Common wedding etiquette questions answered
Weddings are an enduring cultural ritual, ever evolving, with new trends each season. But the things that never go out of style are manners and social graces. Coast Bridal asked Connie Dryden, owner of Nefertiti Boutique & Bridal and Island Flowers in downtown Galveston, to answer some of the most common wedding etiquette questions.
Is it OK to invite someone to an engagement party and/or shower who isn’t invited to the wedding?
If you invite someone to pre-wedding festivities, they also should be invited to the wedding.
Rule of thumb: Be respectful of your guests.
Can a couple invite their exes to the wedding?
Invitations should be sent to family, friends and business associates who are excited to share your special day.
Rule of thumb: Ex-spouses usually are not thrilled to see you with someone new. They should not be on the guest list.
Is it OK for a couple to allow children in the family to attend the wedding, but not children of the guests?
You can absolutely have your own children in attendance and still say no to the attendance of your guests’ children. Often, the bride and groom’s children are part of the ceremony.
Rule of thumb: Spell out the names of the invited guests in their invitation.
How long should a couple give guests to RSVP?
RSVPs should be returned one month prior to the wedding date. This gives a little time to make phone calls.
Rule of thumb: The caterer, hotel, florist and other vendors need final numbers two to three weeks before the wedding date to prepare tables, food and flowers.
If you are invited to an engagement party, bridal shower and wedding, do you need to bring a gift for each gathering?
Bring a gift to each one.
Rule of thumb: The gift should be appropriate to the event.
How much money should you spend on wedding gifts?
Stay in your budget when buying wedding gifts. Be creative and think of ideas that would be unique and fit the bride and groom’s lifestyle.
Rule of thumb: A gift registry usually has a wide range of prices.
Speaking of gifts, do you need to bring one to a destination wedding or is your presence enough?
You should bring a gift to a destination wedding or have your gift sent to the bride’s home prior to the wedding.
Rule of thumb: Bring a gift card or money in an envelope rather than a large box that the bride and groom or family will have to transport at the end of the reception.
Is it OK to wear black to a wedding?
Guests may wear black to a wedding but should refrain from wearing white.
Rule of thumb: Consider the venue, formality and time of day.
Are there certain traditions, like cutting the cake or tossing the bouquet, that are OK to omit?
Choose the traditions you want to incorporate and forget the ones you want to omit. The old thinking of “must dos” is outdated.
Rule of thumb: Make your wedding your own.
Is it OK for guests to post pictures to social media during the wedding?
Respect the bride and groom and refrain from posting details of their special event until they do so themselves, especially pictures of them.
Rule of thumb: At least wait until after the wedding is over to post pictures.