
* Photo Credits: Island Bridal
Q. Without getting into extreme detail: My sister is 13 years older than I am, and we are not close. She is, let’s just say, the black sheep of the family. Should I feel obligated to invite her to my wedding just because she is my sister?
A. Family matters are the toughest ones. But the bottom line is this: If inviting her is going to cause you a lot of grief on your wedding day, then don’t. On the other hand, if her presence isn’t going to aversely affect you, and her not getting invited might create even more of a problem, then extend an invitation. Remember, just because you invite her doesn’t mean she’ll come.
Though you shouldn’t feel obligated, you should definitely give it some serious thought. Talk to your parents and other siblings (if any) about it and see what they think. Chances are, if you’re wondering whether to invite her, you probably should. But only you can really answer that question!
Q. As the best man, it’s my responsibility to deliver the ceremony fees. What is the proper way to make these payments?
A. Fees for the officiant, the organist, the soloist, and the use of the church or other house of worship are not tips but should be delivered as you would tips, in sealed envelopes, addressed to each person, with the couple’s “thanks” included. The groom will supply you with the money to cover the fees. Some grooms prefer to make the payments directly themselves, but most rely on the best man to distribute the envelopes.